Tuesday, October 9, 2007

A few questions

Great Britain plans to reduce its force in Iraq by half and to limit itself to support for Iraqi troops in the country's south, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said today, according to the Washington Post. By turning more authority over the Iraqi Army, Britain could cut its forces to 2,500 by spring, a far cry from the 46,000 British troops in Iraq as late as 2003. But what sounds like good news for the Brits raises serious questions for us. How have the British been able to turn their security duties over to the same Iraqi forces that the United States says are not adequately trained? It's true that the south of Iraq, which includes the major oil exporting city of Basra, has been quieter than Baghdad and the rest of Iraq. But is that because of the presence of the Brits? What are they doing that the United States has been unable to do? Or are they being unrealistic? Maybe insurgent forces are just waiting for the Brits to withdraw before they really start fighting and trying to take control of Basra. It sure would be nice if we could trust our own government to tell us the truth about what's going on.

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