British military commanders say get troops out of Iraq now

This video is from Britain. ‘On 24th February 2007 60,000 people marched through the streets of London in protest at the UK Governments policies on Iraq, Iran and nuclear weapons.’

From British daily The Independent:

Military commanders tell Brown to withdraw from Iraq without delay

By Raymond Whitaker and Robert Fox

Published: 19 August 2007

Senior military commanders have told the Government that Britain can achieve “nothing more” in south-east Iraq, and that the 5,500 British troops still deployed there should move towards withdrawal without further delay.

Last month Gordon Brown said after meeting George Bush at Camp David that the decision to hand over security in Basra province – the last of the four held by the British – “will be made on the military advice of our commanders on the ground”. He added: “Whatever happens, we will make a full statement to Parliament when it returns [in October].”

Two generals told The Independent on Sunday last week that the military advice given to the Prime Minister was, “We’ve done what we can in the south [of Iraq]“. Commanders want to hand over Basra Palace – where 500 British troops are subjected to up to 60 rocket and mortar strikes a day, and resupply convoys have been described as “nightly suicide missions” – by the end of August. The withdrawal of 500 soldiers has already been announced by the Government. The Army is drawing up plans to “reposture” the 5,000 that will be left at Basra airport, and aims to bring the bulk of them home in the next few months.

Before the invasion in 2003, officers were told that the Army’s war aims were to bring stability and democracy to Iraq and to the Middle East as a whole. Those ambitions have been drastically revised, the IoS understands. The priorities now are an orderly withdrawal, with the reputation and capability of the Army “reasonably intact”, and for Britain to remain a “credible ally”. The final phrase appears to refer to tensions with the US, which has more troops in Iraq than at any other time, including the invasion, as it seeks to impose order in Baghdad and neighbouring provinces.

Bush speech on Iraq and Iran: here.

Half of British soldiers in Afghanistan injured

This video is from the USA: ‘More than 73,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have been diagnosed with possible mental health conditions. Sharyn Alfonsi tells the story of one Marine who didn’t get the help he needed.’

From British weekly The Observer:

Shock toll of British injured in Afghan war

· Half of frontline troops ‘patched-up’
· Senior officers fear exodus

Mark Townsend, defence correspondent

Sunday August 19, 2007

The human cost of the war in Afghanistan to British soldiers can be revealed today as figures show that almost half of frontline troops have required significant medical treatment during this summer’s fighting.

In a graphic illustration of the intensity of the conflict in Helmand province, more than 700 battlefield soldiers have needed treatment since April – nearly half of the 1,500 on the front line. The figures, obtained from senior military sources, have never been released by the government, which has faced criticism that it has covered up the true extent of injuries sustained during the conflict.

The New York Times and the war in Afghanistan: here.