This is one of the most interesting articles I've read on the Iraq War, a topic not often addressed here.
How Iraq became greater Islington - Sunday Times - Times Online: "[Rory Stewart] arrived in southern Iraq in the autumn of 2003, six months after the invasion, and spent more than a year as local governor, overseeing the local 'rebuilding' of the community. The dissonance between the aspirations of his bosses in Baghdad and the situation on the ground is staggering. When he could not even leave his compound as it was under siege from mortar attack, he was sent memos ordering him to set up 'gender awareness workshops' in remote marshland villages. Vacuum-packed $1m 'bricks' arrived so fast that he ran out of ideas about how to spend them. While his region drowned in blood, he was drowning in memos laden with 'David Brent jargon' or ordering him to seek out three rival glaziers to gain quotes to replace a window."