The March on Mosul and the Future of Kurdistan

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Media Outlet: Newsweek

Privately, Kurdish officials and Western diplomats say the Kurds are not ready, economically and politically, for independence. But the Kurds counter that they are now doing the heavy lifting against ISIS because Baghdad cannot control the Shiite militias and its army is in disarray. “We are fighting [ISIS] is to protect our region but also to protect the free world,” says Safeen Dizayee, a Kurdish Regional Government spokesman. “At the same time, we are not fighting a proxy war. We are not mercenaries that you can pat on the back and say, Good job, old chap.”

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Janine di Giovanni was a fellow in New America's International Security program. She is the multi-award winning Middle East Editor of Newsweek and contributing editor of Vanity Fair.