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British Troops in Basra

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Lonnie | 22:48 Wed 08th Aug 2007 | News
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According to this report, -rural-affairs/foreign-policy/britain-has-lost -basra-$476976.htm, and others, British Troops are 'Surrounded like Cowboys and Indians'.

I think we were always going to 'lose' once it was clear we had no after the war policy, other than attempt, in the wrong way, to keep the peace.

if your fighting Terrorist, the only way you going to win, is if you've got the support of the local populace, which you have to win, and none of the peacekeeping forces tried that, so 'losing' in Iraq was 100% certain, as it is in Afghanistan.

Much, much too late now, but Hearts and Minds would have been the way to go, as soon as Saddams statue came down.

And I do have some experience in this field.

As for blame, in my eyes, its the Military commanders, this country has so much experience in peacekeeping, but none of it was put to use.

Excuse my rambling, just putting my thought down, but i'd like to know yours.


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Still don't know why Blair went into Iraq.

Saddam had nowt to do with 9/11 and hated Al Qaeda has much as we did. The whole War from the beginning to now has been a fiasco. The US planning was abysmal. And why the British are there is a mystery. It will damage our standing in the world for many years to come.

We have been fooled with this 'war against terror' reason. It was a bogus excuse for the US to show it's might. But now that might is shown not to be good enough and the war is as good as lost. And daily British troops are losing their lives for nothing.
well, I think the politicians rather than the military should get the blame. I don't know what input the military had into the decision to invade, but unless they were shouting 'Yes! We can win this one in weeks!' I imagine they had severe doubts.

The real shame about all this is Afghanistan. They could have chased out the Taliban and brought some sort of peace to the country (I must admit I didn't expect this to happen, but it nearly did.) But they got arrogant - buy 'they' I suppose I mean the White House first and Downing Street on its heels - and decided they could sort out Iraq at the same time. This was a terrible delusion. They just don't have the strength to fight on two fronts. I think they've lost Iraq and I fear they've lost Afghanistan as well, as you say. A great opportunity missed. They had justification for going into Afghanistan, in pursuit of the men behind 9/11; like Gromit, I don't think they ever had any good cause to be in Iraq, and people are dying to no purpose.
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Hi Gromit and jno,
Thanks for coming back on this,

In my humble opinion, Bush wanted Iraqs oil, and would've gone in with or without us,
Blair couldn't make up his mind, the U.S, or Europe, and tried both at the same time

As you say, initially, Afghanistan was right, the aftermath was wrong.

What I meant when I said its the Military Commanders we have to blame for the present day mess, I believe that in the interests of their troops, they didn't speak up when they should have, and as a result, our soldiers are being killed and humiliated, and unless they are pulled out, a lot more will be killed.

It must be obvious to our goverment that its a lost cause, but will they admit it.

here's a piece from a Friday morning newspaper (hot from the press!) that about sums it up, I feel - a pretty damning indictment of what went wrong and how. It rather backs up your point that the military men themselves weren't as sharp as they might have been. e-0000779fd2ac.html
Thank you for that very informative link jno.

The US hatred of all things Iranian probably stems from the humiliation of the hostage crisis following 1979 revolution. Ever since, Iran has been a pariah state to the policy makers in Washington. It looks like another humilation, this time in Iraq is nearing to its conclusion.

Let's hope that humilation doesn't colour Washington's policies for the next 30 years.
You say you have some experience in this field Lonnie, and yet you make the following statements-:

if your fighting Terrorist, the only way you going to win, is if you've got the support of the local populace, which you have to win, and none of the peacekeeping forces tried that, so 'losing' in Iraq was 100% certain, as it is in Afghanistan.

Much, much too late now, but Hearts and Minds would have been the way to go, as soon as Saddams statue came down.

It seems you are not obviously aware the winning of Hearts and Minds is exactly what the British troops tried at first, and are still trying to some extent.

We patrolled wearing soft hats, shook hands, gave the kids sweets etc. But we found that when the locals began bombing and shooting each other, it became very dangerous for us, so we had to be more vigilant and wear more protective gear. In Afghanistan it is slightly different in so much that the locals will swap sides at the slightest whim. Either way we just cannot win.

Whereas the Yanks in the North use more forceful tactics, bombing and shooting first and asking questions later. These tactics they also use in Afghanistan, and criticise strongly our softly, sofly approach to the problems we are encountering in these two war zones. Perhaps the only way is to bring in the RAF and get rid of them once and for all, or come out and leave them to stew in their own juices.

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Hi aog,
I'm well aware of the progress first made, you don't have to remind me, the reall problem, as you point out, was the Americans stance, but our esteemed leaders, goverment and military, appear not to have tried very hard to change their Bull in a china shop attitude, and rather than blame the Americans, I blame our own leaders.
If they'd stuck to their guns and had the courage to speak out, things just may have worked out.

But as a matter of interest, what would your views be on what went wrong in Iraq as a whole, and what would your remedy have been?. Hyperthetically, of course.

Experience at military peacekeeping, yes, but thats it.

jno, sorry I haven't got back before now, your link is excellent, and thanks for posting it.
The reason I reminded you Lonnie was the fact that it was you who said in your post that none of the peace keeping forces tried to get the support of the locals and that winning hearts and minds would have been the way to go.

I was just pointing out that this is what the British did, I wasn't trying to be smart only correcting you.

As regards my opinion on what went wrong in Iraq. It was the fact that we removed a ruthless dictator who for better or worse, managed to keep the opposing factions apart. When he was removed it opened up a Pandora's Box, and a state of civil war now exists.

What can we do? The answer is clear since we cannot take sides in the civil war, then the only thing we can do is to withdraw our troops, and hope in time the country will settle down under the strongest regime.
rubbish !!!! its the bush again maken themselfs look better coz we are handing over power to basra end of the month and ges who is not happy ! BUSH ! ....the hole war is on power and of oil ... iran next u will see ..... get rid of power hungry bush ! ..look at the bigger picture !!!!!!
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Thanks aog, and I accept your correction.

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