A British soldier from 5 Rifles, an infantry battalion currently on tour in Iraq, chats to local children as he takes part in a patrol from FOB Oxford (a forward operating base) which is used for counter insurgency patrols on Leaf Island, an area south of Basra, on February 3 2009 in Iraq. British Forces are looking to leave Iraq later this year and the recent peaceful elections has been seen by many as an indicator of just how secure and stable the country has become. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

--Michael Crowley