Select Committee on Defence First Report


The political and security situation

13. In December 2006, the US Iraq Study Group (ISG), chaired by former US Secretary of State James Baker and former Congressman Lee Hamilton, reported that the security situation in Iraq was "grave and deteriorating" and that the ability of the United States to influence in Iraq was "diminishing".[13] It said that the situation in Baghdad and several provinces was "dire" and that attacks against US, Coalition and Iraqi Forces were "persistent and growing". It found that violence was "increasing in scope and lethality"; attacks against US Forces averaged 180 a day in October 2006, compared with an average of 70 attacks a day in January 2006; attacks against Iraqi Security Forces were more than double the level of January; and the number of attacks on civilians in October were four times higher than in January and around 3,000 Iraqi civilians were killed every month.[14] Four of Iraq's eighteen provinces—Baghdad, Anbar, Diyala and Salah ad Din in which 40% of Iraq's 26 million population lived—were "highly insecure".[15] Many Iraqis were "embracing sectarian identities". Iraq had become "a base of operations for international terrorism, including al Qaeda". The lack of security, meanwhile, was impeding economic development. The ISG Report found that most countries in the region were "not playing a constructive role in support of Iraq" and that some were "undercutting stability". Iraq, it concluded, was "in the grip of a deadly cycle". If the situation continued to deteriorate "the consequences could be severe" and "a slide towards chaos could trigger the collapse of Iraq's government and a humanitarian catastrophe". In a downbeat assessment of the options facing the United States, it concluded that "there is no path that can guarantee success, but the prospects can be improved".[16]

14. It was in the context of this deteriorating security situation that President George W Bush set out his new strategy in Iraq. On 10 January 2007, he acknowledged that the security situation was "unacceptable", that political reconciliation had not been forthcoming, and that Iraqi Security Forces had proved unable to assume greater responsibility from the United States. He announced a "surge" of US Forces to impose security in Baghdad and the neighbouring Western province of Anbar, a new emphasis on achieving political reconciliation, and new initiatives intended to promote the positive engagement of Iraq's neighbours in stabilising the country.[17] Under the newly appointed US Commander of Multi-National Forces in Iraq (MNF-I), General David Petraeus, an additional 21,500 US Forces would deploy to Iraq over the following five-to-six months to bolster security and clamp down on sectarian violence. This figure was increased to 29,500 following a request by General Petraeus in March 2007. By late July 2007, when the surge had reached full operational capability, approximately 169,000 US military personnel were serving in Iraq out of a total Multi-National Force of around 182,000.[18]

15. The US surge in Iraq reached its peak as we began our inquiry. Witnesses to our first evidence session, on 26 June, painted a gloomy picture of the security situation in the country and of the effectiveness of the surge. Dr Glen Rangwala, of Cambridge University, told us that although the surge appeared to have improved the security situation, he was "pessimistic" that this signified a permanent improvement: the surge had led to "a temporary lull in the violence, but not a reduction". According to Dr Rangwala, the number of extra-judicial killings and multiple fatality bombings might have gone down during the Spring of 2007, but insurgent groups were operating outside the capital city, or had just stored their weapons away temporarily, waiting for the US Forces to depart.[19] Similarly, Dr Eric Herring, of Bristol University, suggested that the surge had merely prompted a "displacement of the violence to other parts of Iraq and a destabilisation of places which were relatively quiet". For Dr Herring, there had been "a fundamental decline" in the security situation, despite the surge.[20] Dr Toby Dodge, of Queen Mary College, University of London, suggested that the results of the surge were mixed: the reduction in violence was "incredibly localised and probably temporary". The surge had led directly to the fighters, the militias and insurgents moving out of the capital to Diyala, where violence had increased "massively".[21]

16. According to Dr Dodge, it was the security vacuum in Iraq which underpinned most of the violence; "the cause is the collapse of the Iraqi state". A combination of the brutality of Saddam Hussein, the impact of international sanctions, the 2003 invasion, and the subsequent programme of de-Ba'athification meant that "the state was shaken to pieces" and its "institutional memory" erased which resulted in both a political and security vacuum into which "firstly, stepped criminals, and then insurgents".[22] Throughout Iraq as a whole, there was "a series of different groups fighting different wars" and "what we have is a multi-level conflict" and a "big stew of violence that is the Iraqi civil war as it stands". But despite the different geographical struggles, the common "overarching explanation" for the violence at both the national and the local level was "this security vacuum which these different groups have stepped into, with different objectives".[23]

