Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague has obviously hired Sir Humphrey Appleby to be his new speechwriter. Here’s is civil service-speak response to General Petraeus’ report to the US Congress on the progress of President Bush’s surge strategy:
"It appears that the US troop surge has had mixed results so far, but it is clear that there is no purely military solution available to the situation in Iraq. The surge was intended to give a breathing space to the Iraqi government to allow it to make progress towards national reconciliation. It is of paramount importance that efforts to achieve that progress are now redoubled.
It is healthy that the US congress receives regular reports on the political and military situation in Iraq. As long as British troops are in that country there should also be a full, quarterly report to our parliament from the British government on the progress made.
Any decision concerning US troop levels is a matter for the US, although we would hope that decisions on US and UK deployments in Iraq are always made in consultation with each other. We support the reductions in British troop levels announced so far and believe that British forces should remain in Iraq only so long as they are needed for the political stability of the country, the security of Southern Iraq, and have a defensible military position. We look forward to the Government’s assessment of these factors as soon as possible, and in any event when parliament returns."
See BritainAndAmerica for much more.
8.30pm: Fraser Nelson – over at The Spectator – wishes William Hague had been more Giuliani-like. That’s a big part of the Tory problem. We don’t have a Giuliani character.