sexta-feira, 27 de outubro de 2006


A frank statement of the seriousness of Britain's predicament in Iraq from the chief-of-staff of the British army, General Richard Dannatt, has precipitated an unusual air of realism that opens up the serious possibility of a British withdrawal.

Dannatt's remarks, published in a newspaper interview on 12 October 2006, opened a space of debate into which senior politicians as well as commentators have entered with a mixture of alacrity and relief.

The headline theme of this new public debate is that Iraqi police and security forces should be in a position to take over in the British zone of operations during 2007. In light of the intermixing of police and Shi'a militias in southeastern Iraq, and the recent deterioration in security in Basra and surrounding districts, this appears a hugely optimistic target.

In fact, much of this departure in Britain's official discourse about Iraq is little more than political rhetoric designed to cultivate the fig-leaf that will be needed for an eventual ...


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