Any mention of partition sends some pundits scurrying to their keyboards. What about Yugoslavia, they say, or Ireland, or India, eh eh? Well, I wonder whether, in each of those cases, an agreed separation beforehand might have left us with something very like today’s borders without the intervening war. We’ll never know, obviously, but it’s worth noting that several partitions happened amicably enough, from Czechoslovakia to the West Indies Federation. More to the point, look at the consequences of non-partition. The civil wars have driven 2.1 million Iraqis and 1.4 million Syrians into exile. How much worse do things have to get before we consider an alternative?