David Miliband, Great Britain’s foreign minister said creation of a peaceful and stable Iraqdid not follow the path desired by those initiating the conflict. He claimed “the war itself wasd a remarkable victory. It went beter thn most people expected, but the truth is that buiilding the peace after the war has been much more dififcult than people expected.” However, he feels encouraged by developments in Iraq over the past year. His optimism was seconded by General Barney White-Spunnder who believes the situation in Basra is “getting better all the time.” However, Lord Boyce, Britain’s senior military officeer at the time the war began expressed “dismay” at what subsequently happened and blamed it on the inept American “de-Ba’athification” program which disbanded the Iraq army.
Jonathan Powell, chief of staff for Tony Blair, was told by General Richard Dannatt in October, 2006, he questioned the usefulness of Britain’s continuing military presence in Iraq. He said Britain should withdraw “soon” and noted planning for the postwar phase was “poor.”
It is strange for a foreign minister to claim the war was a remarkable victory but the postwar phase just didn’t add up right. The purpose of the war in Iraq, according to President Bush, was to create a stable, democratic nation. If the goal was not accomplished then the war was not remarkable at all, but a failure.