17. The assessment of the security situation in Iraq offered by our witnesses was reflected in the conclusions of the UK Iraq Commission, an independent cross-party Commission chaired by Lord Ashdown, Baroness Jay and Lord King, whose report was published on 14 July 2007. The Commission, billed as the UK equivalent of the US Iraq Study Group, found that "the security situation in Iraq remains grave and has been for some time". According to the Commission, there was "currently not one conflict, or one insurgency in Iraq, but several conflicts and insurgencies between different communities and organisations".[24]

18. The MoD, however, insisted that the surge was having a positive effect. In evidence to us, on 24 July, Brigadier Chris Hughes, Director of Joint Commitments (Military) at the MoD, told us that a number of successes had come from the surge:

    The figures for vehicle-borne IEDs [Improvised Explosive Devices] are down; the figures for murders of civilians are significantly down. It is true to say that the additional security that has come in Baghdad has not just been displaced somewhere else; in some of the other provinces AQI [Al Qaeda Iraq], in particular, is being given a hard time.[25]

There were two measures by which the success of the surge would ultimately be judged:

    To what extent the breathing space that the military surge has given in the security situation—and I think it has—has allowed the politics to breathe, and to what extent are the Iraqi Security Forces able to back up what has largely been this Coalition surge. Those are the two questions which remain unanswered as of today.[26]

19. A US National Intelligence Estimate, published in August 2007, presented a mixed picture of the security situation in Iraq. It reported "measurable but uneven improvements in Iraq's security situation since […] January 2007":

    The steep escalation of violence has been checked for now, and overall attack levels across Iraq have fallen during seven of the last nine weeks. Coalition forces, working with Iraqi forces, tribal elements, and some Sunni insurgents, have reduced al-Qa'ida in Iraq's (AQI) capabilities, restricted its freedom of movement, and denied it grassroots support in some areas.[27]

But the security situation was still considered poor:

    The level of overall violence, including attacks on and casualties among civilians, remains high; Iraq's sectarian groups remain unreconciled; AQI retains the ability to conduct high-profile attacks; and to date, Iraqi political leaders remain unable to govern effectively.[28]

The Estimate predicted that if Coalition Forces continued "to conduct robust counterinsurgency operations […] Iraq's security will continue to improve modestly during the next six to 12 months but that levels of insurgent and sectarian violence will remain high".[29]

20. On 10 September 2007, General Petraeus reported to the US Congress that "the military objectives of the surge are, in large measure, being met" and that progress in improving the security situation had been "substantial".[30] He stated that the number of security incidents had decreased significantly since the start of the surge offensive operations:

    civilian deaths […] have also declined considerably, by over 45% Iraq-wide since the height of the sectarian violence in December [2006] [and] […] by some 70% in Baghdad […] The number of ethno-sectarian deaths […] has also declined significantly since the height of sectarian violence […] by over 55% […] In Baghdad […] the number of ethno-sectarian deaths has come down by some 80% since December.[31]

21. General Petraeus acknowledged that trends had not been uniformly positive across Iraq. But in his judgement, "the overall trajectory in Iraq—a steady decline of incidents in the past three months—is still quite significant".[32] Coalition and Iraqi forces, he said, had "dealt significant blows to Al Qaeda Iraq" and had "taken away a number of sanctuaries and gained the initiative in many areas". Moreover, in Anbar Province, West of Baghdad, there had been an indigenous tribal rejection of Al Qaeda Iraq (AQI) which was "maybe the most significant development of the last 8 months". It had helped produce "significant change" in the Province and had since spread to a number of other locations as well.[33]

22. Important as the reduction of violence has been, the surge was never intended to be an end in itself. Its broader aim was to allow politics in Iraq, and political reconciliation in particular, a chance to progress. At the announcement of the surge, in January 2007, President Bush made it clear that the US commitment to Iraq was not open-ended and that, as the security situation was addressed, the Iraqi Government would be expected to secure progress on: de-Baathification, reconstruction and development, the sharing of oil revenues, changes to the constitution and holding local elections. The surge would give the Iraqi Government "the breathing space it needs to make progress in [these] critical areas".[34]

