THE United Nations mandate under which British troops serve in Iraq will end in eight weeks.
Should Britain and other members of the multinational force led by the US use the occasion to leave?
On both sides of the Atlantic the cut-and-run chorus is urging quick withdrawal.
This may resonate with some because of the picture painted of Iraq by the media: a country in chaos, rocked by daily gruesome killings.
Iraq, we are told, is a failure. Is it? The truth is that the coalition has achieved all its objectives. It has toppled Saddam's regime, broken his machinery of repression and war and brought him to justice.
It has restored power to the people and helped them write their constitution, hold free elections and choose their government for the first time. One is either with the Iraqi people or with their enemies.
Iraq is a battlefield between freedom and the jihadists. The jihadists know they can't win.
But they hope to terrorise Western opinion and force the Coalition to dump Iraq.
The Coalition cannot abandon its moral contract with the Iraqis to help them until their democracy is secure.
Iraq has been an historic victory for freedom. We should not allow faint-heartedness or petty politics to transform it into defeat.