A Dream Deferred: The United States' Role in the Development of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) from 1991 – 2011

John Bugnacki, Providence College


Throughout the history of the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), the United States has both supported and undermined Kurdish nationalism depending upon changing geopolitical realities. In particular, the U.S. has sought to mollify important regional partners such as Turkey that possess large Kurdish populations who would presumably secede if the KRG were able to demonstrate the viability of an independent, Kurdish state. Despite its general policy of realpolitick, during the Iraq War, the U.S. embarked upon a period of nearly unprecedented positive support to the KRG, which allowed it to emerge as a major force in post-Saddam Iraq. However, the U.S. has always maintained the importance of a unified Iraq and has since sought to increase the level of economic and political parity between the KRG and other groups to achieve that objective.