UK Iraq commission: 'Only painful' options left in Iraq
Published: Sunday July 15, 2007
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A report by a commission set up by UK Channel 4 and the Foreign Policy Centre think tank has concluded that there are no easy pull out options left for the US-let coalition in Iraq, reports the BBC.

There are "only painful" options left, says the report, of a war policy it calls damaged by "ridiculously over-ambitious" goals.

"Lord Ashdown, who co-chaired the commission with Baroness Jay and former Defence Secretary Lord King, said that coalition forces could no longer suppress the violence," writes the BBC.

Ashdown told the BBC that the coalition has failed at trying create a "western-style democracy in a Middle Eastern country" and that the US and UK "need to hand this process over to the Iraqis."

Excerpts follow:


Among the report's recommendations were:

  • The UK, along with the US and EU, should initiate a "diplomatic offensive" to stabilise Iraq's borders

  • No timetable for withdrawal should be set, but a pull-out "will happen as a consequence of the completion of training activity"

  • The British government should pass legislation regulating private security firms operating in Iraq