Middle East Aflame
Al-Qaeda Militants "Take Over" Cities in Western Iraq
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  • Anthony

    Not just Syrian civil war is bleeding and law of unintended consequences follow but Libya intervention has yet to be determined consequences for both Sahel and beyond…

  • gabrielsyme

    The old debate on the wisdom of partitioning Iraq is again becoming relevant. The success of the Petraeus/Bush surge for a time masked the long-term advantages of such a partition, but they are again becoming increasingly evident. Internecine violence continues; government is disrupted and destabilised due to ethnic and religious divisions and the economy stagnates. National minorities, all other things being equal, find themselves the more safe and tolerated when the majority is secure in its control; Iraq, where both the Kurds and the Sunni Arabs are strong enough forces to challenge Shia hegemony, has a demographic recipe for sustained conflict.

    An independent Kurdish state could actually prove to be a stabilizing force in the region, and Sunni Iraq would be less inclined to gravitate towards al-Qaeda if it were not locked in an endless struggle against a Shia central government – perhaps it could even be brought into an enlarged Kingdom of Jordan. Shia Iraq might fall fall slightly further into the orbit of Iran, but cultural and ethnic differences ought to prevent such a state from being entirely at the beck and call of the Iranian regime.

    It is just possible that such a partition would be welcomed by the Gulf monarchies, while undermining Iranian dreams of a Shia crescent (a secure Arab Shia nation might well have less need of foreign sponsors), helping to restore a balance of regional power disrupted by a future nuclear settlement with Iran.

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