Cactus Wren has commented on the suggestion that a possible strategy for solving the Iraq problem might be what is known as the "three state solution." It seemed easier to reply here.
Dear Cactus Wren,
I am no expert, but what follows may help. A comprehensive history of Iraq is available here. The following quotation is taken from the section of that history devoted to the British Mandate after WW I:
"The merging of the three provinces of Mosul, Baghdad, and Basra into one political entity and the creation of a nation out of the diverse religious and ethnic elements inhabiting these lands was accomplished after World War I. Action undertaken by the British military authorities during the war and the upsurge of nationalism after the war helped determine the shape of the new Iraqi state and the course of events during the postwar years, until Iraq finally emerged as an independent political entity in 1932." More here
The modern nation state of Iraq is largely an artificial creation serving first British and then US geopolitical goals. As we have seen, in the absence of the Saddam government, it is on the verge of sectarian warfare.
As Leslie Gelb has written in the NY Times: “The only viable strategy, then, may be to correct the historical defect and move in stages toward a three-state solution: Kurds in the north, Sunnis in the center and Shiites in the south.”
The Gelb article, originally published in 2003 is available here.