The parallels to the war with Iraq run deep; while the film doesn't explicitly say where in the middle east a war is planned to take place, it's clear that the film is trying to make the point that a war with Iran could be built on the same kind of shaky intelligence, orders from on high, and bull-headed bureaucracy that landed the two powers in the Iraq quagmire.
The film focuses mainly on the travails of an ineffectual British cabinet member, his overambitious aide, and a party whip tasked with keeping the two in line. Out of their element, the two find themselves as focal points in a cabal with a bevy of American counterparts, trying to start a war.
The film is, like a lot of great comedy, simultaneously hilarious and disheartening. The emotional dissonance gives the film an emotional resonance that would be lacking in a shallower plot. The excellent writing paired with powerful performances and deft direction make the film a must-see.
In the Loop illustrates the back-room shenanigans between American and British officials in the lead up to a war in the middle east. It's a world filled with bravado, testosterone and dockyard-style intimidation.