Iraqi Kurdistan is holds its independence referendum on 25 September, a historic vote that will likely secure a resounding “Yes.” But how much will actually change?

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has long used the threat of an independence referendum as a negotiating tool with Baghdad. But then on 7 June President Masoud Barzani announced that a referendum would be held on 25 September (MEES, 16 June). Yet, despite expectations of a large vote in favor of independence,...