Article

The Kirkuk Problem and Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution: The Kirkuk Problem . .

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Abstract

This article will discuss the issue of Kirkuk and its development, going back to its historical roots and development. The Kurdish and non-Kurdish arguments will be presented. Also, the issue will be analyzed in the light of the current situation in Iraq. Some solutions to the problem will be proposed, to help keep Iraq intact as a federal state.

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... The rich oil reserves of Iraq were first found in 1927 in Kirkuk, and it had a tremendous effect on the country ever since (Hanish, 2010). The first export destinations were British-controlled Tripoli and French-controlled Haifa through primitive pipelines from Kirkuk via the international player called "The Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC)". ...
... The rich oil reserves of Iraq were first found in 1927 in Kirkuk, and it had a tremendous effect on the country ever since (Hanish, 2010). The first export destinations were British-controlled Tripoli and French-controlled Haifa through primitive pipelines from Kirkuk via the international player called "The Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC)". ...
... Foreign support would also enable the KRG to solidify its control over the Kirkuk oilfields, the key to the region's economic success. Since oil's discovery in Kirkuk in 1927, the Kirkuk oilfield has become "the foundation of northern Iraqi oil production, with over 10 billion barrels of proven remaining oil reserves as of 1998" (Hanish, 2010). The Iraqi Ministry of Oil's North Oil Company operated the five main oilfields in Kirkuk, which produced more than 500,000 barrels of oil per day before the ISIS attack (Naylor, 2014). ...
Article
Moral hazard theory assumes that the responsibility to protect (R2P) raises expectations of third‐party intervention, thus creating a perverse motivation for vulnerable groups to act aggressively and incite a situation where foreign intervention becomes necessary to preserve their own safety. The promise of external intervention encourages vulnerable groups to rebel against their parent states under the assumption that intervention increases the likelihood of success and lowers the expected cost. Alan Kuperman describes moral hazard theory as the taking of risks that may inadvertently derive from trying to protect from risk, with unwanted results. This paper asks, if there are divisions, conflicts, or a security dilemma arising between factional leaders within a vulnerable group, how does that affect the decisions of the group with regard to taking risks? Taking the case of the PUK’s decision not to fight Iraqi armed forces and thereby prevent conflict escalation following the 2017 independence referendum, this paper argues that divisions between factional leaders affect a group's choice to take risks, reducing its likelihood. Consequently, conditions are less likely to reach the point of existential danger where outside intervention becomes necessary.
... It is for this reason that neither the Transitional Iraqi Government nor the Federal government of Iraq has been able to navigate the problems of Kirkuk to find a sustainable solution. (32) It is also imperative to explain that even with all the issues outlined above the neglect of Article 140 on the part of the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Iraq Federal Government has been one of the significant contributing factors in prolonging the Kirkuk dispute. Thus, the political events in Iraq, since 2003, reveal a picture of a politically divided Kirkuk that still is without clear legal status. ...
... However, the Iraqi Federal Government had failed to deliver on this constitutional article within the required time-scale. 5 Moreover, in 2014, Nuri Al-Maliki, the then Iraqi Prime Minister, ordered that the Federal Government stop sending the Kurdistan Region of Iraq's portion of the Iraqi budget, which the region had been receiving on a monthly basis since the collapse of the former Iraqi regime in 2003. 6 What is more, officials in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq accused the Iraqi Federal Government of not treating the Kurdish Peshmerga as a component of the Iraqi military as required by the Iraqi constitution, and also withholding their salaries. ...
Article
On 7 June 2017, the former Kurdistan president Massoud Barzani called a meeting between 15 Kurdish political parties to seek their approval for a referendum on Iraqi Kurdish independence. Despite many adverse circumstances – the proroguing of the Kurdistan parliament, the strained relations among the Kurdish political parties, and the general political stalemate in Iraqi Kurdistan – the meeting agreed that a referendum should take place on 25 September 2017. However, both the Gorran Movement (Gorran) and the Kurdistan Islamic Group (Komal) refused to take part in the meeting and instead requested that the government's main focus be on restoring the political environment and restarting the Kurdistan parliament before any discussions take place on the issue of a Kurdish referendum. Notwithstanding internal, regional and international pressures, the Kurdistan Regional Government pressed ahead and held its referendum on 25 September 2017. The central question that remains about the Kurdistan referendum is what really motivated Kurdish politicians, in particular those of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) to hold the poll? This article argues that the KDP has a number of different public and private motivations in holding the independence referendum, which need to be explored.
