Lessons from Iraq: Preventing conflict after Kirkuk

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Ami Carpenter, PhD, is an associate professor at the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies at the University of San Diego, and teaches courses in conflict resolution, conflict analysis, and negotiation.

Since January 2017, I have traveled twice to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, to learn about how the region has coped so successfully with the refugee and IDP crisis. I’ve met with ministry officials, University leaders, United Nations aid workers; visited refugee camps, and held many conversations over sweet tea about the region’s post-ISIS future. With uncertainty following the Iraqi Army and Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Forces (PMFs) reclaimed sovereignty over Kirkuk in recent days, I’ve reflected on the region’s local and regional peace infrastructure and wondered what contribution towards political dialogue between Baghdad and Irbil it might make.

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