“I have no doubt that, providing we can keep the training and the security sector reform going, and providing some of the reconstruction will continue at the present rate, wex92ll reach a point where we can see an Iraq that is self-governing, providing its own security and has a democracy of the form that the Iraqis want … I would hope that as we go through the political process, the referendum and the next set of elections in December, it will become clear how secure the political machinery in Iraq is becoming.

If the elections are successful, and if a fully elected government gets in with a genuine mandate, then I think that confidence will overspill into all areas of progress. That will allow their own security forces to continue to develop from where they are at the moment, and at some stage in the future they will feel confident enough to take on their own management of the security in their country.” – General Sir Michael Walker, chief of the defence staff in the UK. He is also concerned, however, about morale among his troops and British popular opposition to the war. Despite extremely distressing stories like this one in the NYT, we have to hope that we can find a way out of the mess Rumsfeld and Bush have created, with their ill-planned and under-staffed occupation. There is still hope.


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