ABSTRACT

In the Kurdish camp, the division between the traditional leadership (formed by the aghas and the ashraf) and the younger leaders (comprising young intellectuals and middle-rank officers serving in the Iraqi army) grew wider. This division focused mainly on opposing viewpoints on the realignment of the community as it faced the changes caused by the war. The older generation was naturally inclined to stick to old alliances and to more traditional methods of political protest, whereas the younger leaders sought more effective alliances and radical practices. Accordingly, the ashraf and the aghas chose either to preserve the old set of relations with Britain or to rebel occasionally. The younger generation pressed for more systematic policies. They had come to the conclusion that because the Kurds did not fit into the British imperial scheme as the Arabs had, they should seek the protection of another great power; Germany or Russia seemed more able to provide the support that had not materialized during the Kurds’ long and unfruitful alignment with Britain.