Posted by: Lister | July 20, 2007

British Casualties in Iraq

The British have pulled out of most of southern Iraq, handing it back to the Iraqis. (To the government, in theory.) They remain in Basra — at the airport and Saddam’s former palace within the city. That second base may be abandoned — err, handed back soon. The Brits have to stay in the other because America’s supply line can’t be left in the hands of the Iraqis.

3 REF men died after a mortar attack on the base recently. And British troops serving in Iraq are being killed at a proportionally greater rate than their American allies for the first time since the start of the war.

Britain has 5,500 troops serving in Iraq, and suffered 23 fatalities between February 5 and June 24. The US has 165,000, and lost 463 over the same period.

One of the Army’s most senior commanders told The Sunday Telegraph that the war in Iraq was now regarded by political and military chiefs within the Ministry of Defence as “a lost cause”.

So why continue paying the costs of the war? Because those paying and those deciding are not the same people. There is nothing left to be gained by staying. Daddy Bush had it right. Attacking Iraq was always going to strengthen Iran. That’s why Saddam was left in place for a decade of vicious sanctions.

The neo-cons have acheived nothing but chaos. That may have been their goal. But they haven’t spread that chaos to neighbouring countries, yet. In fact… There is some gossip that Saudi and Iran are beginning to talk in more friendly terms.

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