In the 20th Century, the world averaged one new independent nation per year. So far, we have only seen four nations gain full independence in the 21st Century. US support was a huge factor in three of those, including Kosovo, Montenegro, and South Sudan. However, there are other major separatist movements that the United States opposes because it does not fit into American foreign policy objectives. The other new fully independent nation is East Timor, the Portuguese-speaking eastern half of the Island of Timor, which seceded from Indonesia.
Currently, there are wars going on in the Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Turkey, Afghanistan, Somalia, and others which include ethnic and/or religious groups trying to create their own nation. Major ethnic wars could explode across Pakistan and South Africa at any time. In fact, South Sudan is not doing so great. The Animist tribes of South Sudan are using their newly found freedom from Muslim oppression to wage tribal war against each other.
The president of Iraqi Kurdistan just announced that a referendum on full independence from Iraq will take place on September 25th, 2017. This referendum is expected to pass easily. The region has already enjoyed a large degree of autonomy since Desert Storm. Powerful members of the International community, including the United States, have been trying to delay the Kurds from declaring full independence for years. They fear a domino effect.
Currently, Iraqi Kurdistan is on good terms with its neighbors Turkey and Iran, even though Turkey is fighting a war against Kurdish separatists in Turkey and Syria. You have to understand that the ruling party of Iraqi Kurdistan, the KRG, is also enemies with the Kurdish groups that Turkey is fighting. The PKK in Turkey and the YPD in Syria are Kurdish ethnic separatists, but they are also nostalgic for the short-lived Soviet-sponsored Kurdistan that briefly appeared after WWII. The PKK only recently stopped using the hammer and cycle as an official symbol. The KRG fought a civil war against the Marxists in the 1990s. Parties and militias allied with the KRG have been expelled from Syria and are in exile in Iraqi Kurdistan. Meanwhile, Iraqi Kurdistan is trying to expel PKK from the Sinjar region of Iraq.
There will be some conflicts with the Federal government of Iraq. Iraqi Kurdistan officials have made it clear that they intended to make Kirkuk and Sinjar part of this new country. Kirkuk even passed a referendum last March to become part of Iraqi Kurdistan. The grab for new territory has caused ethnic tensions with Turkmen and Arabs. There is an ongoing three-way armed standoff in Tuz Kormato between the Kurdish, Turkmen, and Arab sectors of the city.
The creation of a fully Independent Kurdish ethnostate that includes Iraqi Kurdistan, and probably the city of Kirkuk, does appear unstoppable at this point. This could be the most significant emergence of a new ethnostate since the creation of Israel in 1948. It will certainly be the largest, and most significant new independent country of the 21st Century so far.
Catalan has scheduled a referendum on full Independence from Spain on September 17th, 2017. The Federal government of Spain went all out to oppose it. Spain’s Constitution Court ruled it unconstitutional. The ruling party in Catalan has vowed to hold the referendum anyway, but it is uncertain if this will actually happen.
The current strategy of the Spanish Federal government is to flood Spain with 3rd world immigrants to water down regional ethnic groups. In 1998, a referendum on Independence for Quebec only failed because immigrants voted overwhelmingly against it.
Major political parties in Scotland, Flanders, and Northern Italy are actively seeking Independence as well. We even see the early stages of ethnic separation in the United States. All across America, majority white communities want to secede from otherwise majority black counties and school districts. Some have even been successful. Often the people campaigning for this will be white “liberals” who publicly express a love for diversity and multiculturalism while actively fighting to keep their own children away from diverse and multicultural schools. On a larger level, we have the Northern New York secessionist movement which wants to break away from New York City.
At any rate, the emergence of a fully independent Kurdistan will likely have a strong domino effect. 2018 could be a wild ride as ethnic separatists around the world are energized.