As I've said many times before, Iraq would be far better off broken into 3 states (Shi'astan, Sunnistan, and Kurdistan) under a loose central government in Baghdad. This should have been the plan from the beginning, but then all they thought about was 'on to Baghdad'.
I said this at the beginning of the year. Had we any postwar planning, it would have been something worth serious consideration. From Brilliant at Breakfast (which has been missing from my daily blogroll for far too long and I will remedy that after work):
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There is no Iraq. There's a country of warring factions cobbled together by the British almost 100 years ago that has been lying in wait like sprinters, waiting for the starting gun, so they could pounce at each other again.
[. . .]
We can thank the British Empire for many of the problems we face today. Their arbitrary gerrymandering of nations under their control was made without regard to ethnic or racial issues. Earlier in the post, Jill quotes Marc Cooper (link at B at B):
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Iraq - thanks to the British colonialists - was always a paper-thin, manufactured state. Only the leaden hand and the willing trigger finger of a tyrant like Hussein could hold the national state together.
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We have neither the stomach or the national will to run Iraq a la Saddam. The neocons wouldn't mind, but the American people in general have had it with Iraq. We can't finish this job and, much as it pains me, I'd have to agree we should leave Iraq post haste. Yes, we should fix what we fuck up but lately I'm of the opinion we've fucked Iraq up too much for us to fix. The Iraqis will do this or they won't, it's up to them. We've given them enough 'help' and it's time to leave. Hopefully, the 3 new 'Stans' might evolve with as little bloodshed as possible.