Iraqi Kurds fight the hardest against Islamic State, but what’s the reward? Since the Ottoman Empire’s collapse, the Kurds have been divided between Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria. U.S. officials want to keep Iraq together, but Kurdish leaders see IS’s border-blurring campaign as an opportunity. Could this be the moment to realize the dream of an independent Kurdistan? It would be another unintended consequence of U.S. military policy, fracturing Iraq and angering NATO allies in Turkey, so American officials are seeking a palatable payoff for its proxy warriors.