SENNIKOV A.I. The Kurds in the U.S. Iraqi Policy in 1958–1960


Alexey I. Sennikov

Candidate of Sciences (History), Research Laboratory Assistant,

Department of History and Political Sciences, Vyatka State University,

Moskovskaya St, 36, 610020 Kirov, Russian Federation

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Abstract. Introduction. The article deals with the U.S. Middle East Policy of the Eisenhower Administration in 1958–1960 and determines the part the Kurdish Question played in it.

Methods and materials. The study is based on the latest U.S. declassified documents, interviews, memoirs, etc. The author does the problem-chronological analysis to describe the stages of the U.S. Policy toward Iraqi Kurds during the period specified.

Analysis. The article is focused on the U.S. diplomatic and intelligence activities aimed at developing approaches to the “communist crisis” and disagreements that arose in the expert community regarding policy decisions. The author considers the U.S. relations with their regional partners (Turkey, Israel, Iran, etc.) on the issues of the “Iraqi crisis” and the Kurdish liberation movement. The paper describes Washington’s attitude to Mullah Mustafa Barzani – the Kurdish movement leader – and the KDP activities during Iraq’s post-Revolution instability. The author analyzes and summarizes the reasons why the U.S. was reluctant to involve in the domestic conflict between Qasim’s followers, Nationalists, Nasserites, Communists and Kurds.

Results. The article shows that the CIA and the State Department often misjudged Qasim’s relationship with the Iraqi Communist Party and the national Kurdish movement and, as a result, did not have enough time to respond to the rapidly changing political situation, thus adopting the policy of benevolent neutrality.

Key words: U.S. Middle East Policy, Eisenhower Doctrine, Kurdish Question, Mustafa Barzani, Abd al-Karim Qasim, internationalization of internal conflicts.

Citation. Sennikov A.I. The Kurds in the U.S. Iraqi Policy in 1958–1960. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2022, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 90-100. DOI:

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The Kurds in the U.S. Iraqi Policy in 1958–1960 by Sennikov A.I. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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