I have had a look at the other IZ threads, they do not seem to address this issue, however, MODs please move/merge as you see fit.

3 Days into the IA battle for Basrah, I’m still stumped on w.t.f. we are doing with overwatch....no disrespect to the guys at the APOD but if we aren't engaged with the IA/local government whey are we still there?

IMHO we either engage with the IA in a meaningful way, similar to the US approach with mixed units/real mentoring and training, or we accept the military have a really limited role, pull out leaving a Sy contingent and civilian advisors to support the IA Gov ministries.....

As I see it we are stretched, and it would be better to commit resources/and political will to one campaign rather than split effort and risk failure in both theatres....discuss….
This piece might put things in perspective:

Forget Sarkozy and the fluff attendant on his state visit to the UK. Far greater events are afoot, which will shape Britain’s image as a military power or cement the view that it is a busted flush with no worthwhile global influence.

We write, of course, of the developing situation in Basra. Although consigned to the inside pages of the major newspapers, the outcome of the current violence – as we indicated earlier - will have a profound effect on Britain's standing.

As it stands, the situation does not look happy. The violence is spreading, the agencies are carrying multiple pictures of burnt-put Iraqi security force vehicles, gunmen in Baghdad seized a high-profile government spokesman from his home in a Shiite neighborhood, and Muqtada al-Sadr is not giving any ground.

Maliki, on the other hand, has pledged "no retreat", as tens of thousands of protesters gathered to demand his resignation and saboteurs hit the oil pipelines in Basra, striking at the heart of the Iraqi economy.

All reports indicate that the militias are still controlling Basra's streets, food and water is running out and there is a 24-hour curfew on vehicle movements, set to last until Sunday morning.

Unless in the next few days Maliki can demonstrate signs that his security forces are getting a grip of the city, either he is going to have to ask for help, or the British are going to have to offer it – perhaps covertly. But British involvement will be hard to disguise, especially if the body-bags start coming in, yet the humiliation of not being able to offer help if it is requested will be devastating.

Strangely, the British media have not made as much of this as perhaps they might, but Brown's reputation is as every bit on the line as is Maliki's. Brown's only hope is that Maliki does prevail but, in the more likely event that he does not, the world is going to be looking to Britain for its response.

Perhaps because the Conservatives have focused their attention on an inquiry into Iraq, rather than the current situation, the media have lacked a domestic political focus. But, even if the Tories remain silent, it is hard to believe the Americans will hold their tongues, which will give the media plenty to report.

Then, "better relations" with Sarkozy will be seen to be exactly what they are – fluff. In the balance is the far more important "special relationship" and the world-wide reputation of our military – and our government.

A "lame-duck" Britain - whose troops stay hunkered down in their bunkers at Basra Airbase, while Iraq security forces loose their grip and US forces move in to restore order – is the nightmare scenario that no amount of kissing and cuddling with Sarkozy and his spouse can overcome.

Brown, even now, may be regretting that he has spent so much time on grandstanding for the cameras and less time than he should working out his response to a collapse of operations in Basra. This has the makings of a "Singapore" and a "Suez" rolled into one.

After Basra, people will say, things were never the same.
From the always interesting EU Referendum
"This has the makings of a "Singapore" and a "Suez" rolled into one."

Singers and Suez, two words that always get me going.
I have said before that in my opinion Arabs make poor soldiers in a 'Conventional' Army.
However they are very good when operation as a 'Guerrilla' type force.
There are too few Brit troops in the area to get involved in a serious fight, Blur, Brown wanted an out , reduced forces to what is in reality 'Non Combat Levels' but looks good in Political terms and now once again Tom will have to manage the Sh1t.

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