Thursday, August 09, 2007

A Strategic Defeat as we prepare to desert the good people of Basra

It is with great regret that I see the situation unfolding in Basra.

The British Army is preparing to leave it to the various militias, who have effective control of the situation on the ground. They have infiltrated the security services at all levels and get training, weaponry and funds from Iran, with, or without the consent of the central government there.

I have been concerned that the basic things not only were not done to secure Iraq in the first place, but have continued not to be done.

So now we have a situation where we are going to leave Basra, with a mission far from accomplished, to descend into chaos. Many people there want us to saty, because they fear the militias. All those people who helped us and hoped we would succeed are now in the firing line.

The problem is that this mission has been under resourced from the start. What is more we have not done anything like enough to control the borders.

Guido has this, Dizzy has this, The Washington Post has this, whilst the Times has this.

For more on Iraq see here.


Peter from Putney said...

That being the case, we should just get the hell out. The longer Brown dithers, the more he is going to get caught up in this mess.
Possible scenario: Early September GB announces all British troops will be home for Chistmas, followed one week, by announcement of mid-October General Election
Result: Ensured victory for Labour

You heard it here first!

Benedict White said...

Peter from Putney, now is not the time to cut and run, now is the time to think about what we need to do to fix what we have broken.

Ted said...

PtP - Alternative possibility: Gordon announces troop departure, Mahdi Army makes big push for control and claims victory, British base at Basra airport under siege from would be refugees seeking to get out with the Brits, Iraqi army in Basra splits into factions, civil war and during emergency evacuation British plane shot down trying to leave, 200 troops killed....

Defeat and withdrawal aren't as easy and problem free as one of Gordon's planning grids makes out.