Time: The British experience occupying the country in the 1920s offers unhappy instruction. That expedition's commander thought he went as a liberator and arrived with scant ground troops. The local leaders the British picked to rule were weak and derided as puppets. Iraqis rebelled with attacks that stunned the occupiers in their ferocity. Ultimately, the occupiers had to use brute military power to crush the insurgency, hoping that stories of men, women and children being killed indiscriminately wouldn't cause the public back home to lose its nerve. Quelling the dissent proved deadly for 2,200 British troops and some 10,000 Iraqis, and the country never did settle down by the time the British left in the 1940s.