U.s. Fears Uk Wants Iraq Pull-out


Locutus
#1
Not Curious George anymore.

They should also fear Canada pulling out of Afghanistan.




From The Sunday Times
July 29, 2007
US fears that Brown wants Iraq pull-out


Sarah Baxter in Washington and David Cracknell



A SENIOR Downing Street aide has sounded out Washington on the possibility of an early British military withdrawal from Iraq.
Simon McDonald, the prime minister’s chief foreign policy adviser, left the impression that he was “doing the groundwork” for Gordon Brown, according to one of those he consulted.
Brown, who arrives at Camp David in Maryland today to meet President George W Bush, said yesterday that “the relationship with the United States is our single most important bilateral relationship”.
Downing Street remains emphatic that he will not unveil a plan to withdraw British troops, who are due to remain in southern Iraq until the Iraqi army is deemed capable of maintaining security. A spokesman said there had been no change in the government's position.




Behind the scenes, however, American officials are picking up what they believe are signals that a change of British policy on Iraq is imminent.
McDonald, a senior diplomat who formerly ran the Iraq desk at the Foreign Office, was in Washington this month to prepare for the summit. He asked a select group of US foreign policy experts what they believed the effect would be of a British pull-out from Iraq.
“The general feeling was that he was doing the groundwork for a Brown conversation,” said a source. Most of the experts felt it was a question of when, not if, Britain would leave.
“The view is Britain feels it can’t fight two wars, and Afghanistan is more worth fighting for,” added the source. Yesterday a British soldier was killed during a rocket attack in Afghanistan, bringing to 67 the number of British fatalities there.
McDonald’s questions, coming in the wake of remarks by Douglas Alexander, the international development secretary, about the use of American power, and the appointment of Lord Malloch-Brown, a critic of US policy, as a Foreign Office minister, were seen by some in Washington as another signal that Brown is distancing himself from Iraq.
Malloch-Brown, in particular, arouses strong emotions. Critics within the Bush administration have long viewed the former UN deputy secretary-general with suspicion and were annoyed when he said last month Britain and America would no longer be “joined at the hip”.
A former UN official, Artjon Shkurtaj, has now accused him of turning a blind eye to corruption and mismanagement at the United Nations programme he ran for six years.
Shkurtaj lost his job after claiming that rules designed to prevent corruption were being breached in the North Korean offices of the UN Development Programme. Some UN insiders have, however, accused Shkurtaj of being an American “stooge”, manipulated by Washington to embarrass Malloch-Brown.
Henry Kissinger, the former US secretary of state, has warned British ministers to beware of distancing themselves from America.
“Ostentatious dissociation from the US just sets up a quarrel,” he said in an interview with The Sunday Times.



He added that Brown had qualities that could be “very helpful” to the president in resolving the Iraq problem. “Gordon Brown is an extremely thoughtful person with a more intellectual approach than Tony Blair,” said Kissinger. “President Bush has not invited him to Camp David to lecture him on how Britain can fit in with America’s wishes. He will listen to him with an open mind.”
Brown visited Iraq last month to discuss the situation there with Lieutenant-General Graeme Lamb, the coalition deputy commander and overall UK commander, and Major-General Jonathan Shaw, the commander in the south.
Army chiefs make no secret of their desire to withdraw. British troops are under virtual siege in Basra with four servicemen killed in the past two weeks by mortar or rocket attacks on their two bases. Most are in tents with no overhead protection.
Shaw has drawn up a proposal - backed by Lamb - under which the bulk of the British troops could be withdrawn by the end of the year or early next year, leaving only small training teams. They are due to withdraw to a single base at Basra airport by the end of this month.
Bob Ainsworth, the armed forces minister, told MPs last week that the local Iraqi military commander believed his force was “approaching the point” where it could take over responsibility.
“There is hope among our people out there at every level that we are approaching the situation where that can be done. But we have got to talk to our allies and to the Iraqi government about that. That cannot be a unilateral decision on our part,” he said.
In contrast with the famous “Colgate summit” - at which Bush told the press he and Blair shared the same brand of toothpaste - no walkabouts or matey photo-opportunities are expected when the president meets the new prime minister.
“President Bush and prime minister Brown don’t need a photo-opportunity of the two of them heading off into the sunset holding hands to prove that the US-UK relationship is as strong as ever,” a British official said.
Brown will have a one-to-one dinner with Bush tonight and they will meet again without aides for breakfast tomorrow.
A Whitehall source said: “It will be more businesslike now, with less emphasis on the meeting of personal visions you had with Bush and Blair.”
 
