Strangely, there has been little mention in the media that the Government is talking Iraq withdrawal blues again. It's being mentioned in news reports, in passing, as if this was certain already; the dates mentioned are some time next year. Well, that's all good; but this of course raises the question of Iraqi employees. We know some have been brought to the UK; we don't know how many are left. Also, of course, there are many more among the refugees suffering across the Middle East, as this ICG report makes clear.
The situation may be better at a macro-level than it was last year; but it's the micro-economics of violence these people have to fear. Assassination, not battle. And it seems that you can hire a killer in Basra for $100. There is apparently a wave of honour killings on; but you wouldn't imagine that someone who will stab women for coins would blink at shooting foreign "spies".