British plan to get troops out of Iraq

Tony Blair and the Iraq war, cartoon by Martin Rowson

While the Bush administration in the USA now talks about continuing military occupation of oil rich Iraq for maybe fifty years, Bush’s ‘coalition of the willing’, four years after he made his ‘Mission Accomplished‘ speech, seems about to be reduced to … err … just Bush himself.

After Dutch, Italian, Japanese, etc. soldiers left Iraq, in Britain, Bush’s poodle, Tony Blair, is on his way out.

And the (Conservative) Sunday Telegraph writes:

MoD [British Ministry of Defence] to pull troops out of Iraq within a year

By Sean Rayment and Patrick Hennessy

Last Updated: 1:40am BST 03/06/2007

Military chiefs are drawing up plans to withdraw all British troops from Iraq within 12 months.

Iraq is seen as the most dangerous country on earth

A fresh timetable, which would see a unilateral withdrawal from the war-torn country by next May, will be presented to Gordon Brown within weeks.

It is understood that when Mr Brown becomes prime minister later this month, he will be told by defence chiefs that Britain should withdraw from Iraq in “quick order” and concentrate on fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Until now, the Government and the military have both insisted the withdrawal of troops from Iraq would be dictated by “events and not time”.

But the lack of progress in Iraq and the need to send more troops to Afghanistan, where success is regarded by some in the military as easier to measure, has forced the Government to “accelerate its withdrawal plan”.

The disclosure that Britain is planning a unilateral pull-out is likely to be met with dismay by US generals, who hoped Britain would fight alongside their troops for as long as America had a military presence in Iraq.

A senior military official told The Sunday Telegraph: “Britain is not physically capable of fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq at the same time.

The question is: which do we give up? The Government and the defence chiefs have decided that we should give up Iraq. …

Though it is clear to many, both in the US and the British armed forces, that Iraq is strategically far more important than Afghanistan, there is no popular support for the war in Iraq.’ …

Since the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003, the security situation has dramatically deteriorated and Iraq is now regarded as the most dangerous country on earth.

British troops in Basra are attacked every time they leave their bases and military compounds are bombarded day and night.

Troops rarely conduct routine patrols in the city, and those who do expect to be attacked within 20 minutes of venturing out.

In Baghdad, the situation is far worse. …

Since the war began, 149 British personnel have been killed in Iraq and hundreds more injured, while 3,475 US troops have died and more than 26,000 injured.

The official added: “At the most senior level in the MoD, the decision has been taken that Britain should be ‘investing’ in Afghanistan rather than Iraq, and that is the advice that will be given to Gordon Brown.”

The previous plan of handing over provinces and bases to Iraqi forces and maintaining a small unit at Basra airfield for several years has been shelved.

George W. Bush will not like this, and will pressure Gordon Brown to keep the British soldiers in Iraq.

This makes the June 24 peace demonstration in Manchester (see also here), for pressure the other way, even more important.

A video, which used to be on YouTube, but which is no longer there, was shot in Manchester, UK, 17th June 2006.

Its YouTube text said:

Supporters of Manchester Stop the War Coalition attended a planning meeting to prepare for the first national Stop the War demonstration outside London.

On the 23rd of September 2006, the Labour Party conference took place in Manchester.

The demonstration was set to coincide with it.

This clip shows activists attending the planning meeting talking about their hopes and expectations for this important event.

British mercenaries in Iraq and Africa: here.

Iraq war and oil: here.

1 thought on “British plan to get troops out of Iraq

  1. Pingback: Will British troops leave Iraq as Blair leaves? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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