William Patey, the outgoing British ambassador to Iraq, has warned British Prime Minister Tony Blair that civil war is a more likely outcome in that country than democracy. The BBC reports that the confidential leaked memo also predicted the breakup of Iraq along ethnic lines into three separate countries. While ‘not hopeless,’ Mr. Patey wrote, it will remain a ‘difficult and messy’ situation for the next five to ten years. Patey wrote: ‘The prospect of a low intensity civil war and a de facto division of Iraq is probably more likely at this stage than a successful and substantial transition to a stable democracy. ‘Even the lowered expectation of President Bush for Iraq – a government that can sustain itself, defend itself and govern itself and is an ally in the war on terror – must remain in doubt.’ In a comment that has been made several times in past few years by both British and US officials, Mr. Patey said ‘the next six months are crucial.’ BBC correspondent Paul Wood said although the document does not contradict earlier statements by the British government that civil war is not imminent in Iraq, ‘it is […]

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