Saturday, September 8, 2007

Bottom-Up Partition in Iraq

Dr. Charles Krauthammer, writing in the National Review Online, describes what is happening in Iraq as "bottom-up partition." He notes that the Kurds in the north have been more-or-less independent for 15 years, and that current U.S. policy in Anbar which is to work with local tribes to drive out al Qaeda is creating a Sunni middle. Finally, the south of the country has been overwhelmingly Shia the whole time. The only really disputed territory is Baghdad itself, and it tends to be sorting itself out over time. He concludes:

What’s happening today on the ground is not geographical line-drawing, colonial style. The lines today are being drawn organically by self-identified communities and tribes. Which makes the new arrangement more likely to last.

This is not the best outcome, but it is far better than the savage and dangerous dictatorship we overthrew. And infinitely better than what will follow if we give up in mid-surge and withdraw — and allow the partitioning of Iraq to dissolve into chaos.

We can hope Dr. K is correct.