Britain does the worrying as the battle for Basra unfolds

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by msr, Mar 30, 2008.

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  1. msr

    msr LE

    The British military always knew the test would come and it has arrived with the offensive that Iraqi forces have launched in Basra against the Shi’ite militias and criminal gangs who have run too much of the city for too long. British-trained Iraqi units have been in action, directed by Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister, in what is clearly a crucial encounter for the future of Iraq.

    The object of the British exercise since 2003 has been to train Iraqi forces and hand control to them as soon as possible. If the strategy is seen to work then whatever follows this battle of Basra might fairly be regarded as the responsibility of the Iraqis themselves and the British will have taken a big step towards final withdrawal.

  2. Good article in the Times by the RUSI chap.

    There is little comfort that can be taken from this scenario.

    The only two possibilities with a quick and definitive outcome are:

    Iraqi Army defeats the militias - unlikely.
    Swift collapse in Iraqi Army leading to the militas taking control - unlikely.

    Most likely is an ongoing series of small scale battles and bombings with indeterminate outcomes, leading to civilian casualties and a humanitarian disaster in terms of food, healthcare, sanitation etc. Tanks and aircraft are of little use in this environment, as anyone with an ounce of military sense realises. There will be the inevitable "collateral damage" that will fuel support for the militias.

    British forces are too few to make any strategic difference, the expansion of numbers is not on the cards and neither is complete withdrawl . British forces will probably be sent in on an ad-hoc basis to support specific Iraqi Army operations or in response to crises (under pressure from the US as well as the Iraqi regime), with casualty rates rising to the levels we have tragically seen in the past, to no ultimate gain.
  3. Some think the outcome is already decided it would seem:...

    a senior US military adviser accused Gordon Brown of failing "as an ally" in his desire for a hasty withdrawal of troops.

    Surely though, if Maliki's mob need US and/or UK support as much as he seems to be calling for it, it doesn't bode too well at present.

    It also seems weird that the coalition is actively supporting, not just Maliki, but a coalition of him and the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, both of whom are just as closely associated with Iran as the chubby one.
    Now, assuming for a second that the US's claims about Iran being the axis of all that's bad in the ME are in any way true, isn't that a bit like seeing a left hook coming and leaning into it as a means of defence? Or am I just being hopelessly naive?
  4. No I think it just prove what a bag of spanners the whole mess is...right from the start the aims have been badly conceived planned and executed by political and intellectual pygmies mean while as always it is Tommy this and this and Tommy that... :x

    Or am I just being a cynic?
  5. The yanks can say what they like the truth is Brown would win a lot of points pulling the troops out now .And will just as soon as it dosent look like a rout.
  6. This whole debacle only serves to demonstrate the down right stupidity and wickedness of the british government. Our country has to take a hefty share of responsibility for causing the nightmare that exists in Iraq in general and basrah in particular this weekend. We (the coalition) leapt aboard the war train on a lie, causing the deaths of tens of thousands of innocents, long term suffering for hundreds of thousands if not millions more, now because we don't know how to fix what we broke we want to scurry away licking our wounds and muttering dismissively about the warring factions, the souless and faceless 'ragheads' as we retreat.
    How decent a job done by our british troops with what numbers and equipment we had is not the point here at all. Casualty figures and the whole thing turning to rat shit, and other pressing commitments like Herrick is not the point outside of the armed forces.
    As a country we very wrongly went charging into Iraq like the reluctant older brother in an ill concieved teenage strop of the Americans agenda and design. What deals were done and promises made that could possibly be worth the lives of tens of thousands of innocent men women and children and the daily suffering of hundreds of thousands more.
  7. Sadr orders his folowers off the streets.Anyone see anything wrong with this pic of Mahdi Army militiamen ?

  8. Patrol position is a bit c@ck unless they are Basra's Air Defence.
  9. msr

    msr LE

    Looks like the mount of his scope is a bit dodgy...

  10. Correct I would think it would be hard to hit a target with the scope mounted like that. :D
  11. Aren't these chaps' marksmanship principles,

    1. point in the rough direction
    2. keep pulling trigger or hosepipe 'til empty
    3. don't forget to shout 'god is great' in front of camera crews

  12. Shows me up. I thought that was a maglite on the other fella's gat.
  13. msr

    msr LE

    And from an H&S perspective - no ear defenders, no safety staff, no apparent medical cover. No RASP, no EASP.

    Also failing to follow the correct marksmanship principles, failing to put the stock in place (Iraqi Ali) and having his eyes closed.

    You would have thought the Iraqi Army could roll these guys up in a matter of days...
  14. It has occurred to me that if the IA keep up this intensity are the enemy going to have a problem with resupply. How much ammo does the enemy have? We will supply the IA in place but can the enemy get more in?
  15. msr

    msr LE

    As much as they need: