Sen. Biden: Iraq should be divided into 3 regions
05/01/06 -- WASHINGTON (Reuters)
- Iraq should be divided into
three largely autonomous regions -- Kurd, Sunni Arab and Shiite
Arab -- with a weaker central government in Baghdad, Sen. Joseph
Biden said on Monday.
In an op-ed article in The New York Times, Biden, the Senate
Foreign Affairs Committee's top Democrat, said the Bush
administration's effort to establish a strong central government
in Baghdad had been a failure, doomed by ethnic rivalry that had
spawned widespread sectarian violence.
"It is increasingly clear that President Bush does not have a
strategy for victory in Iraq. Rather, he hopes to prevent defeat
and pass the problem along to his successor," said Biden and
co-author Leslie Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on
Iraq's Sunnis, the driving force behind the insurgency, would
welcome the partition plan rather than be dominated by a
Shiite-controlled central government, Biden said.
He said the division of Iraq would follow the example of Bosnia
a decade ago when that war-torn country was partitioned into
ethnic federations under the U.S.-brokered Dayton Accords.
Biden billed his plan as a "third option" beyond the "false
choice" of continuing the Bush administration policy of
nurturing a unity government in Iraq or withdrawing U.S. troops
As part of the plan, the United States should withdraw most of
its troops from Iraq by 2008, except for a small force to combat
terrorism, Biden said.
Under Biden's proposal, the Kurdish, Sunni and Shiite regions
would each be responsible for their own domestic laws,
administration and internal security. The central government
would control border defense, foreign affairs and oil revenues.
© Reuters 2006.
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