Escalating conflict in the south may be related to a decline in British troop strength. Prime Minister Tony Blair, facing political pressure over an unpopular war, has steadily reduced the number of British soldiers in Iraq from 30,000 three years ago to roughly 10,000 today. The withdrawals have prompted U.S. Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the highest-ranking military commander in Iraq, to criticize his British colleagues. "It looks like you're in this for yourselves," he's been complaining to British officers recently. One of those Brits told NEWSWEEK he was similarly frustrated. Casey "is absolutely right," said the officer, who wanted to remain anonymous because he did not want his name attached to public disapproval of Blair.
"In this for yourselves"??
Casey "is absolutely right"?
Would an increase of British presence in Basra change anything at all at a time when British troops are already otherwise occupied?