Northern Iraq Today, Who Knows Where Later?

General Ray Odierno, top US leader in Iraq, indicated he might deploy American troops into the growing tension occurring in northern Iraq. Such a move would represent a departure from the agreement that has US troops withdrawing from active combat in urban areas. “I think they just all feel more comfortable if we’re there.” Kurdish and Iraq forces increasingly are confronting one another as the Iraq government seeks to impose its authority on Kurdistan while Kurds expect to continue enjoying a semi-autonomous position which enables Kurds to control the region.

For some reason, top level American officials never completely grasped that a dispute between Kurds and Iraqis was simply a matter of time. The area around Mosul is rich with oil and neither side is going to walk away from such a rich opportunity. Of course, al-Qaeda is doing its level best to exacerbate conflict.

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