COMMENT ON: After the Surge: The Only Iraq Worth Fighting For http://www.unc.edu/depts/diplomat/item/2008/0103/mine/mines_surge.html.
FROM: Dr. Sam Holliday, Director, Armiger Cromwell Center
Like many of us, Keith Mines believes that the success of the Surge and the improvement in Iraqi security forces have created an opportunity to seek a political solution superior to the present structure in which Kurds and Arab Sunnis and Shi'ites scramble for power at the national level.
After he considers (1) partitioning Iraq into various ethnic and religious "states," (2) using more American advisors to help the national government impose its authority on the provinces, (3) allowing the Shi'ites to crush Sunni resistance, and (4) concentrating on security while allowing new political arrangements to emerge, Mines correctly rejects them all as flawed.
With keen insight he claims: "The only viable prospect for a unified and stable Iraq" is the creation of a political framework based upon a federation of its eighteen provinces. Politics at the provincial and local level, he believes, will force participation and establish accountability and cooperation...