Quietly Quasi-Independant: The KRG


There are sub nation states that are highly organized and maintain representatives in Washington. One of which is the Representative of the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq. It has a building on 16th Street. Starting as a no-fly zone in the 1990s after the U.S. and British tried to protect the Kurdish uprising in Northern Iraq the KRG is a viable quasi state that provides security and economic opportunities for its residents. What was once a rebel movement has formed into a legitimate political entity within Iraq with a large amount of autonomy. The KRG seeks to re-brand itself as different from the chaos and extremism of the rest of Iraq and to attract foreign energy companies and other foreign investment. Part of the KRG PD campaign is drawing the distinction between itself and the other Kurdish groups such as the PYD in Syria (which governs parts of Syria vacated by regime forces), and the PKK which is an armed group operating in South Eastern Turkey since the 1970s. The PD of sub state actors especially those formerly independent such as Taiwan or de facto independent includes the re-branding of any area trying to attract investment and overcome a past which may characterized by violence or instability. The politically ambiguous status and past or current security threats make international relations even more important to these fledgling entities and the priority they place on PD reflect this.The central government these sub state actors are under or who claim them may react with hostility to these attempts at outreach and try to undermine their efforts to cultivate official or unofficial diplomatic or economic relations with the international community? What if anything separates public diplomacy campaigns from being just a component of a political entity’s lobbying campaign?


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