23. Yet, unlike General Petraeus, Ambassador Crocker was able to report comparatively little progress. In what he termed a "sober assessment" of the "enormity of the challenges faced by Iraqis", he warned that progress towards political reconciliation had been slow; "it will be uneven, punctuated by setbacks as well as achievements, and it will require substantial US resolve". The Iraqi Government had not managed to achieve many of the political benchmarks laid down by the United States. However, he insisted that his assessment "should not be a disheartening one", arguing that Iraq's leaders had "the will to tackle the country's pressing problems" and that there had been "more pronounced" political gains at the local level where there was "abundant evidence that the security gains have opened the door for meaningful politics".[35]

24. Ambassador Crocker reported some progress in economic reconstruction and capacity building. Iraqi ministries and provincial councils, for example, had made "substantial progress this year in utilizing Iraq's oil revenue for investment". However, in overall terms, the Iraqi economy, though set to grow by 6% in 2007, was "performing significantly under its potential". Though improving, critical infrastructure such as electricity supplies remained poor.[36]

25. In evidence to us on 23 October 2007, the Secretary of State for Defence told us that there was "a long way to go" with political reconciliation at the national level in Iraq. Reconciliation was "the key to stability" but there had not been as much progress as either the US or the UK would have liked. He concluded that, ultimately, political reconciliation could only be achieved by the Iraqis themselves; "we can only […] encourage them to go down this road and to continue to explain to them how important it is for sustained peace in their country that they do it".[37]

26. We note the progress of the US surge in and around Baghdad and welcome the apparent reductions in the level of violence, both against Coalition and Iraqi Forces and the civilian population. But it is important not to overstate the successes of the surge. The level of violence in Iraq is still worryingly high. It remains to be seen whether the improvements in the security situation represent a lasting reduction in insurgent, militia and sectarian violence or whether the violence will once again increase after the US withdraws the surge element of its Forces.

27. The Iraqi Government must make the most of the reduction in violence to move the political process forward to achieve meaningful and lasting political reconciliation in Iraq. In the long-term, it is only through reconciliation, both nationally and locally, that Iraq can develop into a secure and stable country.

The security situation in South Eastern Iraq

28. The situation in South Eastern Iraq, in the UK area of operations, is very different from that in and around Baghdad. In evidence to us, Ministers, MoD officials and academic witnesses agreed that the overall level of violence in South Eastern Iraq was lower than in other parts of the country. The Secretary of State for Defence told us that "in proportionate terms a very small number of the attacks that happen in Iraq happen in the Basra area". Mr Browne stated that "over 80% of the violence is concentrated around a relatively small circumference of the city of Baghdad and Baghdad itself".[38]

29. The sources of violence in South Eastern Iraq are also very different. During our visit to Basra in July 2007 we heard from a number of those we met that the violence in the area was self-limiting since it reflected a competition for money, power and influence between local Shia groups rather than the sectarian nihilism of al-Qaeda; in effect, no party wanted to destroy that over which it wanted to assert control. In South Eastern Iraq, there was no sectarian insurgency and none of the jihadist elements seen elsewhere in the country. Instead, the violence was propagated by Shia gangsterism and Iranian-backed militias. In fact, in the South, religion was seen as a unifying rather than a dividing factor. As the Minister for the Armed Forces told us in evidence on 24 July, the people of South Eastern Iraq were "religiously and ethnically cohesive".[39]

30. Academic witnesses to our inquiry agreed that in South Eastern Iraq the problem was the battle over resources rather than sectarianism. In evidence to us on 26 June 2007, Professor Sami Zubaida argued that "all the sides there are Shi'ite but they are divided along different loyalties to different parties, to different tribes, straightforward gangs and mafias, and so on. In Basra, "the objectives of the insurgency are actually control of material resources: profit".[40] Dr Eric Herring agreed that the violence in South Eastern Iraq was "an intra-Shia political, and effectively mafia, struggle".[41]

31. We began our inquiry in June 2007 at a time of escalating violence in South Eastern Iraq, particularly towards the Coalition, and increasing doubts in the UK about the efficacy of the role assigned to UK Forces in Basra. As attacks against UK Forces increased, some witnesses to our inquiry, and some of those we met in Iraq, suggested that the deterioration of the security situation in Basra had demonstrated that UK and Coalition Forces had outstayed their welcome and had become part of the problem rather than the solution. Some suggested that the UK's military presence in Basra was not only risky but also tactically questionable. And some suggested that military force alone inevitably had a limited usefulness and that a foreign army was an inappropriate tool for the job that needed to be done in Basra.

