dempsey_k wrote:However, Kirkuk is already problematic for the KRG. There have been several suicide VBIEDs there. Just this week during Kurdistan Flag Day, a bunch of Arabs started beating up Kurds and prancing around with ISIS flags in Kirkuk. It's by no means a cakewalk taking it, and Mosul might be far tougher without some kind of mass exodus of Orcs and collaborators fleeing town and a bit of ethnic cleansing, which the KRG has shown itself not to be above in its retaking of Maxmur, Gwer, and Jalawla. And I heavily doubt the KCK and its many tentacles have any interest whatsoever in participating in that, but it's possible their pie in the sky talk of expanding "democratic confederalism" to other ethnicities could have a role in a retaken Mosul as they spread their Murray Bookchin gospel to Arabs - something they've already begun in Syria and Turkey.
Even Kirkuk is about 75% Arab. Controlling it with clean hands will be impossible. If the Kurds are serious about building a respectable state, they will need a capital, and if they designate Kirkuk as their capital and leave Mosul in the hands of the Sunni, they will place themselves in an indefensible position. The logic is CIV-level simple, but compelling, nonetheless. If Mosul does not fall under the control of the Kurds, it will be very difficult for them to maintain a geographically contiguous state which includes Kirkuk.
The Shi'a government in Baghdad will have approximately zero leverage to demand Mosul back once the dust settles, so the only question is how serious are the Kurds about holding it? Let's not forget how fresh the wounds still are, and that Mosul is the historic home of a great portion of Ba'ath party bigwigs. Lots of scores to settle there, even before ISIS came to town. A siege and invasion of ISIS-held Mosul would provide the perfect cover for the Peshmerga to drive Arab civilians out of the city in droves. The Kurds haven't been this close to autonomy since the fall of the Ottoman Empire; I doubt they soft-shoe it. This will get worse before it gets better.
If a man were permitted to make all the ballads, he need not care who should make the laws of a nation.