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The Rocky Path Toward Kurdish Independence

Douglas Ollivant was featured in a podcast by Foreign Policy, titled The Backstory,where he discussed Kurdish independence:

In this episode of The Backstory, FP’s Middle East editor David Kenner speaks with reporter Campbell MacDiarmid and former National Security Council Iraq Director Douglas Ollivant about Iraqi Kurdistan’s referendum on independence, which is scheduled for Sept. 25. MacDiarmid recently interviewed Kurdistan President Masoud Barzani in an article that takes its title from the Kurdish leader’s own words: “I Want to Die in the Shadow of the Flag of an Independent Kurdistan.”
But the path to Kurdish independence promises to be a rocky one. As MacDiarmid and Ollivant discuss, the referendum bid threatens to anger the Kurds’ key international allies, spark a confrontation with Iraqi leaders in Baghdad, and worsen an already dire economic situation. Can Barzani overcome these challenges – or is independence destined to always remain just beyond his reach?