32. In evidence to us, Dr Herring argued that what was often seen as "the comparative stability in Basra" was not the result of UK and Coalition action. Whatever stability had emerged had come about "precisely because the militias have managed to dominate". This was not stability "in any positive sense" since it represented "a fragile balance between militias".[42] In written evidence to us Dr Herring questioned the role of UK Forces in Iraq arguing that "the UK military presence in Iraq has been tiny and under-resourced" and characterised by "persistent incoherence and lack of integration". He suggested that "in continual fear of being over-run, the priority has been to avoid antagonising excessively existing or rising armed local political actors". Notwithstanding reconstruction, anti-militia and anti-corruption efforts such as Operation Sinbad in late 2006 and early 2007, UK Forces had "tended to be (often uncomprehending) spectators, occasional protagonists and only rarely the centre of power and legitimacy". UK Forces had "engaged in what could only be intermittent and intermittently productive operations".[43] The conclusion of the local Basrawi population, he said, was that UK Forces "are making the situation worse and [they] want them to leave".[44]

33. Dr Dodge argued that "there is no stability in Basra".[45] In evidence to us, he stated:

    Periodically, outright conflict breaks out and violence flows. I think to qualify that as low level is simply not the case. People are dying in Basra. Basra is a lawless place where the politics of the gun dominates; that is not low-level violence, that is anarchy, and it could get worse or it could stay at a steady rate.[46]

But despite the fact that Basra was "highly unstable" and "extremely violent", Dr Dodge offered a somewhat more positive assessment of the role UK Forces could still play in the region than that offered by Dr Herring. Although their presence was "limited", he suggested that UK Forces nevertheless were "putting a brake, albeit a rather malfunctioning one, on the swift movement to civil war".[47] According to Dr Dodge, a complete withdrawal of UK Forces "may trigger, may destabilise and increase the violence" in Basra and South Eastern Iraq as a whole.

34. Professor Zubaida called the situation in Basra in June 2007 "desperate". He agreed that UK Forces remained "a brake on much wider violence" but he questioned whether this would make a difference in the long-term. If UK Forces left precipitously violence could well increase, but a withdrawal of UK Forces in two years' time could well have the same effect. For Professor Zubaida, the key question was "what is going to happen in the those two years which is going to lead to a different outcome?".[48] There was a real risk that whenever UK and Coalition Forces withdrew the country could descend into civil war.[49]

35. When we took evidence from the Minister for the Armed Forces on 24 July 2007, he acknowledged "grand scale criminality" was "a huge part of the problem in the South". There were regular attacks on UK Forces at the Provincial Joint Co-ordination Centre (PJCC) at Basra Palace and at the Contingency Operating Base at Basra Air Station. Indeed, as we witnessed, July saw some of the highest numbers of attacks against UK Forces in Basra in 2007, peaking at almost 120 attacks in the week beginning 20 July. By mid-August 2007, UK Forces were suffering the highest sustained level of attacks of the year, an average of over 90 attacks per week over the preceding four week period.[50]

36. Mr Ainsworth, however, said the fact that UK Forces were being targeted was "not surprising". After all, the insurgents and militias understood that "we are the ultimate guarantor of any chance of progress" and "we […] are effectively providing the backbone of stability" in South Eastern Iraq.[51]

37. Since July 2007, the security situation in Basra has changed significantly. The handover of Basra Palace to Iraqi control on 3 September coincided with a dramatic reduction in the number of attacks on UK and Coalition Forces. From a 2007 peak of almost 120 attacks per week in late July, the number of attacks on UK and Coalition forces fell to an average of below 10 attacks per week in the six weeks after the handover of Basra Palace.[52] The MoD estimates that the handover of Basra Palace to Iraqi control was "a significant factor in this reduction" though the MoD's figures suggest that the reduction in the number of attacks against UK and Coalition Forces began in mid-August 2007, prior to the handover.[53] This would appear to reflect what we heard from local politicians in Basra, that is that much of the violence in the city was aimed at the Coalition Forces.

