Is protecting Mosul minorities an excuse for partition?
Article first appeared on Al Jazeera English on 17 October, where Professor Beverley Milton-Edwards highlights that while appearing attractive in the abstract, partition could make matters worse, not better, in fragile states.
As the military battle over ISIL-controlled Mosul and has begun, questions over the future of this vital province of Iraq are flowing thick and fast.
While there is confidence that the new US-supported coalition can defeat ISIL (also known as ISIS), there are concerns that each faction holds contesting views about what comes after.
It is becoming apparent, for example, that a number of elements have well-vested interests in partitioning the province into a series of six to eight ethnic or sectarian cantons with independent rights and autonomy from Haider al-Abadi’s government in Baghdad.