Shouldn’t we admit that the nation state has failed in the northern Middle East? Syria and Iraq are stuck in our minds because we’ve been conditioned to the nation as a model and we can’t yet picture nor accept the actual political reality? The power of the Syrian and Iraqi nation-state has dissipated, instead ad-hoc coalitions of tribal and sectarian groups rule. Iraq hasn’t been a nation state for over a decade already, Syria is soon entering its 4th year. Rather than try to restore a failed model we should consider people’s security and work towards the sort of compromises that brought the carnage in Yugoslavia to a halt.
Sending in ever more and more arms is not the solution here, it’ll just lead to more of the same. Degrading the capabilities of what arms there are (especially those in the hands of the IS) from the air is a better but far less satisfactory solution. Increasing the capabilities of the Kurds will embolden them versus Turkey and while one would hope that the Kurds could achieve more autonomy within the Turkish republic one must hope it is not through force of arms but through de-escalation, confidence building and dialogue. A resurgent PKK armed with western anti-tank weapons isn’t in the interest of anyone.
The Kurds are used to disappointment and are happy with relatively limited support. They aren’t the cargo cult that most of the rest of the area has become all believing that the US itself is the almighty “if only” toggle.