... The article called for normalisation, a census, and a referendum in Kirkuk and the other disputed areas that would establish whether Kirkuk would be a part of the Kurdish semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region or would it remain under the control of the central government. These three steps should have implemented by Baghdad by 31 December 2007 (Hanish, 2010). However, the democratically elected Iraqi governments have politicised the implementation of Article 140, and let the deadline pass without following through. ...
Article
The Iraqi state and the Kurds have always been at the odds over the territory around Kirkuk, particularly following the discovery of oil in the province in 1927. Both sides have claimed ownership of the province since that time and have sought to gain advantage over the other through various means. The region was subjected to a forced demographic change under the Arabisation policy during the reign of Ba'ath Party between 1968 and 2003. Following the overthrow of Saddam's regime in 2003, the status of Kirkuk was to be constitutionally and peacefully resolved according to Article 58 of the 2004 interim constitution and then Article 140 of the 2005 permanent constitutions, which called for normalisation, a census, and a referendum in Kirkuk and other disputed areas to determine the will of their residents. Practically, however, various Iraqi governments and the two dominant Kurdish parties, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Kurdistan Democratic Party, were able to politicise implementation of Article 140. Although each blame the other, all share responsibility for the lack of implementation. This research investigates that experience and argues that the joint administration is the optimal scenario in the short run and independent region within the Iraqi state would be the best-case scenario in the long term.
... The city's population is a mix of Kurd, Arab, and Turkmen, each ascribing special significance to the city: the Kurds call it the "Kurdish Jerusalem", Arabs claim that it is "a small Iraq" and an Arab city, and Turkmens view it as the capital of the Turkmen, their prospective homeland. 8 While ethnic tensions in the city have a long history, the decision by Kurdish authorities to include the oil-rich province in the independence referendum sparked renewed tensions. The fact that Peshmerga had come to control the disputed areas during the fight against ISIS allowed Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani to controversially and unilaterally claim in July 2014 that "Article 140 of the constitution has been implemented and completed for us." 9 He added that the Kurds had been patient for more than a decade, waiting for Baghdad to address the issue and that a resolution did not seem to be forthcoming. ...
Article
Less than a month after the Kurdistan independence referendum, the Iraqi Army and units of the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) attacked the disputed province of Kirkuk on October, 16, 2017. Unlike most national defence forces, the Kurdish Peshmerga is divided along partisan lines between the two largest parties in Iraqi Kurdistan. This particular area was largely under the control of units affiliated with the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), which decided to make a strategic withdrawal in the face of superior numbers and firepower. The city was then retaken in short order by forces loyal to Baghdad, as were all other disputed territories previously under Kurdish control. Subsequently, the allegation that the PUK had retreated too easily has been described by the rival Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and others as a betrayal of the Kurdish people by the PUK. This has created two competing post-event perspectives: first, that the Peshmerga forces should have defended Kirkuk to the last man and should not have left their front line trenches; second that the withdrawal of the Peshmerga was a deliberate and rational military reaction to overwhelming opposition. This article critically assesses both perspectives and finds that partisan divisions in the Peshmerga critically undermined the ability of Kurdish forces to defend the disputed areas that they controlled. Instead of serving as motivation of create a unified fighting force, the loss of Kirkuk has only served to deepen those divisions.
... Consequently, despite its longstanding desire to integrate Kirkuk into the Kurdistan region, the PUK's divisiveness and indecision enabled its rivals to paint the party as having sold out Kirkuk, while conveniently omitting the fact that the KDP's own forces also retreated from the disputed areas (Hanish, 2010). According to Osman Shahid Vahab, the KDP forces in western parts of the Kirkuk front under the command of Kemal Kerkuki retreated without offering any resistance (ANF News, 2017). ...
Article
Institutional conflicts within the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) have existed ever since the party’s founding in 1975 as a result of a merger of three different factions. The conflicts were successfully managed in a way that did not hurt the party’s overall functioning until the Gorran movement, led by Nawshirwan Mustafa, split off in 2009. However, it was the withdrawal of party leader Jalal Talabani from political and public life due to a stroke suffered in 2012 that most damaged the party’s ability to function, and widened factional cracks within the organization. The absence of Talabani led to the emergence of intense competition between various groups within the PUK for influence and positions. Consequently, PUK policies on a number of important issues in Iraqi Kurdistan have been indecisive and weak since approximately 2013. This research will discuss the PUK’s inconsistent policies and their negative implications for the Kurdistan Region. Furthermore, it will argue that the PUK’s internal conflicts emboldened its rival, the Kurdistan Democratic Party, between the years 2014 and 2018.
