Ok I was just talking to myself (or rather my grommet ), about Iraq, so I thought I would ARRSEK a rhetorical question, that being why was the handover to Iraqis done as soon as was possible? I will now qualify my rhetorical question. I watched the early days after the invasion, and it appeared to me that the staff on the ground quickly established liason with 'elders'. I remember reports of how such liason was considered of high importance given that the Baathist infrastructure had been dismantled. So, everything was in place, imo, for a quick transition of power, tho obviously not for a western model of democracy. Thoughts of the 'Shura'/Jirga in Afganistan spring to mind. So I must ask why oh why oh why was this not facilitated. It seems to me that the people on the ground had enough local knowledge to understand the role of clerics/elders? I may be wrong about this, but it seems to me that the insurgency took rather a long time to emerge? I guess what I'm asking of anyone who was on the ground (or was party to such conversations) is whether there was a political judgement from in GB and the Bliar's political masters beyond the ocean that this was not the way to proceed? It seems to me that (and I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist) that realistically things could have been done far quicker in the short term, and I can only think that the reason it did not play out that way was because of a lack of political will with the 'alliance of the willing'?