Sunday, September 18, 2005

Uh, never mind . . .

Secret plans by the Government to reduce troop numbers in Iraq have been shelved - and there is now no office date for the withdrawal of British soldiers, The Sunday Telegraph has learnt.

[. . .]

But the confirmation of a new large-scale troop redeployment, and the news that there is no end-date for British withdrawal, have sparked fears among serving soldiers and senior military figures that Iraq may be developing into Britain's own "Vietnam".

Last night, senior officers accused the Government of having a "head-in-the-sand mentality" over Britain's defence requirements and its involvement in Iraq, where more than 200 civilians were killed in terrorists attack last week alone. They said the Army - which is also sending 3,000 extra troops to Afghanistan next April - was under-manned, "strapped for cash" and being "dangerously overstretched".

[. . .]

One serving brigadier, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the danger of Britain becoming bogged down in its own "Vietnam war" was getting stronger every day. "The return of the 7th Armoured Brigade to Iraq is a significant benchmark," he said.

[. . .]

So, Iraq isn't going swimmingly in the British sectors either, as we've been led to believe. And now with the redeployment of their strongest amored unit, the Brits are in it as deeply as we are. I'm surprised Tony's been able to hold onto power for so long, but it surprised the shit out of me when we reelected the Chimp too. The whole article is at Melanie's.

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