Next Civil War In Iraq?

President Obama has emphasized the importance of restoring peace to Iraq in order to allow withdrawal of US forces from the country. However, while his policy focuses mainly on destroying the effectiveness of al-Qaeda and creating a powerful Iraq armed force, there is increasing evidence of a growing conflict brewing between Shiite Iraqis and the semi-official Kurdish state in northern parts of Iraq. The conflict is complicated by bomb attacks from the Sunni Iraqis who hate the Kurds as much as they dislike the Shiites. Bombings have led to the death of dozens of Kurds in recent weeks causing growing feeling on the part of their government to confront terrorism.

At the core of the growing dispute is ownership of oil resources in the region and power as to which group will govern Kurdistan. US General Ray Ordierno is trying to establish dialogue between the competing forces but there are too many vested interests to make for a simple resolution of the conflict. An important factor is the ability of the Maliki Shiite government to reach out to Sunnis in order to establish a united front against al-Qaeda terrorism.