Author Biography

Jonathan Honigman received a BA in Political Science from the University of Florida and works in administration in Washington, DC. He was published in the Winter 2019 edition of the Jewish Policy Center’s InFOCUS Quarterly with his article “Israel: America’s Ally by the Numbers” as well as on Foreign Policy News in November 2019 with his article “Saudi Arabia and Israel – An Overdue Embrace.”



Subject Area Keywords

Defense policy, Foreign policy, International relations, Iraq, Middle East, Strategy


Although they have proven themselves to be loyal and capable U.S. partners, America has refused to endorse either independence for Iraqi Kurds or autonomy for Syrian Kurds. That policy has been academically underscored by several Realism-based concepts including an offshore balancing approach to the Middle East. This paper argues that America can adjust to new realities in the region without having to forsake its worthwhile Kurdish partnerships. I first compare and contrast the costs of American support for Kurds and then refute the notion that Kurdish independence in Iraq or autonomy in Syria would cause instability or be nonviable. I then recount recent Kurdish actions that have benefited America and argue that the subsequent U.S. capitulations to Baghdad and Ankara were unnecessary and strategically short-sighted. Lastly, I examine America’s relationship with Turkey to discern if it merits impeding U.S. Kurdish policy. This paper concludes that America’s endorsement of independence in Iraqi Kurdistan and perpetual autonomy in Northeast Syria would not be merely altruistic, but primarily a realpolitik reassertion of U.S. geopolitical strategy.