Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: "[T]he idea of the... constitution of Iraq [as] written, which allows for and mandates, in fact, a great deal of regional autonomy, is appropriate. I think there are certain central powers that a government needs. Some of it has to do with the oil revenue and various other parts. So without endorsing any plan, I do think reality here sets in that there will be regional autonomy."
[W]hen asked about Senator Biden's plan, I have said that, in fact, it is an attempt to keep the country together, which I do believe is what it is about. I'm just talking about in the long run what might happen that we do have to watch out for. But I think it is very clear from my reading of the plan that it is done in order to keep the country together. And I do think that is an essential point. [Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing, January 31, 2007]
Former Secretary of State James Baker: "...I was and still am interested in the proposal that Senator Biden and Les Gelb put forward with respect to the idea that ultimately you may end up with three autonomous regions in Iraq, because I was worried that there are indications that that might be happening, in fact, on the ground anyway and, if it is, we ought to be prepared to try and manage the situation. So we have a sentence in our report that says, 'If events were to move irreversibly in this direction, the United States should manage the situation to ameliorate the humanitarian consequences, contain the violence and minimize regional stability." [Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing, January 30, 2007]
Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger: "I'm sympathetic to an outcome that permits large regional autonomy. In fact, I think it is very likely that this will emerge out of the conflict that we are now witnessing."
"If the Iraqis cannot solve the problems that have been described, I've told the Chairman privately, that I thought that this [a federal system in Iraq] was a possible outcome, and at the right moment we should work in the direction that will (inaudible) for maximum stability and for maximum chances of peace." [Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing, January 31, 2007]