The Kurdish politicians are always looking to gain/preserve more autonomy and as we speak several Shia politicians are looking to create an autonomous region in the south. All we (the US) would have to do is to publicly support the idea of separate autonomous regions. If necessary we can always use the same trick the feds used to make all the states switch to a drinking age of 21: we can threaten to cut of funding and supplies
The facts on the ground have already created de-facto partitioning and that obviously includes Syria, which is now an even more failed state than Iraq. Sykes-Picot was an elaborate fiction created to maintain Western control over Middle East oil. All historical "partitions" have always left some people on the wrong side of the line. The tribal politics of the Middle East simply do not allow for a peaceful solution which is fair for everybody. It is time for the US and all Western states to admit that "control" here is an illusory fiction.
I believe the separation of Iraq into three countries is the only path to peace in this region. The Kurds want independence, and the Sunnis and Shiites have proven for hundreds of years that they cannot live/rule together. Imagine a peaceful Iraqi region at the center of the Middle East, neutralizing Iran's and Syria's destructive agendas.
When we look at Europe on the 20th century the Austria Hungarian was broken up twice then Yoguslavia in the 90s. How much did this process cost...(!)Surely the religious, tribal and social divisions could be better healed at a local level. America needs to understand the greater importance of democracy - true and believable representation for local society; than the sercurity concern of iran and syria bullying the new small nation states. History will never create perfect security, but honest democratic solutions have always helped.
Iraq is an artificial country drawn up by the West with no regard to the people living there, much like other countries in the Middle East and Africa. The three main groups: The Sunnis, the Shias, and the Kurds have been at each others' throats for centuries. This was bound to happen eventually, just let fate take its course and break up the country.
I'm Iraqi atheist from the south and I think it is better to divide the country. It just bounds to happen. If the Kurds split which is almost unavoidable. There is no way for the south to stay with the sunni arabs alone in one country. Sunnis influenced by other Arab countries want either to rule Iraq or war either their way or no way. And this bloodshed has to stop. Let the sunnis solve their own problems, Let Saudi Arabia pays for their salaries. They always complain about the army conducting operations against terrorists in sunni areas, but they ignore the fact that all terrorists are sunnis. And the government already moved in against Shiite militias.
The breakup of Iraq is better. We are wasting a lot of resources and people trying to keep the country united or solving the sunni terrorism problem. And all we get is blame from other countries and accusation that we are sectarian. Never mind since 2003 and every non-sunni Arab iraqi was targeted . I want to see how the Sunnis now not marginalized under ISIS?
Problem is the conflict won't end there. Pretty sure the new countries will fight over disputed lands and imagine if terrorists in Sunnistan controls dams or rivers. But we could deal with that. I think Southern Iraq will prosper and develop like Kurdistan if we detach ourselves from the Sunni Arabs.
The US experiment of 2003 nation-rebuilding, awarding the Shiite Iraqi majority powers over the Sunni Kurds and Sunni Arabs of Iraq has failed. Sunni Arabs see themselves not only of Iraq but the Pan-Arab space, and will NEVER submit to Shiite rule because that populational majority doesn't mean anything in the big scheme of post-colonial muslim's eyes. The "Iraqi" Kurds are basically Kurdistanis smartly biding their time and gathering their strength to be autonomous. Having mended fences with Turkey and quelled the PKK uprisings, and tacitly supported the YPG to break free of Assad's Syria, the proto-Kurdistan dream is near reality, and Turkey is smarter to play ball with this new neighbor than have the more war-like and intolerant Wahhabi Arabs cause any more carnage on its border. Kurdistan would make a great buffer state and ally and ease relations with its own Kurd minority living within its borders. Oil revenues are no longer a top priority for relations between Sunni Kurds, Sunni Iraqi and Shiite Iraqi communities, but an understanding that the American constructed framework is unworkable. The Iraqi Sunnis will reject ISIS if they are allowed to rule themselves without Shiite domination or Kurdish moves beyond traditional lines. The Saudis and Gulf States will accept a diminished Shiite Iraq of only the southern regions as de facto client state of Iran. They will spend their time and money building up the new Sunni Arab state that spans Anbar and East Syria, and reach detente with the Kurds. Assad's Syria-Hezbollah entity will be allowed to survive in a diminished state for now. The matter of ISIS would need to be dealt with by bolstering a moderate Islamic Sunni faction that will overtake their brutality with a Saudi-like authority that is more rational and stable. The common people in the region is tired of constant jihad, and if separation occurs, the fires of hatred will start dying down.
The Kurds already have an autonomous region in Northern Iraq, and with the Sunnis mainly in the remaining Northern part and the Shiites mainly in the Southern part of the Country, it seems only logical to divide Iraq into Kurdish Iraq, Sunni Iraq, & Shiite Iraq. The State of Iraq was created by British Mandate after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in WWI by essentially drawing lines on a map with little to no consideration of the people & cultures inside of those lines.
The Sunni population does not feel that they have a say in the government, and that their government does not belong to them. Maliki, the Shia president of Iraq, supposedly basically only cares about consolidating power for the Shias who elected him, and Shias will always elect their leaders to serve their interests since they can, because they are the majority.
