Interesting potted history, but the situation today is, like all current events, moving forwards at an ever accelerating rate.
Iraq has never really been a unified country and, despite the temporary success of various armed groups, will probably break up into the same three parts that existed before the British Mandate; the Northeast (Kurds), the Northwest (Sunni) and the Shia majority. These will eventually merge with surrounding powers of like religious beliefs and oil interests.
The major wild cards are:
What will the USA do, if anything?
What will Israel do?
Will Syria/Iraq integrate?
What about Jordan, is that likely to merge with a Greater Iraq?
And, the big one for the not too distant future, will Iran battle Saudi Arabia for who rules the powerful new country of MiddleEast?
O.K., that’s my ten cents worth.
Regional, excellent blog. Nice to read something on the situation other than political rhetoric. Al-Monitor's web site has a good article on Rouhani's commitment to "fight and combat" terrorists in Iran.
Passin', I would add to your questions is, "What will Turkey do about the Kurds in Iraq?"
Good point Bryant, the Turks are worried that whether the Iraqi Kurds become independent or not the Turkish Kurds will want to join them to form a single Kurdish state. The Turks have already taken initial preventive action against this, another potential mid east conflict waiting to happen.
seriously, the Turkish government has so many problems with its own restive population that the last thing in the world they need is to lose a chunck of their territory...especially a productive and valuable part of their economic machine.....and whomever is in power when the Kurdish Republic is formed..and i believe it will eventually separate from the Turkish identity..be will faced the wrath of all the many different groups within the Turkish culture for having allowed this to happen...so the Turkish governments response will be try to make them appear responsible for as many of the nations ills and demonize them to all the other groups
Shia regions in Iraq could conceivably join with Shia Iran to recreate a greater Iran. The Kurds have many cultural ties to the Iranians ,so it is not inconceivable that Kurdish Iraq could also become a part of Iran.The future of western Iraq is harder to predict ,but an impoverished , landlocked state would find a merger with eastern Syria and Jordan an attractive proposition. A final prediction is that Alawite and Christian Syria will merge with Lebanon to a new country in the Levant. All of this is speculation, of course. What is certain is that the map of the Middle East will be redrawn once again.
All that is going to happen here is that the Iraqi Army and militia volunteers dug in around Samara are going to crush ISIS the further they move south. The prospect of the Iranians putting boots on the ground is beyond preposterous. One million people died in the Iran Iraq war. Eighty percent of them being Shias both Arab and Persian. Ethnicity trumps religion any day of the week.
ISIS may have a chance of surviving if they hold onto what they have and are able to hold off the Iraqi army's counter offensive. Remember they are involved in a current fight in Syria that they have been unable to gain advantage in in three years of fighting. ISIS will have unsustainable casualties inflicted on them the closer they get to Karbala and Najaf.
The lasting impact of this uprising maybe Asad finally regaining control of his country. There will probably be an insurgency in Syria for years to come but Asad should be able to turn the tide if ISIS keeps moving south in Iraq.
As for the Kurds they have very little hope of carving out a homeland as long as Turkey remains politically intact. The Turks have crossed the border and struck at PDK and PUK fighters repeatedly. The Kurds may have a chance if an outside power backs them but this is unlikely.
All in all a bunch of people are about to be dead whatever the outcome.
Iranians would not have to put boots on the ground . For that matter the Iranians have been very willing to put boots on the ground in Syria.Iranian soldiers have been helping Syria and their proxies Hezbollah.
Arabs are fighting Arabs ,so ethnicity does not always prevail.
We are now making overtures to the Iranians to help counter ISIS. The entire region could fall like ripe fruit.
Roger that and the Kurds will become part of a greater Iran. LEBANON will join with Syria in an Alewite/Christian alliance.
I'm not sure if you were making a joke but that is beyond the pale of ridiculous. If you knew the first thing about Lebanon's recent history you would understand how absurd your statement was. The Kurds are also an ethnic minority inside North Western Iran and have no love for the Iranians.
Ethnicity does always trump religion. Read the words. In the Iran Iraq war one million people died 80% being Shias. So therefore Arab Shias (the Iraqis) were killing Persian Shias (the Iranians). Most of that war's fighting took place in the south of Iraq around the Sharm al Sheik. In the heart of Iraqi Shia country. It is beyond the pale of understanding that you could come up with an idea that two bitter enemies who fought this large a blood bath in recent memory would some how turn around and form an alliance. For what purpose would this alliance be formed?
Alewites are "seveners" the Iranians are "twelvers." They are both Shias but different sects of Shias. The Iranians are helping Hezbollah to wage their own fight against Israel and have been since the 1980s. Iranians providing military aid to Hezbollah is nothing new and certainly is not a result of the most recent civil war in Syria.
How is the region about to "fall like ripe fruit?"
Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, Kuwait, Jordan, the Gulf States, and Lebanon are all stable. Once the Iraqi Government stops ISISs advance then Iraq will become relatively stable again. Life goes on in Baghdad today like normal.
ISIS is a minor temporary conventional threat. The further south they move the weaker they become. The weaker they become the easier it will be for the Iraqi government, possibly with outside assistance, to put down.
The worlds not ending and ISIS is not a conventional force anyone will have to worry about. The Kurds will still be an autonomous state inside a state. Unfortunately the blood letting will continue in Syria. Nothing has changed minus this soon to be short lived surprising ISIS epoch.
Our nation needs to have its head examined by making overtures to the Iranians about anything.
Basically, Iraq will fall without US intervention ,but how long are we willing to prop up Iraq?
The scenario I have written is based on the assumption that the West has worn out its welcome in the Middle East and that any enemy of Israel would be seen as a friend.