Thursday, August 03, 2006

The British view on Iraq

While Pentagon officials testify on Capitol Hill, the BBC has obtained a pessimistic memo written by the outgoing British ambassador in Iraq.

Civil war is a more likely outcome in Iraq than democracy, Britain's outgoing ambassador in Baghdad has warned Tony Blair in a confidential memo.

William Patey, who left the Iraqi capital last week, also predicted the break-up of Iraq along ethnic lines.

He did also say that "the position is not hopeless" - but said it would be "messy" for five to 10 years.

In the past few years the British view on Iraq has generally been closer to reality than the Pentagon's. But that does not mean they're necessarily better at predicting the future. So don't take this as gospel; view it as one more piece of information to fit into the overall picture.

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