UK Iraq war commission to Brown: pull out now

And stand up to Bush while you are at it.

“Our withdrawal rate should be determined not by the security situation – which allows the militias, the insurgents, to determine our withdrawal – but by the state of training of the Iraqi forces,” Lord Ashdown said on the BBC TV AM programme.

“If we can no longer suppress the violence, we are in a sense a target for the violence,” he added. “Therefore, we need to hand this process over to the Iraqis.

“Will things get worse for a bit? They may but they are probably going to anyway. The evidence was that if we cannot suppress the violence we cannot prevent it getting worse. What we need to do is train up the Iraqis.”

He said Tony Blair had “failed to use the leverage” he had to influence Mr Bush’s policy in Iraq and urged Mr Brown not to make the same mistake.

“We committed the cardinal sin of these interventions, which is to have ridiculously over-ambitious aims; to recreate Washington in Baghdad, to recreate a fully-functioning Western-style democracy in a Middle Eastern country,” said Lord Ashdown.


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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