I think we are going to be responsible for the partition of Iraq. Actually, I think we SHOULD be responsible for the partition of Iraq. This is not a country that works when it is together. It is a colonial construction.
But what about partitioning? Would that work?
You have three major groups (Kurds and Arabs -- the latter further divided into the religious groupings we hear so much about -- Sunni and Shiite). Generally the country would split sorta into north (Kurd), south (Shiite), and middle (Sunni).
But this is not an easy "fix" to the problems of Iraq. What can be done about the capitol? Baghdad is problematic -- parts are Sunni and parts are Shiite. There aren't many Kurds there outside of the government job-holders. I have not come up with great ideas about Baghdad, but I have been thinking about the other problem -- the oil. That I have some ideas about.
The oil is really problematic as well -- the oil is in the north and the south, but not in the middle, so the smallest ethnic group, the one that was most powerful under Saddam Hussein, and the generally more secular group of Arabs, and the one that the Saudis have threatened to step in to support, would be really hurt without any sort of a power-sharing (power in terms of oil) agreement.
My idea is to split the country, give the oil to the north (Kurds) and south (Shiites). Then let us work with the middle to develop some economy that is not dependent on oil. Provide a significant amount of wind power and solar power, which would have the added benefit of creating a demand for producing the equipment in the US and an intensive laboratory to see what would be the most effective and efficient ways of producing alternative energy. It could also demonstrate to Americans that non-petroleum power sources work just as well.
Oil is going to become less valuable as a resource eventually -- we should take advantage of this to help the country that needs the help most develop a newer renewable resource, one that is appropriate for the area (there has been very little incentive to develop these in the Middle East -- but Iraq's Sunni area should provide an opportunity for that). We could help to build the infrastructure necessary, and develop an alternate economy. Perhaps one built on information technology, along the lines of what Malaysia has been doing.
We have destroyed the country, we should do something to help it get back to livable conditions. With "allowing" export of oil, and not getting involved in forcing one group to provide support to another, but helping the poorer group to develop its own resources maybe we can help stabilize the circumstances of the mess that was once Iraq.