Analysis: The British Are Leaving
Council on Foreign Relations
February 23, 2007
Prepared by: Lionel Beehner
The official explanation for Britain's partial pullout is twofold: First, British forces are overstretched, given their troop commitments in southern Afghanistan as well as southern Iraq. Britain has been pressed to add an additional eight hundred forces (LAT) to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan. Second, British officials say they have largely pacified the region around Basra and that Iraqi forces are ready to take on the bulk of security duties, with the British playing only a supportive role. Vice President Dick Cheney agreed the situation near Basra had “dramatically improved” and hailed the British drawdown as a sign of success. Writes British journalist Bartle Breese Bull in the New York Times: “In the south, Iraq's elections and constitutional processes have been far more successful in terms of security and turnout than almost anywhere else in the country.”
But some analysts say characterizing the British drawdown as progress is wishful thinking at best.
Read the rest of this article on the cfr.org website.
Copyright 2007 by the Council on Foreign Relations. This material is republished on GlobalSecurity.org with specific permission from the cfr.org. Reprint and republication queries for this article should be directed to cfr.org.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|