Self-Determination and American Interests

In recent days, two referenda have been overwhelmingly approved by electorates seeking independence for their people.  These otherwise unrelated demands for self-determination are setting in train profound reactions in their respective regions.

Many Kurds live outside the area of northern Iraq where one vote took place. And the governments currently controlling the others – the authoritarian regimes in Turkey, Iran and Syria – are no happier about the Kurds’ vote for independence than is the Iranian-dominated one in Baghdad.

The Spanish government was so opposed to a Catalan referendum that it used force to disrupt the balloting.  More seems likely in its aftermath.

An independent Kurdish state is in America’s strategic interest, especially if, in the process, it weakens hostile regimes. The same might be said of Catalonia in the event its departure from Spain weakens the pretty hostile European Union, as well.

About Frank Gaffney, Jr.

Frank Gaffney is the Founder and Executive Chairman of the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C. Under Mr. Gaffney's leadership, the Center has been nationally and internationally recognized as a resource for timely, informed and penetrating analyses of foreign and defense policy matters. Mr. Gaffney formerly acted as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy during the Reagan Administration, following four years of service as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Forces and Arms Control Policy. Previously, he was a professional staff member on the Senate Armed Services Committee under the chairmanship of the late Senator John Tower, and a national security legislative aide to the late Senator Henry M. Jackson.