Perhaps because I’m not an international actor, it has always struck me as strange the reverence given to borders. They are, for states, like property rights are for an individual, inviolable. Borders are, to a great extent, an accident of history, settled through the time-honored mechanisms of war, diplomacy, and the maxim that possession is nine-tenths of the law. Trouble arises when lines are drawn on a map without the willing participation of those who live there, and assumed to have the same settled nature as more accidental lands. But even more arises when they are inflexible.
An article in The Atlantic Monthly wonders what the Middle-East will be like After Iraq,” and suggests, perhaps, that the artificial borders in the region might give way to arrangements somewhat more organic.