The marble-floored atrium at the office of Dentons, a prominent law and lobbying firm, is a popular venue for the capital’s elite to gather for political fund-raisers and ritzy receptions for corporate clients.
But the featured guest one recent evening was not a member of Congress or a company executive. It was Qubad Talabani, the deputy prime minister of the regional government of Kurdistan, the financially struggling region in northern Iraq that is desperately looking for ways to pay for its war effort against the Islamic State after its economy was decimated by the global drop in oil prices and a surge of refugees.
“You cannot win a war bankrupt,” Mr. Talabani said in an interview. “If we are the boots on the ground against ISIS, we have to be supported to stand on our own feet.”
Washington is bloated with thousands of special pleaders, most of whom want to push or derail legislation or a regulation. But Mr. Talabani’s visit — which included meetings with officials from the White House, StateDepartment, Pentagon and on Capitol Hill — came with a decidedly different agenda: seeking money to finance a foreign war.
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