Move to Basra Airport

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by nigegilb, Jul 7, 2007.

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  1. Can anyone explain the strategic thinking behind the move to Basra airport and subsequent drawdown to 1500 men?

    On the day in which we learn of more terrible news, why don't we just announce the pull out of troops in Iraq? What will a toe-hold in Southern Iraq achieve? What reinforcements will 1500 men be able to provide for the Iraqi Govt?

    How many soldiers will be available for reinforcement from the UK, when it has already been announced that troops will simply be switched into Afghanistan? Will Basra simply become a fixed base target for the militias?

    In short, is this all about politics and nothing more?

    Thoughts with the families on another terrible day in Iraq.
  2. I hate too say yes but truely i dont belive the government has a clue or even had a clue period they have at every turn disregarded public opinion, failed too grasp the reality of the mission and its consequences and taken direction on our foreign policy from the shaved chimp and his clueless policy advisor's

    as are mine I become angrier and angrier by the day at the thoughts of lives lost in vain NOT in the Defense of the Realm
  3. A UK pullout would expose the MSR to interdiction and could cause US forces and other coalition members to be cut off from the supply base in Kuwait. It is just a question of time before a US brigade is posted to the area.
  4. So all we will be doing then is keeping the MSR open for coalition forces and not taking part in the reconstruction?
  5. It seems that 80% of our effort over there is protecting ourselves anyway.
  6. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    The PRT is no longer in Iraq (and hasn't been for a while, AFAIK), nor are DfID, and we have not been doing any reconstruction for a long time. Training the Iraqi Army, yes, training the Iraqi Police, a bit, but reconstruction? Not at all.

    Oh, and to the question of 'are we there for political reasons' - well of course we are, always have ben, in exactly the same way as Soldiers are sent everywhere - it's ALWAYS political, what else can it be?
  7. Dunno. Likely a way to keep that nasty Mr Cheney from gutting poor Broon like a kipper. Basra is of course very strategic, that oil port is even more important to Iraq than New Orleans is to the USA.

    Occurred to me it could be a longterm airhead model. Holding the airport with as light a garrison as can viably defend itself. A trigger force to stop the Pasdaran getting overt. One that could be quickly reinforced if needs be. Would have the advantage that it can be airlifted out if things get all Dien Bien Phu. Stinks. One way to risk losing a brigade.

    I'd not be surprised if the Cousins move South. They've little future in Al Anbar. The days of the Presence Mission are numbered. Best way to protect an LOS is to shorten it and reduce the logistical tail.
  8. When I was there 2 years ago I had quite an insight into how the money was spent on reconstruction, Judicial, local government, schools ,water electricity etc. Trust me ,there was a lot of money being thrown around!
    It worried me at the time as to how much was being spent and how much more was going to be spent.
    I suppose the government are thinking like a gambler down on his luck..."Do we keep on throwing more lives away and more money into the pot hoping to recoup the losses or do we just walk away".
    Well I have never seen a gambler just walk away! Its seldom that a gambler recoups his losses and a life spent is a life spent.
    Sorry to be maudlin, just one of those days.
  9. 1. Our army is configured to be able to meet certain force deployment criteria. For several years now, we have had deployed far greater than those criteria specify. The Army, in getting close to breaking point. We simply don't have enough troops to meet the political demands.

    2. It has been decided that, of the two major enduring missions we are currently involved in, Afghanistan is more politically and militarily 'doable' than Iraq.

    3. Of all the places available to locate a QRF BG, Basrah Airport was considered the best option. Shaibah was also in the running, but it was determined that closeness to Basrah (civil unrest) was more important than closeness to US MSR.

    And leave Washington and Sydney all alone?

    A choice of targets to the militias. :x

    Hang on! I see you've answered all your own questions already!!!!
  10. Maybe not a good time to awaken the sleeping Persian.

    You have one spare?
  11. Old Snowy, at least you didn't say, we will be there for as long as the Iraqis want us there. I asked what was the strategic reason. 1500 troops ain't a lot. Reinforcements? We gonna have hoards of British troops on standby here in the UK? I don't think so. This smacks of politics. If the US are worried about their MSR, then let them take care of things for themselves, or are they worried about not having a coalition any more? We should use our troops, very limited resource, where they can be most effective. And that is not in Iraq. I reckon the draw down to 1500 will create major headaches, I would far rather see Brown bite the bullet and do the politically difficult thing, BRING THE BOYS HOME.
  12. Nail on the head I think Nige
  13. The (US) need for somebody to share the 'butchers' bill', perhaps?

    Sorry I misunderstood your initial post. I thought you were after the strategic thinking behind withdrawal of 6,000 odd troops rather than the leaving behind of 1,500. In answer to that, I think you also have to consider one further point. Labour collectively got us involved in Iraq, not just Dear Tone. There is clearly some residual guilt that we've screwed up the place and it would be wrong to 'cut&run' with it in such a state.
  14. I also wonder about the propaganda victory handed to the Iranians if they jointly took over Basra Airport with their Shia friends in Iraq.

    Too much to stomach?
  15. Some people won't like this, but screw 'em...

    I find it hard to believe the defeatism shown by some people, military and civilian, when it comes to Iraq. It took us thirty years to help bring Northern Ireland back to some sembelance of normality and here we ae, only 4 years down the line in Iraq, talking about withdrawing thousands of troops from Basra when the job has patently not been done.

    No matter what excuses the Government pulls out of it's arrse, a troop reduction now and early withdrawal later will be seen everywhere as a victory for the insurgents and a humiliation for Britain. And, perhaps even worse, popular history in the USA will say that we abandoned them in Iraq. And they would be right.

    Quite frankly, if the Government hasn't got the balls to give the Armed Forces a real objective in Iraq and, more to the point, if we as British soldiers can't even shoulder the current casualty rate without acting like appeasers, all hope is lost.

    So bring us back when the job is done, not before.