Sunday, August 19, 2007

US commanders lament British failure in Basra

Interesting piece in the UK's Sunday Telegraph about how US commanders in Iraq are becoming increasingly alarmed by Britain's plans to pull out of southern Iraq, and the problems they're leaving behind. Michael O'Hanlon of the Brookings institution sums up the situation thus:

Basra is a mess, and the exit strategy attempted there has failed. It is, for the purposes of future Iraq policymaking, an example of what not to do.

Meanwhile, a senior advisor to President Bush is warning that the British withdrawal, when it comes, will be far from painless.

The British government under new Prime Minister Gordon Brown has made it clear that it wants no further part in Iraq, and the various Shia militias, including Iran's proxies, can smell blood. While the Americans are making progress by taking the fight to the enemy, the British, hobbled by orders from their political bosses, are hunkered down in their bases; they've surrendered the initiative, and are suffering more casualties as a result.

How long before Brown decides we need to worm our way out of Afghanistan as well?

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