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Published: October 4, 2010

On Wednesday, 25th August 2010, leading news channel BBC News 24 invited Pilgrims Information and Intelligence Services Manager to provide live, expert analysis and commentary in the wake of Iraq’s recent spate of bomb attacks.

As reported by BBC News 24 throughout that day, a spate of violent and apparently co-ordinated bomb attacks took place throughout Iraq leaving at least fifty people dead across the country. BBC News 24 invited Pilgrims’ David Strachan-Morris, a respected and published expert on the security situation in Iraq, to discuss these attacks live in the studio.

He delivered a detailed synopsis of the current Iraqi security situation and insurgent strategy and was asked to offer his thoughts on this week’s developments and provide comment on more difficult questions including: “How bad the scale of violence might need to become in order to bring the (recently scaled back numbers of) American soldiers back en masse.”

Strachan-Morris was careful to play down sensationalism throughout the interview, stating: “There was always going to be an upsurge in the number of attacks as the series of ‘spikes’ in insurgent activity has been clearly seen while we move closer and closer to the American troops’ withdrawal.”

He maintained a non-cynical, rational tone, continuing on to discuss how this might affect the planned withdrawal of American troops from Iraq: “The timing of the withdrawal was always going to be critical and I believe the Americans have the correct schedule in place. Can the Iraqi security forces deal with what’s in front of them? I believe so. They now have an increased capability in terms of what we refer to as ‘set-piece security’.”

Whilst Strachan-Morris acknowledged that the Iraqi security forces are doing a good job of policing the nation at present, he concluded by stressing that there will undoubtedly be a security gap come US troop draw-down time, at which point attention to operational detail will be critical.

Strachan Morris believes it is likely that attacks will continue for several years, even if they decrease over time. To view Strachan Morris’ recent paper on Iraq: The 'Irreducible Minimum': Al-Qa'ida in Iraq and the Effectiveness of Leadership Decapitation, published in respected security journal RUSI this month, click below.