Could the Trump Administration Mean a New Beginning for the Kurds?

The shift of United States (US) foreign policy from a heavy international focus with traditional alliances over the past century to the anti-globalist administration promised by President-elect Donald Trump will necessarily upset longstanding regional relations in the Middle East and North Africa. This Policy Paper discusses some of the Trump administration’s most likely foreign policy advisers and their positions on Kurdish self-governance, as well as those of some previous policymakers whose legacies he will be unable to escape.

It must be noted: there has never been a less predictable incoming President than Trump. To this point he has had no game plan and his closest advisors have repeatedly been replaced so it is unknown how many of those he has relied on thus far for foreign policy advice, or even if those he has named to cabinet positions, will actually make it into his administration. While based on the best information currently available regarding the more reliable of his potential advisers, allies and appointees, none of these prognostications or recommendations can be taken for granted.

Download the policy paper here

Citation: Gallant, Z. (2016) Could the Trump Administration Mean a New Beginning for the Kurds?, MERI Policy Paper. vol. 3. no. 3.

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About MERI:  The Middle East Research Institute is Iraq’s leading policy-research institute and think tank. It is an independent, entirely grant-funded not-for-profit organisation, based in Erbil, Kurdistan Region.  Its mission is to contribute to the process of nation-building, state-building and democratisation via engagement, research, analysis and policy debates.

MERI’s main objectives include promoting and developing human rights, good governance, the rule of law and social and economic prosperity. MERI conduct high impact, high quality research (including purpose-based field work) and has published extensively in areas of: human rights, government reform, international politics, national security, ISIS, refugees, IDPs, minority rights (Christians, Yezidis, Turkmen, Shabaks, Sabi mandeans), Baghdad-Erbil relations, Hashd Al-Shabi, Peshmarga, violence against women, civil society. MERI engages policy- and decision-makers, the civil society and general public via publication, focused group discussions and conferences (MERI Forum).

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