Secret deal kept British Army out of battle for Basra

#1
A secret deal between Britain and the notorious al-Mahdi militia prevented British Forces from coming to the aid of their US and Iraqi allies for nearly a week during the battle for Basra this year, The Times has learnt.

Four thousand British troops – including elements of the SAS and an entire mechanised brigade – watched from the sidelines for six days because of an “accommodation” with the Iranian-backed group, according to American and Iraqi officers who took part in the assault.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/iraq/article4461023.ece

msr
 
#2
Nothing to do with Brig Ed Butler's untimely retirement, I don't suppose!?? Just a thought......
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#4
Glad the Americans had the men, kit and funding for the job, as well as the Iraqi army.

Thanks DES, good work, thanks Gordon Brown and thank you Tony Blair. You've made fools of the British by failing to support your own army before, during and after you sent them into battle.
 
#5
Didn't 'Buff' Hoon go on a skiing holiday when the lads were going into battle? Nothing like supporting the people you are responsible for (and that's nothing like supporting the people you are responsible for).
 
#7
Any similarity to some of the deals negotiated in Helmand in 2006? Perhaps this is why Karzai threw the two 'Diplomats' out?
 
#8
Spinelessness? Americans whining? 'Elite Iraqi Army units?

Listen Gentlemen, how you can have the f*****g gall to criticise British troops, when you the Americans and the f*****g CPA hamstrung our efforts in Basra in the first place,leading to have to allegedly do deals with Al-Sadr. And as for 'Elite Iraqi Units'? Oh do f**k off. Tell me you've reformed the Republican Guard and I might believe that.

Elite at what? Mortaring British troops and bases? Elite at taking their f*****g time to get a grip?

We have had to try and put a lid on Basra for years, in spite of the best efforts of the CPA, USA , the Iraqi Army and the IPS to fcuk us over.

Seething of Seething Wells.


Any similarity to some of the deals negotiated in Helmand in 2006? Perhaps this is why Karzai threw the two 'Diplomats' out?
The one where the two *cough* diplomats realised just how far corruption and involvement in the drugs trade went in the Afghan Government? *allegedly*. You mean that one?
 
#9
At least some of the Yanks responding to the article are approaching it with a bit of sense:

"The British military was betrayed by their political masters. Do the NuLabor Socialists hate the military that much?!

Starved of funds & equipment, treated worse than criminals at home and when they are still victorious on the battlefield, they are left humiliated by spineless pols."

Fernandez, San Jose, CA


The responses in general are from 'embarrassed British civilians' fukcing knob ends (probably to a man/woman they ahve never served in the Armed Forces), if they can't see this has bugger all to do with the Soldiers on the ground (who would have been itching to get in there) then fek em all, tossers...
 
#10
Yeah that's the one. Wasn't the original deal with the Taliban and the local tribes? Obviously the direct competitors with the Government in the drugs trade.
 
#11
Gundulph said:
At least some of the Yanks responding to the article are approaching it with a bit of sense:

"The British military was betrayed by their political masters. Do the NuLabor Socialists hate the military that much?!

Starved of funds & equipment, treated worse than criminals at home and when they are still victorious on the battlefield, they are left humiliated by spineless pols."

Fernandez, San Jose, CA
Sounds about right. At least the American public can see it.
 
B

BambiBasher

Guest
#14
"We have made some terrible mistakes in Iraq and it is only by talking about them that we will learn from them," said Col Richard Iron. "Last autumn we made a mistake which was understandable but not excusable.

"A Shia prisoner, Ahmed al-Fartusi, said he could put a stop to the killings. We released 120 of their prisoners and withdrew out of town, but when we moved out, lawlessness took over.

"As 90 per cent of the attacks were against us, we thought if we moved out we would remove the source of the problem. But actually the (Mahdi army) had been fighting us because we were the only obstacle to their total control."
This isn't actually true, is it?

I wonder if Colonel Richard Iron would take my word for it if I told him I could fly through the fcuking air, leap tall buildings in a single stride and that the Nigerian Minister for Bongoes had left him a hundred million quid in his will?
 
#15
On 25 March - six days before 31 March - Des Browne was announcing that "Professor Sir Kenneth Calman has agreed to serve as Chair of a Commission to review the Scotland Act. "

http://www.publications.parliament....cm080325/wmstext/80325m0002.htm#0803253000089

During this period, Two Jobs also...

...met the bereaved mother of a serviceman (25 Mar)....gave an interview to a national newspaper and attended President Sarkozy’s parliamentary address at the House of Commons (26 Mar). On 27 March...attended the Anglo-French Summit, which included a bilateral meeting with the French Defence Minister.
http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/cm200708/cmhansrd/cm080421/text/80421w0001.htm
 
#16
I'm confused.

Did the commanders in Basra make the decision to pull out or the government? Did the commanders recommend to Des that the troops were pulled back who then made the decision? Did they go along with a plan which was dreamed up at Main Building or did they disagree with the action?

Similarly with the amount and adequacy of equipment. Were the troops at that time lacking in the kit they had. Was it not good enough?

I know historically the government screwed up royally in this campaign, what with reducing the infantry battalions, supply of kit to the boys etc, but was it still the case by the time of the retreat/withdrawal from Basra?
 
#17
This is now a discussion about the symtons. The root cause of this and several other Iraqi '****-ups' is that the Government doesn't have the political will to win the fight in Basra. Given a chouice the Government would have left Iraq many years ago, but our need for the 'special relationship' kept us ther. Therefore the Government did the minimum they could for Iraq, tried to keep it quiet and out of the public eye and hope that nothing serious happened. It the imortal words of Capt E Blackadder, there was only one small flaw with this plan - It was bollocks!

Unlike Bush who for all his other shortcomings had the balls to back himself and commit to the surge against the most advisors and the political concensus Blair and Brown didn't have the political courage to finish what they had started and we slowly withdrew to our little enclave in the COB and hoped it would all go away. No disrespect to any who have sertvced there but we were doomed from the styart and never really allowed to take the fight to the enemy and dominate the city in the way we seem to be able to do in Helmand.
 
#18
chicken_jim said:
...and dominate the city in the way we seem to be able to do in Helmand.
Eh?
 
#19
The US military are well aware of the capabilities of their British contemporaries though they are extremely puzzled by the duplicity, stupidity and lack of resolve of the British government who seem incapable of making sound decisions.

Suffice to say the debacle has not exactly burnished the British image.
 
#20
Busterdog said:
The US military are well aware of the capabilities of their British contemporaries though they are extremely puzzled by the duplicity, stupidity and lack of resolve of the British government who seem incapable of making sound decisions.

Suffice to say the debacle has not exactly burnished the British image.
So it was an MoD decision and the General i/c Iraq had nothing to do with it?
 

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