James Forsyth is afraid the “no good options” meme that pundits (including yours truly) have applied to the Iran nuclear crisis may be about to be applied to Iraq. He rightly notes, however, that the resurgently popular idea of dividing the country into sectarian mini-states is among the worst of the bad options:
As one of my smartest friends likes to say, partitioning Iraq would be like the partition of India—in which more than half a million people died—but with added AK-47s. As Anthony Cordesman pointed out when Joe Biden and Les Gelb floated this idea earlier this year, "Iraq is heavily urbanized, with nearly 40 percent of the population in the multiethnic greater Baghdad and Mosul areas. We have seen in Northern Ireland and the Balkans how difficult it is to split cities." For difficult, read bloody.
Not that the alternatives aren’t bloody, either.