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WashPost - As British Leave, Basra Deteriorates

PsyWar, me to - jaw dropped!!
Unbelievable that a man could make an excuse for voting for the war only because he hadn't thought about it.
 
If the UK does pull out of Basra, what will the US do? Presumably they'd have to send a brigade or two down there to guard the MSR?
 
Two brigade combat teams have already been put on notice Andy... it does make more sense for your military to concentrate on A-stan to be honest.
 

Mr_Jones

War Hero
Politically, and footprint wise, the US and UK are out of Sync and have been since the inception of the plan, this without a clear end-state and diminishing support are the root causes of this mission's failure.

I think that says it all. Democracies can't win protracted wars unless there is a clear, believable, and achievable objective that has full-on public support. If politicians don't make sure those conditions are met then any blame for a "defeat" is down to them.
 

Papa_Lazarou

War Hero
woodyb said:
Unfortunately true!
I first got to Basrah in Sept 03, and all were harking on about how great the Brits were, how the policy of 'softly softly' was so much better.
What a crock. A 'cheers easy' policy more like....we allowed the scrotes to sneak in and pull the rug from under us.
The local populace of Basrah/Umm Q etc are renowned throughout Iraq for being a bit......'simple' shall we say. Also a history of 'ali-baba ism' as well. The ability for the public that you've spent months winning over to turn on you on the clerics say so was gobsmacking. At least the yanks have won over some tribes (a huge part of Basrah/Maysan life) particulary in Anbar.
Equally gobsmacking was the extent of no 10's influence at Div HQ. Nothing like dictating policy and turning the blokes (and girls as well) into fig 11's..the whole place really is a giant puzzle palace and shame on the headshed for allowing themselves to be led by the nose...
I read people slating the yanks for over-zealousness (especially on counter-IDF batterys) on the boards. Those of us that have been there recently know what a crock of sh1t the whole thing is. This is an open forum so am not going to give incidents, but there's a lot to be said for shooting back instead of just sitting there day after day taking it and putting people in bags/filling up the BMH.
Someone slagged of a yank guy for suggesting that we have UAV's up 24/7 on search & destroy missions for MBP's........why? What do yu think are above Baghdad all the time (with fast air on call)? And they get results as well.
The reason WHY they ain't above Basrah is the same why britmil are still using snatch wagons etc etc-MONEY. :x
When the planned draw back happens, it'll be stated that this was intended all along. JAM etc will then state that they alone have driven the British from Basrah City (and you watch the IDF at the COB get REALLY outrageous), and that they will now drive them from Iraq itself.
Who'd you think the ordinary public in Basrah will believe?
What a mess.

Cant find any fault here, good post!
 

jim30

LE
"
Basrah is and has been different to the rest of S.IZ because of Fadhila, their presence has marginalised Sadr's lot and SCIRI....when we pull back to the COB the 'civil war' begins........ only if it enhances a factoins power or position will we (the COB) be attacked.....what will happen I suspect is that we will become awash with actionable Intel from the groups hoping that we do their dirty work for them"

Totally disagree on Fadilah there. Fadilah are only calling the shots for 2 reasons - firstly the lack of Sadrist presence on the Provincial Council due to ideological reasons in the 2005 PC elections. This opened up a window which fadilah, as middle class Sadrists exploited. Secondly they only have the governor due to the Basrah Islamic List (BiL) failing to agree between hassan al-Rashid and al-batat as Governor last time, leading to Fadilah taking the prize. Their presence of 12 seats is artificially high and will be significantly diminished at the next local election when the Sadrists are going to play again. Personally I'd support ISCI (the new name for SCIRI) who are the best of a bad bunch.
 
saintstone said:
Ask Ljonesy, he has an answer for everything and is quite adept at Brit bashing especially as the USofA are so good at everything.

And of course we would never stoop so low as to bash the Septics... :roll:

End of the day, this whole fcuking mess can be blamed on just two people: George Bush and Tony Blair. Nationality does not come into it. A cnut is a cnut no matter what flag he tries to wrap himself in.
 

cpunk

LE
Moderator
Werewolf said:
End of the day, this whole fcuking mess can be blamed on just two people: George Bush and Tony Blair. Nationality does not come into it. A cnut is a cnut no matter what flag he tries to wrap himself in.

