Seminar: The Five Stages of American Foreign Policy toward the Kurds

  • 08/05/2012 00:00:00

Kurdish Studies Seminar

You are cordially invited to the Kurdish Studies Seminar on

The Five Stages of American Foreign Policy toward the Kurds

Speaker: Prof Michael Gunter of Tennessee Technological University

Date and Time: 17 May 2012 at 18:00

Venue: KLT, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG

Organised by Kurdish Studies and Students Organization (KSSO) andKurdish Society at SOAS (KSSOAS)

Kurdish Studies seminars are open to interested students, academics and people who are interested in Kurdish matters

Seminar abstract


One might discern five stages of American foreign policy involvement with the Kurds. The first brief stage followed World War I and American president Woodrow Wilson’s famous Fourteen Points, the twelfth of which held out the possibility of Kurdish independence. This first brief stage ended with the resurgence of Turkey under Ataturk. The second stage occurred during the time of American support for Mulla Mustafa Barzani’s revolt in Iraq during the early 1970s, and ended when U.S. and Iranian aid for this revolt were terminated in 1975 after a deal with Saddam Hussein was reached. The third stage began with the Gulf War in 1991 and led to the creation of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) for the “good” Kurds in northern Iraq. The fourth stage began with the second American war against Saddam Hussein in 2003, led to what might be called the stage of a de facto U.S.-KRG alliance, and continues today. The fifth or PKK stage overlaps with the third and fourth stages and concerns U.S. support for its NATO ally Turkey against the “bad” Kurds of the PKK.


  • 08/05/2012 00:00:00