... On September 25, 2017, the KRG held a referendum on independence from Iraq, in which 92% of voters cast their ballot in favor of secession. It was an opportunistic move aimed at consolidating and formalizing its political authority over territory that it had captured from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), including the oil-rich, disputed areas around Kirkuk (Hanish, 2010). This was an anathema to the Shia-led government in Baghdad, which quickly pushed Peshmerga forces back towards the Kurdish heartland. ...
Article
The paper explores possible means to achieve reform in the highly politicized security sector of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq. We maintain that the de-politicization of the KRG’s security forces is crucial for the future stability and prosperity of an independent Kurdish state. One option is to accomplish reform as part of a unified, state-building process supported by an outside actor, specifically the United States. Alternatively, the KRG would preserve the existing, de-facto division between the ‘KDP dominated zone’ controlled by Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and a ‘PUK dominated zone’ controlled by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the Gorran Movement. The two zones would agree to a federal arrangement, working together to gradually develop shared policies on issues of national security, economic development, and foreign policy, while maintaining autonomy over local issues. Our article seeks to situate the KRG case study within the literatures of post-conflict environments, state building, and state security reform (SSR). The approaches we have suggested here for the depolitization of KRG security forces will be relevant for the foreseeable future if KRG continues to be a part of federal Iraq or becomes an independent state.
... It also stated that such a process must be held "by a date not to exceed the 31st of December 2007." 22 Moreover, the Kurds were constitutionally entitled to share Iraqi revenues, establish foreign relations, and--most importantly--to maintain local security forces without Baghdad's intervention in the details of their formation, command, and recruitment process. According to this article, the ruling parties in Kurdistan thus had the ultimate power over mobilization and recruitment. ...
Article
Full-text available
The October 2017 clashes between Iraqi and Kurdish forces in the disputed territories of the Kurdistan Region led to the loss of territories previously controlled by the Kurdish Peshmerga, including the city of Kirkuk and Sinjar. This article will discuss the various factions of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) as well as the internal dispute between the PUK and KDP. It will also identify possible scenarios for each disputed area. Last, the wider conflict between the Iraqi central government and the Kurdistan Region will be addressed. The intertwining of these various political, diplomatic, and military conflicts has brought severe impediments to the Kurdistan Region after the Kurdish independence referendum process. The article concludes that a federal solution with a strong judicial arrangement is the optimal scenario.
... It also stated that such a process must be held "by a date not to exceed the 31st of December 2007." 22 Moreover, the Kurds were constitutionally entitled to share Iraqi revenues, establish foreign relations, and--most importantly--to maintain local security forces without Baghdad's intervention in the details of their formation, command, and recruitment process. According to this article, the ruling parties in Kurdistan thus had the ultimate power over mobilization and recruitment. ...
... On September 25, 2017, the KRG held a referendum on independence from Iraq, in which 92% of voters cast their ballot in favor of secession. It was an opportunistic move aimed at consolidating and formalizing its political authority over territory that it had captured from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), including the oil-rich, disputed areas around Kirkuk (Hanish, 2010). This was an anathema to the Shia-led government in Baghdad, which quickly pushed Peshmerga forces back towards the Kurdish heartland. ...
Thesis
The aim of this dissertation is to analyze American foreign policy through realism and idealism theories. It aims to achieve this goal by taking several cases in United States foreign policy these will be case studies taken from the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations such as war, intervention, conflict, and cooperation.
Article
Full-text available
The October 2017 clashes between Iraqi and Kurdish forces in the disputed territories of the Kurdistan Region led to the loss of territories previously controlled by the Kurdish Peshmerga, including the city of Kirkuk and Sinjar. This article will discuss the various factions of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) as well as the internal dispute between the PUK and KDP. It will also identify possible scenarios for each disputed area. Last, the wider conflict between the Iraqi central government and the Kurdistan Region will be addressed. The intertwining of these various political, diplomatic, and military conflicts has brought severe impediments to the Kurdistan Region after the Kurdish independence referendum process. The article concludes that a federal solution with a strong judicial arrangement is the optimal scenario.
Article
This article focuses on Kurdish security question in Iraq from 2003 to the present. Its central argument is that the security of the Kurdish region of Iraq has only constitutionally de-securitised since 2003. However, the Kurdish security demands in Iraq have been politicized by the different Iraqi governments since 2005, and therefore, security relations between the Iraqi state and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) have been fraught with distrust, tensions, and chaos since that time. The concepts derived from the Copenhagen School (CS) provide the framework for discussing security relations and the inherent security struggles between the Iraqi state and the KRG.
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