Monday, November 14, 2005

Britain may draw down?

Yesterday, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said it may be possible to remove British troops from Southern Iraq sometime in 2006. Tony Blair is similarly optimistic. The Guardian:

The comments were his most optimistic assessment yet of the ability of Iraqi forces to take responsibility for security in place of international units, but Mr Blair today said that was possible.

"I think it's entirely reasonable to talk about the possibility of withdrawal of troops next year but it's got to be always conditioned by the fact that we withdraw when the job is done," he said in Downing Street.

Interestingly, sources on background are not as optimistic as the prime minister:

Privately, however, British and American commanders in Iraq are concerned about the lack of progress in building up a national Iraqi security and police force, a problem compounded by the infiltration of the Iraqi police by Shia militia in British-controlled southern Iraq.

I am reminded of a published report in July, 2005. The Washington Post broke the following:

The paper, which is marked "Secret -- UK Eyes Only," said "emerging U.S. plans assume that 14 out of 18 provinces could be handed over to Iraqi control by early 2006," allowing a reduction in overall U.S.-led forces in Iraq to 66,000 troops. The troop level is now at about 160,000, including 138,000 American troops, according to a military spokesman in Baghdad.

It appears that some of these plans remain on the table.


Blogger Bassizzzt said...

This proves my points that I gained from twenty years of military experience.

That point being there is the military and then there is the federal government.

While the government must kow-tow to the public and the media amidst pressures to get out of Iraq sooner than anticipated, the military sees the reality and feels that now is not the time to even think about withdrawing from Iraq.

In other words (and trust me on this) the military and the federal government don't do enough communicating together.

1:55 PM  
Blogger copy editor said...

Haha. Yeah, I guess that is standard operating procedures. From what I have read, Blair is no detail freak. He may have an optimistic view from the general trends that would still cause caution is really analyzed.

3:16 PM  
Blogger A Connecticut Yankee in King Beltran's Court said...

Am I the only person who missed the entry in the Bible where Jesus talks about how we should torture the shit out of people?

4:48 PM  

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