The Brits were mostly in Basra, near the Persian gulf. With 3 aircraft carrier groups in the gulf off Iran, there really is no reason for the Brits. They can pull out and it looks as if things are getting better. But are they?
This in the times today-
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/21/world ... ir.html?hp
The pace of the force reduction “depends, of course, in part on what we do, what the Iraqi authorities themselves do, but also on the attitude of those we are together fighting,” Mr. Blair said.
He dismissed suggestions by political opponents that British troops would be leaving behind what one opposition legislator, Charles Kennedy, called a quagmire. He also rejected accusations that the 2003 invasion itself had inspired the insurgency. “We did not cause the terrorism — the terrorists caused the terrorism,” Mr. Blair said.
Can you believe he said that? It was those terrorists that caused the terrorism- like they were just waitng as terrorists to cause the terrorism. As if they weren't motivated to become terrorists because they were terrorists. Outside of ignoring history for the last 1000years or so, this is the stupidest thing that a human being could ever utter. It is a conundrum about a conundrum that substantiates all the blame on the weakest link- the one who can't defend himself. So they resort to terrorism as a sign that they are not happy. It is analogious to saying that your head is being threatened because your toes are under attack. The toes are no threat to the head , but the pain they inflict is enough to convince the head that something drastic must be done.
Most of the attacks from the terrorists are minor wounds meant to draw attention to the problem. None are aimed at the head. But saying it is so makes it so.
Britain has insisted for several months that it will reduce its troop levels in Iraq as soon as Iraqi security forces can take over from them — a marked contrast to America’s decision to increase military personnel in and around Baghdad with a buildup of more than 20,000 troops.
Other allied nations are also planning withdrawals. The Danish prime minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, announced today that all of his country’s 460 troops in Iraq would be out by August. And a spokeswoman for the Lithuanian government said today that her country was “seriously considering” withdrawing its small contingent of 53 soldiers soon.
Britain has long been America’s most prominent ally in Iraq. At the time of the 2003 invasion, Britain committed some 40,000 air force, naval and army personnel to the fight but that was soon reduced to about 9,000 two years ago and 7,100 at present.
We'll see a buildup of troops along the border and the bought and sold locals in Basra will be only too happy to be in control, knowing that the Americans aren't far away. DON'T FORGET THAT THE SOUTH IS THE SHIITES AND THE SUNNIS ARE NEAR BAGHDAD!
British leaders, including Mr. Blair, have stressed that their mission in predominantly Shiite southern Iraq is less fraught than the insurgency and sectarian strife facing American and Iraqi forces in Baghdad.
The Ministry of Defense said Iraqi forces in southern Iraq took a “significant step” toward taking responsibility for Basra’s security on Tuesday when an Iraqi Army division in Basra was transferred to Iraqi command.
It is tied with his stepping down and so is a political statement to the next PM, much like Bush leaving Iraq for the next president. Things will get worse for the next leaders and they will look even worse whrn they have to act. What a world we live in. Lies lies lies and some more lies to make the lies look true.