If you want stability, people need to feel like can take action to change there lives through a peaceful political process, or else they take action with violence and protest. Sunni attacks have been persistent since the start of the war for this reason. If the Sunni's, Kurds, and Shias all have representative governments, then they will become engaged in the political process. Furthermore, they will all have a sense of being the "owners" of their home, and will actually fight to defend it, not just run away and leave their uniforms and weapons in the street.
Iraq is a FAILED STATE. Period. Just like Yugoslavia. It was created by the British imperialists who took 3 waring factions and drew a line in the sand. The only thing that stabilized the country was the brutal dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, who couldn't resist the urge to wage war on Iraq's neighbors like Iran, Syria, and Kuwait and even Israel(though he never got *that* far). Once Saddam was overthrown, the country descended into chaos and an all out civil war. The US military wasted billions of dollars and thousands of American soldiers lives trying to keep this country together against the will of the Kurdish and Sunni peoples who have made it clear that they want to break away. Now that Obama has pulled US forces out of Iraq, the country is in the midst of a full blown civil war. The powers that be, including the US and its allies, have nothing to gain and a lot to lose by trying to intervene on behalf of the dysfunctional Iraqi government. Time to give up and let the people of Iraq sort this out amongst themselves and go their separate ways. That is the ONLY way there will be peace in Iraq without despotism.
In the presence of a hostile nation state like Iran, dividing Iraq is counter-productive. Simply put, a divided Iraq is weaker, with the balance of power in the region disrupted. Other nations can easily step in and influence the weaker individual states. Iraqi's are not, when viewed as a whole people, too different from one another enough to warrant forced separation.
Unless this was being done simply to make these regions "states", I don't see that there would be any value in splitting the country into three autonomous regions. Since the country isn't that divided on religious, cultural, or political grounds, there doesn't seem to be an argument in favor of making such a move.
Drawing in new lines will solve nothing, unless they uproot people from each separate group from their homes, and shove them in their designated areas. That would just cause more problems, on top of the fact that three separate, smaller, countries would be easy targets for Iraq's neighbors. Iraq has a valuable resource, and splitting them up into 3 smaller, separate groups will just make defending that resource from others even harder.
When America tries to force something on another country, it does not work. That is like a parent trying to force a teenage girl to wear something more modest. They will just rebel. It does not work with parents and children and it does not work with America and the countries we invade.
Creating three smaller state would disrupt the balance of power in the region. Most specifically in regards to Iran. Which would surely be able to more easily influence the smaller weaker states.
This would cause more groups to form that would be defending each section and therefore cause more fighting and differences in opinions.
Iraq should not be partitioned into three sections, even though there will most likely still be fighting between factions. The only way that Iraq can ever become a stable country is for the various factions to learn how to live together and respect each other's rights. Partitioning will just make things more difficult than they already are.
Partitioning Iraq into three sectors would only create further division, sectarianism, and violence. If the goal of the separation is to stop terrorism, it will not work. The sectors will still hate and disrespect one another simply for reasons of differing religious beliefs. The Middle East and Ireland are just two examples of this. The United States is an example of a country containing people of different beliefs and values who have not waged war against one another since the Civil War. To end the violence, the people of Iraq need to find their common ground by providing education and hope for their citizens.
To keep the peace between all of the different religions we need to keep Iraq as one. If it breaks into three groups this will weaken Iraq and many people will suffer. Also the religions will feel pressure to intimidate and fight with each other in order to gain power!
Remember how well partition has worked for India-Pakistan? Cyprus? Israel-Palestine? Ireland?
Partition will only serve to deepen the sectarian divide, because it validates and legitimises the animosity and hatred between the two groups. This largely because of the number of people who will be displaced - namely, Sunnis currently living in Shi'ite territory, and vice versa.
Moreover, it will define nationality and nationally identity by faith, which is a betrayal of secularism and will alienate their respective minorities. How will a Christian feel living in a Shia Muslim state? This is one of the fundamental problems with theocracies, and why such countries are necessarily authoritarian. It works far better, in my view, to keep the country united and secular, rather than divided and religious. By secular, of course, I do not mean irreligious - rather, I mean treating all religions and religious denominations equally under the law.
By creating separate states for different brands of Muslims, you perpetuate the belief that these two people are fundamentally different and irreconcilable, and coexistence between the two is impossible. This is what happened when Pakistan was created. We should not be trying to divide the two factions - we should instead be trying to unite them.
Even worse, a partition of this kind buys into the Jihadist rhetoric and ideology of ISIS and other extremist groups. I would wager there are plenty of moderate Sunnis who don't mind coexistence with Shia Muslims, and who oppose the radical militancy of ISIS. In fact, I have heard that most Iraqis are actually mixed - that is, it is rare to find someone who does not have relatives from all three Iraqi creeds. And yet, by creating an exclusively Sunni Muslim state, we would in reality only be creating a state for ISIS. Which will then achieve political power and influence in the region, as well as UN recognition. Who can say that having a jihadist state would be good for the region - let alone the world?
But the bottom line is that nationality should not be defined by religion, or religious denomination. Such a thing only serves to exacerbate hatred and sectarianism, and in the case of Iraq I believe would lead to a full-scale war across the region.