Table 3: Attacks on Multi-National Forces in MND(SE), January-October 2007

Source: Ministry of Defence[54]

38. In evidence to us on 23 October 2007, the Secretary of State for Defence described the security situation in Basra as "stable". Since July, he stated, the number of attacks had "gone from 401 to 19 in September".[55] Despite predictions to the contrary, he told us that the violence of the early Summer had not continued following the handover of Basra Palace and that UK Forces based at the COB at Basra Air Station were not coming under heavy or sustained attack from insurgents and militias. Similarly, Lieutenant General Peter Wall, Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Commitments), told us that there had been a "very significant, a ten-fold reduction of activity against MNF".[56]

39. Yet despite the reduction in attacks on UK and Coalition Forces in South Eastern Iraq, the security situation in Basra remains challenging. There has been no corresponding reduction in the number of attacks aimed at civilians. The MoD's statistics reveal that the number of attacks on civilians in Basra city have "remained broadly the same". But in written evidence to us, the MoD maintained that "this is in line with our assessment that [the attacks] would stabilise […] we still believe that over time they will reduce as the Iraqis, and the Iraqi Security Forces, grow in capability and confidence".[57] According to the MoD, the fact that there have been no increases in attacks on civilians in Basra demonstrated that "the ISF are doing an effective job of maintaining control of the city without UK support".[58]

Table 4: Attacks in MND(SE) by target, January-October 2007

Source: Ministry of Defence[59]

40. In the long-term stability and security in South Eastern Iraq will only come about through progress with political reconciliation. But, as at the national level, political reconciliation at the local level demands a degree of security for the political process to function. When we visited Basra, we met a group of local politicians and discussed the security situation and the prospects of political progress in the province. We heard that Iraqi politicians had no experience of acting within a political process and that the Provincial Council lacked the authority to deal with many of the problems Iraqis faced, particularly security. We were also told that the lack of security impeded political progress. In evidence to us, the Secretary of State told us that there needed to be "more political leadership at the centre" in Baghdad and that local Shia militia groups such as Jaish Al Mahdi (JAM) needed to be brought into the political process.[60] He also stated that this could bring "the sort of sustainable progress we need" but that the UK would have "to leave the Iraqis […] the opportunity and space to do it". To this end, transition to Provincial Iraq Control would be important from a political as well as a security perspective.[61] Mr Browne also expressed optimism that in the next provincial elections, the date of which remained unclear, would deliver more representative Provincial Councils. The UK, he said, supported "early provincial elections" because:

    we believe that there would be more involvement […] if all the political parties engage in the process, then the electoral system will ensure that the provincial council is representative of the balance of political power in the area which it presently is not because people boycotted the elections in the past.[62]

41. The reduction in the number of attacks on UK and Coalition Forces in South Eastern Iraq since August 2007 is significant. However, the fact there has been no corresponding reduction in the number of attacks against the civilian population of the city is a matter of concern. Violence in Basra Province continues to undermine the development of civil society. The relative security of Basra is said to owe more to the dominance of militias and criminal gangs, who are said to have achieved a fragile balance in the city, than to the success of the Multi-National and Iraqi Security Forces in tackling the root causes of the violence. Although the reduction in attacks on UK Forces can only be welcome, this alone cannot be a measure of success. The initial goal of UK Forces in South Eastern Iraq was to establish the security necessary for the development of representative political institutions and for economic reconstruction. Although progress has been made, this goal remains unfulfilled.

Regional influences

42. A further factor affecting the security situation in Iraq is the nature and extent of Iranian influence. In evidence to us on 24 July 2007, the Minister for the Armed Forces made clear the destabilising effect and the extent of Iranian influence in South Eastern Iraq. He told us:

43. In his report to the US Congress in September 2007, General Petraeus presented a similar picture of malign Iranian involvement in Iraq. He argued that Iranian elements, particularly the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), had provided "training, arming, funding, and in some cases, direction of militia extremists". They had been involved in assassinating and kidnapping Iraqi government leaders. Iraqi Shia gangs had "killed and wounded our soldiers with advanced explosive devices provided by Iran". [64]General Petraeus concluded that:

    it is increasingly apparent to both Coalition and Iraqi leaders that Iran, through the use of the Qods Force, seeks to turn the Iraqi Special Groups into a Hezbollah-like force to serve its interests and fight a proxy war against the Iraqi state and coalition forces in Iraq.[65]

44. The US Ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, reported to the US Congress that "Iran plays a harmful role in Iraq". He stated:

