At the height of sectarian violence in Iraq in May, 2006, Joe Biden penned a column in the Times proposing to decentralize the Iraqi federal government, "giving each ethno-religious group -- Kurd, Sunni Arab and Shiite Arab -- room to run its own affairs."

The plan called for "three largely autonomous regions," but it stopped short of partitioning the nation, even thought that's how it was widely interpreted. But imagine if the Middle East were indeed partitioned into new ethno-religious states.

A month after Biden's column, Ralph Peters of Armed Forces Journal proposed such an idea in an article called "Blood Borders." Calling the current lines "awful," he argued that "without such major boundary revisions, we shall never see a more peaceful Middle East."

Of course, trying to take land from nations like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia -- among the most authoritarian on Earth -- would unleash new waves of violence. But say the map below was imposed, would it create peace or breed even more resentment?

(h/t Strange Maps)

New Middle Eastern Borders