Kurdistan’s New Constitution and United Iraq’s Future

Today’s New York Times carried a front-page story on a new threat to a unified Iraq. The Kurdish
government in Iraq has written a new constitution that grants the Kurds
substantial powers, including control of contested territories and oil
resources. Could this be the first sign of the political
unraveling of the fledgling federal republic?

In his recent book, How to Get Out of Iraq with Integrity, Penn Press
author Brendan O’Leary provides extensive background and discussion of
just what the Kurds want, and how the delicate balancing act that is
multi-ethnic Iraq can hang together. O’Leary offers an argument that a
unified, decentralized Iraq can work, politically and economically,
after the US withdrawal. As he writes, Iraq’s future—a work in
progress–is “neither hopeless nor forlorn.”