Now that violence between Sunni and Shia Arabs is declining across Iraq, tensions are mounting again between Arabs and Kurds, who want Barack Obama to step in to cool off conflicts, the Economist reports. Oil and land disputes, political losses and an empowered central government have weakened the Kurds, who complain of Arab bullying. One official called Iraqi President Nouri al-Maliki “a second Saddam.”
Maliki has been consolidating his power, recently deploying Iraqi troops to disputed regions. The prime minister of the autonomous Kurdistan region is urging Obama to appoint a special envoy to mediate the conflict. “We love them, but they don’t care,” he said of US officials. Washington will likely “kick the issue down the road," said an American general.