    While claiming to support Iraq in its transition, Iran has actively undermined it by providing lethal capabilities to the enemies of the Iraqi state. In doing so, the Iranian government seems to ignore the risks that an unstable Iraq carries for its own interests.[66]

45. Academic witnesses to our inquiry offered a somewhat different analysis. Dr Herring, for example, told us that, on the basis of publicly available information, it was "inconclusive at best" that Iran was exporting Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) to Iraq. Indeed, Dr Herring argued that the bigger problem in Iraq was weaponry supplied by the United States to the Iraqi Police which had found its way into the hands of the militias.[67]

46. Dr Ali Ansari, of St Andrews University, told us that it was too simplistic to state that Iran was backing the insurgency in Iraq. He argued that Iran was "a very plural society" and that Western policy towards Iran had been "too monolithic". He acknowledged that the IRGC, which tended to "operate on its own agenda", was one of "the more unhelpful elements of Iranian intervention in Iraq". Some elements in Iran, he argued, sought to foster violence in Iraq so as "to make life as uncomfortable as possible" for the United States and its Coalition partners. But he also stated that there were some in the Iranian Foreign Ministry who favoured "some sort of constructive engagement with the Coalition, tacitly, behind the scenes […] to ensure that some form of stable Iraq is left, because the last thing they want is […] another Afghanistan on their Western border".[68]

47. Iranian influence in Iraq is longstanding and religious and cultural links between Iranians and Iraqis is strong, particularly in the Shia South. However, reports that elements within Iran are fuelling the violence in Iraq through the supply of arms are deeply troubling.

13   The Iraq Study Group Report, 6 December 2006 Back

14   Ibid. p 9 Back

15   Ibid., p 10 Back

16   Ibid, Executive Summary Back

17   "President's Address to the Nation", White House Press Release, 10 January 2007 Back

18   House of Commons Library Standard Note SN/IA/4099, 20 September 2007 Back

19   Q 6 Back

20   Ibid. Back

21   Q 22 Back

22   Q 2 Back

23   Qq 2, 5 Back

24   The Iraq Commission Report, The Foreign Policy Centre and Channel 4, 14 July 2007, p 14 Back

25   Q 151 Back

26   Ibid. Back

27   Prospects for Iraq's Stability: Some Security Progress but Political Reconciliation Elusive, National Intelligence Estimate (United States), August 2007, p 1 Back

28   Ibid. p 1 Back

29   Ibid. p 1 Back

30   Report to Congress on the Situation in Iraq by General David H Petraeus, Commander, Multi-National Forces-Iraq, 10 September 2007, p 3 Back

31   Ibid. Back

32   Ibid. p 4 Back

33   Ibid. p 1 Back

34   "President's Address to the Nation", White House Press Release, 10 January 2007 Back

35   Report to Congress on the Situation in Iraq by Ambassador Ryan C Crocker, US Ambassador to the Republic of Iraq, 10 September 2007, p 3  Back

36   Ibid. p 3 Back

37   Oral evidence taken before the Defence Committee on 23 October 2007, Iraq and Afghanistan, HC (2006-07) 1091-i, Q 43 Back

38   Ibid., Q 4 Back

39   Q 112 Back

40   Q 4 Back

41   Q 2 Back

42   Q 21 Back

43   Ev 46 Back

44   Ev 43 Back

45   Q 21 Back

46   Q 49 Back

47   Qq 46, 7 Back

48   Qq 47, 48 Back

49   Q 7 Back

50   See Table 3 below. Also HC (2006-07) 1091-i, Ev 19, Figure 1 Back

51   Q 83 Back

52   HC (2006-07) 1091-i, Ev 19 Back

53   Ibid. Back

54   Ibid. Back

55   Ibid., Q 4 Back

56   HC (2006-07) 1091-i, Q 5 Back

57   Ibid., Ev 20 Back

58   Ibid. Back

59   Ibid. Back

60   HC (2006-07) 1091-i, Q 45 Back

61   Ibid. Back

62   Ibid., Qq 46, 47 Back

63   Q 164 Back

64   Report to Congress on the Situation in Iraq by General Petraeus, 10 September 2007, p 4 Back

65   Ibid. Back

66   Report to Congress on the Situation in Iraq by Ambassador Crocker, 10 September 2007, p 4 Back

67   Q 41 Back

68   Q 28 Back

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