Change is looming for Iraqi Kurdistan. after enjoying de facto statehood for over a decade, regime change in Baghdad would fundamentally alter the status quo. Will the Kurds preserve their entity and continue to enjoy heightened inﬂuence in the affairs of Iraq, or will they lose their autonomy and become the provincial concern of a new Iraqi government? The Kurds have much to gain from this situation, but more to lose.
In many respects, Kurdistan is a separate country from Iraq proper. For the past decade, the political development of the region has been inﬂuenced by a different set of factors and its economic characteristics are now distinctly more favourable. Its leaders are recognised, even if informally, by the international community. These advances have been hard won, and they will not be relinquished lightly.