Zzarchov
#2
to the OPoster.

If we leave Afghanistan lets just dispense with the formalities. Send the boys home, expell them form the military and lets bring in some guys with Jackboots to strip away our freedom to replace them.

If you think rule of law, basic democratic principles and basic human rights have no place in a society because less than 1% of the population are willing to fight you to deny them, then watch out, cause if we opened up the prisons and shut down our own internal security Im sure you'd find the Aryan Nation would have a similar view of Canada.

so by all means, lets cave in to a violent minority of organized criminals when someone asks for our help (Remember, the governing body of the majority of Afghanistan asked our help), then after we turn our backs on the outside world, we can fully begin to turn our backs on our own population, till we devolve into our own band of warlords.

I mean, we haven't even been in Afghanistan for that long, you do know it takes ALONG TIME to build a nation? Sure its easy to blow up, but rebuilding is hard. Why is everyone so much more willing to kill than to save lives?
 
Blackleaf
#3
It may be right to pull troops out of Iraq, but it's not right to pull them out of Afghanistan. Since it's NATO who's in Afghanistan all NATO member states have an obligation to be there. And with the Anglo-Saxon countries - Britain, the US and Canada - doing all the main combatting against the Taliban it's time countries such as France, Italy and Germany pulled their fingers out and send more troops there. They also should scrap their rules saying that they mustn't actually figh the Taliban. They should actually engage in combat with them, as the British, Americans, Canadians and even Estonians are doing.

Also, I think that, under Gordon Brown, Britain isn't going to be as close to the United States as Blair was.
 
missile
Conservative
#4
In total agreement here with you on this: we have to stay in there and honour our NATO commitments.
 
gopher
No Party Affiliation
#5
The Coalition of the Dwindling is getting smaller and smaller ...
 
mabudon
#6
HAHAHA good one Gopher

The headline should read "U.S. war profiteers worried that phoney war may not be Infinite in Duration"

I am frankly surprised at how tossing valuable stuff into an ever expanding hole can be rationalized so easily (if falsely)

Seriously, Iraq, Afghanistan, they're not going to get any better until local powers are left to deal with whatever the problem is, these silly proxy "wars" are pointless and a giant waste

OH and PLEASE use purple (for sarcasm) when you reference the "elected government of he majority of Afghans" or whatever- the provenance of Karzai ALONE puts the lie to that little story, there's no WAY that "government" is legitimate in any way, shape or form to the actual folks living in the region- only people like Harper and Bush seem to think that the crap we've installed is somehow an expression of anything beyond obvious colonialism of some kind
 
normbc9
Conservative
#7
I think the British have made a big contribution and trheir service should be saluted bu the best move now is to get out altogether. They have other long range committments in support of both NATO and the UN. Continued presence only stirs up resentment among the local residents and what took centuries to develop can't be undone in ten or even fifty years. Leaving now is a smart move. If the situation in the noorthern Pakistani tribal areas isn't corrected soon the dsituation in Afghanistan will leave all nations no choice but to exit exactly as the Russians did years ago.
 
gopher
No Party Affiliation
#8
The headline should read "U.S. war profiteers worried that phoney war may not be Infinite in Duration"


Yup. All it takes is for a 100 % excess profits tax on all war profiteering and we will see an immediate end to Bush's war of imperialistic terrorism.
 

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