Biden says U.S. prepared to help Iraq decentralize
Amid renewed sectarian violence, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden says the U.S. would support a federal system for Iraq where the country remains intact but decentralized according to sectarian divisions.
In a recent op-ed in the Washington Post, Biden expressed hope for Iraq's future leadership, mentioning it had made great progresss since Haider al-Abadi was selected as the country's new Prime Minister. But deep sectarian divisions, he argued, were allowing extremist groups like ISIS to form, impeding progress toward a truly functional centralized governemnt in Baghdad.
Biden mentioned federalism as a possible solution to the current state of Iraq, but it's neither a new concept or a new suggestion from the vice president.
In 2006, Biden wrote another op-ed detailing the possibility of decentralizing Iraq's government and establishing respective Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish regions, each with its own governing body, as a means of stabilizing the massive sectarian violence that had gripped the country since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
Biden added the U.S. would offer its assistance to establishing such boundaries, and that the plan would ensure oil rights were equally dispersed and Iraq would remain intact while putting strain on ISIS.