We’re seeing a renewal of talk about partitioning Iraq, with the London Times reporting that the Baker commission likes the idea. Kevin Drum and Juan Cole vote “no.” I think there’s a very fundamental problem with this policy, namely that Iraq isn’t our country to partition. “We” simply aren’t in a position to decide whether or not this should be done, you’d need a real Iraqi consensus in favor of the idea and it would need to be negotiated out by Iraqi political leaders.
Nick Kristof offers up a more appealing suggestion — listen to the Iraqis and do what they want, commit to leaving the country in a relatively near future. This could very well generate a mess, but it is what Iraqis want to see happen, and any alternative is essentially guaranteed to generate a mess under circumstances where Iraqis want us to leave.