The catastrophic effects of Britain’s involvement in Iraq go further than the deaths of 149 of our servicemen and women.
It has contributed to a bloody and intransigent situation to which there seems no end and which has lowered our standing in the eyes of the world. …
But, as Sir Richard Dannatt, the head of the Army, told the Mail last October, our presence in Iraq, far from helping the security situation, is exacerbating it.
The timetable for withdrawal is set out in a letter from British military chiefs to the Iraqi government.
It is inconceivable that they would have done this without political approval.
Nor can it be a coincidence that it has happened as Tony Blair is about to hand over to Gordon Brown.
However much Mr Blair is feted on his orchestrated farewell tour, his indelible legacy will be Iraq.
The verdict of history will surely be that our forces remained this long purely to save Mr Blair’s face.