Brits Out Of Iraq By The Summer

#1
From sky News
British troops will be out of Iraq by the middle of next year, Sky News has learned.
Final negotiations are under way with the Iraqi government, and Prime Minister Gordon Brown is expected to make an announcement by Christmas.

Iraq is pressing for the withdrawal of all foreign troops and is in talks with the Americans about their role once the United Nations mandate expires at the end of this year.

British forces have been based in the south of the country since the invasion in 2003.

The situation has changed dramatically in Basra since the Iraqi government took on the local militias earlier this year. As a result, the British presence in Basra could be all but over by next summer
http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/UK..._British_Troops_Could_Be_Out_Of_Iraq_By_April
 
#3
I thought this was an old post from this time last year! :wink:
 
#4
There is a significant change out here at the moment and all indications within the US mil circles are that a phased drawdown is imminent. If they are thinking that I suspect the Brits will be out soon.

There is also scarcety of contract renewals at the moment and those offered are reduced from previous positions. New ones being offered are aimed at the reconstruction programmes and oil and gas exploitation opposed to supporting military.

Driving round the streets of Baghdad now compared to this time 6 months ago reminds me of the difference noticed in Pristina from the month after the end of the Nato conflict and 3 months later. The streets are busy, the shops are full of white goods and there is an air of confidence amongst the locals.

It will be interesting to see how the US/Iraq SOFA turns out, if at all. UN could be asked to renew the mandate in light of the local elections across the pond. Interesting times, if your here anyway.
 
#5
Last I heard was that Brit withdrawal depends entirely on what President Obama decides to do. As he hasn't taken up Office yet, I rather doubt the reports today. If anything Obama will have to go for a less optimistic timetable.

All those short memories of the last time Brown tried to go it alone. Wasn't it about a year ago?
 
#6
nigegilb said:
Last I heard was that Brit withdrawal depends entirely on what President Obama decides to do. As he hasn't taken up Office yet, I rather doubt the reports today. If anything Obama will have to go for a less optimistic timetable.

All those short memories of the last time Brown tried to go it alone. Wasn't it about a year ago?
Eh?

http://www.barackobama.com/issues/iraq/
 
#8
While the UK government may look to Washington for their instructions the clincher may well be the Iraqis - as mentioned below the SOFA has still not been agreed. From what I see the driver is internal Iraqi politics, but I wouldn't claim to understand things enough to be able to call the result. This should be a cause for celebration, it means the Iraqis are running Iraq.

Of course the US is trying to stop this, for any Iraqi govt will align far, far closer with Iran than they are happy with. This should not be a surprise - the US has wrecked Iraq for no apparent reason, created the conditions that let AQI flourish for a while, brassed up anyone and everyone in sight in the name of "force protection", allowed a bunch of mercenaries to do the same without fear of prosecution and so on. The Iraqis might not like the Iranians, but they dislike them less than the US at this point. Plus, without US forces they couldn't fight them off anyway.

Best case is some sort of fudge that allows the US to stay and draw down while the Iraqis and the Iranians make nice - worst case is that the Iraqis tell all foreign soldiers to get out. Either way, the US have spent their blood and treasure to give themselves a far worse position in the area than they had pre 9/11. Not that they'll admit that for a good decade or two, all we'll hear will be whining about "betrayal" by all other participants. Think Vietnam and their refusal to accept they lost because they backed the wrong side in a civil war.

Best COA for us then is to leg it for the exits. Oh, and prosecute Blair and Co for getting us into such a pointless illegal war in the first place.
 
#9
Obama is all for pulling out, so the US and us will be gone by July next year.

Lok out Terry, theres lots of troops coming your way....
 
#11
Most of the considered opinion in the States goes along the line that Obama no longer talks about a 16 month withdrawal and that he will be governed by his advisers (Generals) on the ground. The general conclusion is that the fighting elements will be withdrawn but the tail will take a lot longer than 16 months.

I do not expect the Brits to be out by April, the line briefed to the press as recently as 3 weeks ago was not suggesting this either.

Who knows? I am not close enough to the action to really know, but I would agree, at least as far as the Brits are concerned, pointless being there any longer.
 
#12
Its being "rumoured" by the International Development Secretary who is visiting Basra today. I would prefer that these "rumours" emanated from Parliament, and from the Defence Secretary. This is not news and will probably not happen
 
#13
We'll see how long it lasts when the awakening movement gets sick and tired of being under represented in the government
 
#14
This is what Brown wants and looks like he will get it. No way are we getting a SOFA, the USA MIGHT! get one but Maliki has a complete mistrust of the British stemming from his Grandfather and wants us gone ASAP.

No SOFA then we have to go, and about time to I was on Telic 11 and apart from CofTK it was mundane and we were target practise.

I would say we will be all out by Aug and a General Election called for Sept, going to William Hill to see the odds and place a bet this weekend.

As I say "opinions are like A**holes everybody has one!!"
 
#15
Ord_Sgt said:
Obama is all for pulling out, so the US and us will be gone by July next year.

Lok out Terry, theres lots of troops coming your way....
Until day 1: Mr president, I represent PMCs in Iraq...do you really want 25,000 unemployed Republican rednecks landing in your back garden. Thought not...we're staying boys!
 
#16
Sky's reporting is a complete non-story - the Prime Minister said back in July that "a fundamental change of mission" was expected in the first half of 2009, conditions permitting etc, etc. Which is of course code for draw down to a large training team. Even the April bit of Sky's report seems overblown - the reporter actually said "the drawdown could be as early as April" rather than it definitely will be...

As One of the Strange says, the real issue will be the SOFA and what the Iraqis actually want. And again, as he says, that it actually good news.
 
#17
If we do pull out completely though, what are we going to do the freed up troops? Are we going to send them to Afghanistan to boost our campaign there? Or maybe the government will be smart and keep the freed up troops in reserve in case something else, like Congo, flares up (reserve, the government doesn't know the meaning of the word). Or god forbid, the government decides that it needs to save money and decides that since they aren't doing anything, we don't need them anymore so we get a cut in army size? (I didn't even want to mention the last because the government might think it a good idea)
 
#19
OllieReeder said:
Even the April bit of Sky's report seems overblown - the reporter actually said "the drawdown could be as early as April" rather than it definitely will be...
Mmm, and I wonder when the RIP next year is going to be?

msr
 
#20
On Question Time Jack Straw hinted that HM forces will be out of Iraq well before the yanks. I wouldn't be surprised if Labour ends our presence in Iraq by next summer.
 

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