The Ministry of Defence has drafted plans for a significant withdrawal of British troops from Iraq over the next 18 months and a big deployment to Afghanistan, the Financial Times has learnt.This sounds like a decent plan, and more bad news for the US - meaning, we won't be getting our troops home or out of Iraq, at least, any time soon.
In what would represent the biggest operational shake-up involving the armed forces since the Iraq war, the first stage of a run-down in military operations is likely to take place this autumn with a handover of security to Iraqis in at least two southern provinces.
Defence officials emphasised that all plans for Iraqi deployments were contingent on the ability of domestic security forces to assume peacekeeping duties from UK troops. Iraqi forces have so far proven unable to take over such roles in areas where the insurgency is most intense, and progress has disappointed coalition officials.
But senior UK officers believe the four south-east provinces under UK command, which are largely Shia and have not seen the same violence as more Sunni-dominated areas north of Baghdad, may be ready for a handover earlier than those under US command.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Brits plan to Leave Iraq, Why Can't We?
Hat tip to Aerojad for pointing out this article: