United Iraq Falls: Ivan Eland on Partitioning for Peace

Ivan Eland
Show Date
June 29, 2014
Foreign Policy
Independent Institute
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Guest: Ivan Eland

The debate over the United States’ exit from Iraq is back, with the new wave of violence after a brief (relative) calm. Clearly, the vision of a peaceful, unified, and democratic Iraq has not worked out as proponents of the invasion hoped. But could this relapse have been avoided if we had only stayed longer? Not according to Ivan Eland, Director of the Independent Institute’s Center for Peace & Liberty and the guest for the full hour.

Just before the draw-down of troops began in 2009, Eland penned a short, prescient tract on what a successful exit strategy for Iraq would entail. Partitioning for Peace: An Exit Strategy for Iraq argued against the Bush administration’s attempt to cast the country in the democratic image of the United States. His book laid a foundation for a more realistic political agreement: a negotiated partition of the country among the major factions that would grant each faction autonomy under a weak central government. The Obama administration got the “exit” part right, but its desire to maintain a unified Iraq continues to do damage, as de facto partition and civil war erupt in the absence of negotiation. Learn how the West’s misguided political correctness and short-sighted interventions over the past century have set the stage for the latest struggle in the Middle East.