Partitioning Iraq

PARTITIONING IRAQ….The London Times says the Baker Commission is planning to recommend a “soft partition” of Iraq:

The Baker commission has grown increasingly interested in the idea of splitting the Shi?ite, Sunni and Kurdish regions of Iraq as the only alternative to what Baker calls ?cutting and running? or ?staying the course?.

….His group will not advise ?partition?, but is believed to favour a division of the country that will devolve power and security to the regions, leaving a skeletal national government in Baghdad in charge of foreign affairs, border protection and the distribution of oil revenue.

Will it work? Even Leslie Gelb, a longtime proponent of this idea, is pessimistic. “Everything is a long shot at this point,” he says.

Juan Cole is more emphatic: “This is a very bad idea for so many reasons it would take me forever to list them all.” I’m inclined to agree. He lists a few of the reasons here.