The ongoing conflict in Iraq has divided the population and threatened the safety and security of the nation.
But it's still Bush's fault, right? Read this in-depth article from Vox and find out.
The ongoing vicious fighting in Iraq is often characterized as a battle between the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) and the Iraqi government. Many people think of that as simply being a proxy war between Iraq's Sunni Muslim minority and Shia majority.
But it's much, much more complicated than that. There are Sunnis on both sides of the conflict, and some who are neutral. There are multiple insurgent groups that aren't ISIS. And the Kurds— non-Arab Sunni Muslims who have a semi-autonomous state in northeast Iraq — have a totally unique role in the ongoing fighting, and may actually be benefitting from it.
To untangle some of these threads, I spoke to Kirk Sowell, a political risk analyst and expert on Iraqi politics. Sowell's firm, Utcensis Risk Services, publishes Inside Iraqi Politics, a biweekly publication covering the latest developments in Iraq. Sowell walked me through the divisions within the Sunni groups, why both ISIS and Iraq's Prime Minister are probably going to fail, and how the Kurds are the big winners of this conflict. What follows is a transcript of our conversation, edited for length and clarity.