Posted by: Lister | February 24, 2007

At least he didn’t say ‘Mission Accomplished’

Revealed: The true extent of Britain’s failure in Basra

The partial British military withdrawal from southern Iraq announced by Tony Blair this week follows political and military failure, and is not because of any improvement in local security, say specialists on Iraq.

In a comment entitled “The British Defeat in Iraq” the pre-eminent American analyst on Iraq, Anthony Cordesman of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, in Washington, asserts that British forces lost control of the situation in and around Basra by the second half of 2005.

Late 2005? Isn’t that when 2 SAS soldiers, were broken out of prison? They had been arrested after, disguised as Arabs and carrying explosives, they opened fire on an Iraqi police-man.

[…] Mr Cordesman’s gloomy conclusions about British defeat are confirmed by a study called “The Calm before the Storm: The British Experience in Southern Iraq” by Michael Knights and Ed Williams, published by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Comparing the original British ambitions with present reality the paper concludes that “instead of a stable, united, law-abiding region with a representative government and police primacy, the deep south is unstable, factionalised, lawless, ruled as a kleptocracy and subject to militia primacy”.

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