MT expressed deep concern as to how much longer the coalition could be held together, urging that it had to act by the middle of February.
“The Iraqis are clearly trying to avoid a provocation. … My own view is increasingly that once we have the necessary forces in place, we should go sooner rather than later. Otherwise we risk losing the support of Arab governments who will not understand delay and come to question our resolve. We shall also be confronted with further peace proposals, further incidents in the occupied territories and growing strain on the coalition against Iraq. Saddam Hussein has got to lose and be seen to lose.”