I'd go a bit further if we're playing the blame game. Neither Bush nor Blair have any clear personal understanding or experience of the use of military force, they relied on advisors who did: people like Rumsfeld, the Joint Chiefs, our CDS and CGS etc etc. The advice that they should have been receiving was that without a clear and achievable mission - and not just 'Get rid of Saddam' - then the situation we are in now was virtually inevitable.

We now seem to be drifting. What is our aim? What is our mission? Why are we still there if we aren't achieving anything? These things are absolutely fundamental to the conduct of military operations, and if the military don't tell the politicians, clearly and unequivocally, that they need to be resolved before we deploy, then they aren't doing their jobs properly.
 

armies

War Hero
There are no clear objectives. No clear missions. What are we achieving, apart from trying to survive out there.?

Its clear that no long term thought was given. I mean, when you liberate a country, surely you have to think of the repercussions???

Iraq was a mistake,in my opinion. And if there is ever a withdrawal, will it be an embarassment, like the USA had in Vietnam in 1975?

The initial mission of course was achieved. To topple Saddam and get rid of an evil regime.

But are they any better for it??
 
AndyPipkin said:
If the UK does pull out of Basra, what will the US do? Presumably they'd have to send a brigade or two down there to guard the MSR?

I reckon the UK will have a contingent there for the duration, if only as a token political gesture.
 
Though the fact the police are a dead loss in Basra is a given, where is the 10th IA division (to be join next year by 13th Mech div) in all of this? Isn't the 10th divisional commander newly in charge of the Basra security council?
 

woodyb

Old-Salt
Almost as big a mistake as thinking that you can force a western style democracy onto a muslim nation.....and for thinking that 'arab democracy' & 'western democracy' are compatible/the same. They are NOT.
 
cpunk said:
Werewolf said:
....if the military don't tell the politicians, clearly and unequivocally, that they need to be resolved before we deploy, then they aren't doing their jobs properly.
It's quite possible that they did but were ignored. I can see fony B liar, nodding in agreement, grining inanely as the words go in one ear and out the other. Some people will only hear what they want to, doubly so if it goes against their preconceptions.
 

Blogg

LE
The "surrounded like cowboys and Indians" quote originated from the great sage that is Kevan Jones spouting before the Commons Defence Committee.
 

msr

LE
cpunk said:
We now seem to be drifting. What is our aim? What is our mission? Why are we still there if we aren't achieving anything? These things are absolutely fundamental to the conduct of military operations, and if the military don't tell the politicians, clearly and unequivocally, that they need to be resolved before we deploy, then they aren't doing their jobs properly.

Could these questions be applied to Afghanistan too?

msr
 
themaadone said:
OSnowy - how very true, our forces have become a defence force not able to keep sustained action running. Thanks to the Blair legacy...

The damage was done well before Blair, IMHO. He just helped it along!

Litotes
 
Worst mistake was disbanding the Iraqi Army and security apparatus. They may have been riddled with Ba'athists buyt they kept a lid on the place.
 
MADE_IN_BRITAIN said:
AndyPipkin said:
If the UK does pull out of Basra, what will the US do? Presumably they'd have to send a brigade or two down there to guard the MSR?

I reckon the UK will have a contingent there for the duration, if only as a token political gesture.

Ok, which of you blokes is gonna put his ass on the line for a gesture?

If you ask me, what we already lost the battle before we even stepped foot there. I can't really put my finger on the right terms but it seems like a country of children unable to fend for themselves or act in an adult manner. Whether or not that is due to having various dictators or cultural from the relgious aspect, it just seems like the country really lacks in people with the leadership skills to take the country from us.

What I mean by this is the government corruption and negligence is so bad that it literally paralyzes the country at times. God help the Iraqis after the US finally pulls out too. Guess the Iranians will have a go at it then.
 

W.Anchor

War Hero
We wont be there for ever and they might as well start sorting themselves out now while we keep in the background, yes they will make mistakes and yes old scores will be settled but hope fully things will settle down after a while. With all the effort that the Americans are putting in may I ask if Baghdad is any better????
 

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