Rory Stewart has changed his mind about Iraq
When I conversed with him last month here , shortly after his arrival in the States , he was still sanguine as to the effect of America "staying the course" - a sentiment that bore weight because of the depth of his British foreign service experience in Afghanistan, in 2002, and two years as Deputy Governor of the largely UK occupied area upstream of Basra - the province where the Marsh Arabs had been brutally repressed by Saddam Hussein .
He's still sanguine about Afghanistan, though our mutual friends in Medicins Sans Frontieres warn French commandos working in collaboration with American special forces in Afghanistan since 2002 have retired the field , their commanders expressing concern that things are drifting toward an Iraq style debacle. They doubt Sarkozy will overrule them . Now, after a month here , and first hand encounters with the administration's friends and foes in Washington and elsewhere, Rory seems aligned with Gordon Brown's position- I suspect indeed that he may have helped redefine it. Expect him to go far in British politics .