Bad Days in Basra: My Turbulent Time as Britain's Man in by Hilary Synnott

By Hilary Synnott

Undesirable Days in Basra: My Turbulent Time as Britain's guy in Southern Iraq КНИГИ ;ВОЕННАЯ ИСТОРИЯ Издательство: I.B.Tauris & Co LtdАвтор(ы): Hilary SynnottЯзык: EnglishГод издания: 2008Количество страниц: 313ISBN: 978-1-84511-706-1Формат: pdf (e-book)Размер: 1,96 mb RAPIDили IFOLDER zero

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Sample text

As I was soon to discover for myself, conditions in Basra were a far cry from those which a head of a diplomatic mission might have been accustomed to, and not only in terms of physical discomfort. Resources, command and management structures and the most basic materiel were all absent. It seemed hard to get anyone in Baghdad or in capitals of the countries making up the Coalition to understand, to respond or to do anything practical to improve the situation. Small wonder then that, on returning to Denmark on leave in early July 2003, Olsen allowed some of his frustrations to emerge.

He was content with my priorities, and in the ensuing discussion I recognised his ability to deploy charm if he chose. Encouraged, I suggested that, in pursuit of the first priority, which we evidently shared, we might meet at least monthly – a greater frequency could have been unrealistic owing to the 40 04 - Basra_035-051 21/12/07 12:11 Page 41 Baghdad: The Green Zone pressure of engagements and the real difficulty of travel. Bremer responded positively and at once declared that such meetings should henceforth include the other three Regional Coordinators, from the Kurdish region, Hillah and Baghdad itself.

The Military Police had gone, replaced by a contingent of Gurkhas who formed our static guard and who lived in tents in the former car park. The British Army maintained a presence with us, but many of them commuted daily to and from the much more comfortable quarters in the main headquarters at the airport, about 15 miles to the north. Daily meetings in such numbers were not sustainable, nor would they be an efficient use of everyone’s time, and I knew I would have to change the arrangements. But I wanted first to make sure that everyone understood the purpose of changes before I 25 03 - Basra_022-034 21/12/07 12:11 Page 26 Bad Days in Basra introduced them; and it would be useful if my team could form an opinion of me and for me to get a feel for them.

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