Will Iraq be broken up?

July 24, 2006

Some people seem to think so (link via Digg).

Will this help or hurt the people of Iraq and the stability of the region? The Kurds would probably welcome such a move (while the Turks and Iranians would hate it). The Shia in the South of Iraq would stand to benefit, though the Sunnis would definitely lose out, given the distribution of oil in the country.

Overall, I think it may be the best course of action for the people of Iraq and the region at this point. Personally, I think we should have considered it as a viable option immediately after the fall of Baghdad. Iraq, like Yugoslavia and several other states was an artificial creation and perhaps creating nation-states that accord with ethnic, religious, and cultural boundaries would make the region a little more stable. Unfortunately, it could also create a rabidly anti-American Sunni state, though it would have a lot less power than Saddam’s Iraq. The attempt to create a diverse, liberal democracy in Iraq is a noble one and will lead to a great result if it works, but if things in Iraq continue to deteriorate we may have to shift strategies to focus on a multi-state outcome.

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5 Responses to “Will Iraq be broken up?”

  1. TF6S Says:

    Jake,

    Interesting find. There is a lot of bad stuff happening in Bagdad right now, but I think the thing that the article misses out on is that the Sunnis are starting to realize that if the government were to partition, they’d be as good as dead. They only comprise about 15% of the Iraqi population, and know that the only thing keeping them from total annihaliation are 130k American troops working with 200k Iraqi troops to hold it together. Some Sunni groups are actually outwardly making pleas to the Americans for protection. The article is written with one too many unnamed sources for me to really believe that the Iraqi government is ready to pack it in (especially after they just gained power, and Arabs don’t like giving up power that easily!).

    Ultimately though, the purpose of going to Iraq was with the hopes of instilling democracy, but with the intention of completely upsetting the status quo there. I’m a firm believer in universal democracy, but the tyrants and fascists in the Middle East aren’t going to rollover overnight. Maybe it’ll take a partition Iraq for things to settle, but that means were are going to see a lot of dead Sunnis before it is over.

  2. Jake Savage Says:

    TF6S,

    Very good points, and in general I share your optimism. I hope you’re right and that liberal democracy wins through in Iraq, but I also think we need to be ready to pursue other strategies if necessary. I’m still holding out hope for the current political path, but we need to be prepared if it is not as successful as we expect.

    Jake

  3. TF6S Says:

    Iraq is definitely not in a good spot right now, and long-term, I agree that as far as the US and the free world is concerned, a partitioned country isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

    But, the Sunnis insurgency that continues to fight against the government with force are perpetuating this decent into chaos, and must collectively realize the danger they are in if this happens. The Shiites will completely wipe them out, as they won’t have a shortage of supplies coming in from Iran.

  4. Jake Savage Says:

    TF6S,

    No doubt. Opposition by the Sunnis is a lose-lose for them, but the shock of being out of power after being the favored group for so long seems to have blinded many of them to that reality. I hope that they come to their senses soon or that more reasonable voices in the Sunni community in Iraq prevail.

    Jake

  5. jake savage Says:

    hey my names jake savage and i live in saudi… wow this was crazy seein this haha… i open it up seein my name, and then jobs in saudi arabia haha crazy shit!!

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