Conflict in the Middle East: The US and the Turkish-Kurdish Conflict

  • Matthew Dotzler The George Washington University


The conflict between Turkey and the Kurds is once again reaching a boiling point. Following the defeat of ISIL in northern Iraq and Syria, Turkey is now concerned that the returning Kurdish militias pose a threat to its national security. The United States, as an ally to both parties, finds itself in a unique position to push for diplomatic solutions and to mediate the conflict before it grows out of control once again. This paper will examine the history of the Turkish-Kurdish conflict, the actors involved, and how US foreign policy can be used to try and deter yet another war in the region.

Author Biography

Matthew Dotzler, The George Washington University
MATTHEW DOTZLER is a second-year Master in Public Policy candidate focusing on Foreign and Security Policy. Matt is from the San Francisco Bay area and has lived in Germany and Switzerland. Matt has made the most of his time in DC and has worked in the United States Congress and at the Center for European Policy Analysis. He focuses on European diplomacy, NATO, and is working to specialize in Europe, Turkey, and the Middle East. Matt hopes to one day be a Foreign Service Officer with the US State Department.

The author would like to thank the Dr. Kathy Newcomer, Associate Editor Claire Oto, and Editor-in-Chief Jessica Burnell for all of their hard work and dedication over the past year. He would also like to thank Professors Tobias Greiff and Robert Wells for sharing their insights and expertise on US foreign policy and conflict analysis. Lastly, the author would like to thank his family for the years of support and for having trusted him so early on to make the world his own.