US scholars propose 3-way partition plan for Iraq

With President George W. Bush's war strategy clouded by limited results and mounting casualties, two US scholars are proposing a partition plan that would divide Iraq into three main regions. The authors, Edward P. Joseph of Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and Michael O'Hanlon, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, are hoping to draw the attention of Bush administration policymakers. But it is an uphill struggle. "I think the odds against this are not as good as 50-50," O'Hanlon said at a news conference Thursday. But he said withdrawing US troops was "a very bad option" that most likely would lead to all-out civil war. Joseph and O'Hanlon are circulating their suggestions within the Bush administration, with their timing geared to an expected top-level administration policy review in September.