Emma Sky is the modern-day Gertrude Bell - a strong-minded woman having a unique impact on Iraq and influencing decisions taken by the United States since the invasion. Emma Sky, who lives in Battersea, South London, when she is not roaming around a war zone in her role as political adviser, has the ear of General Ray Odierno, commander of US forces in Iraq, making her potentially the most influential Briton in the country.
Her efforts, from the early days of the conflict until now, earned the Oxford graduate, who speaks Arabic and Hebrew, an OBE last year.
“It is a fascinating society,” she said of Iraq. “They have got things here that we have totally lost in the West: the appreciation of each other, whether it is the family, the clan or the tribe; values that aren't capitalist.”