Friday, October 13, 2006

The Brits Want Out of Iraq!!

Their Mission Is Accomplished?

Sir Richard's Daily Mail Interview:

The new head of the British Army, Chief of the General Staff General Sir Richard Dannatt, has told the Daily Mail that UK troops should withdraw from Iraq "soon".

He said their continued presence "exacerbates the security problems" in the country. Here is what he said:
We are in a Muslim country and Muslims' views of foreigners in their country are quite clear. As a foreigner you can be welcomed by being invited in a country, but we weren't invited certainly by those in Iraq at the time.

The military campaign we fought in 2003 effectively kicked the door in.
The way to get out is to modify our mission statement:
The original intention was that we put in place a liberal democracy that was an exemplar for the region, was pro-West and might have a beneficial effect on the balance within the Middle East. That was the hope.

Whether that was a sensible or naive hope, history will judge. I don't think we are going to do that. I think we should aim for a lower ambition.
The Occupation is going nowhere:
. . . . History will show that a vacuum was created and into the vacuum malign elements moved. The hope that we might have been able to get out of Iraq in 12, 18, 24 months after the initial start in 2003, has proved fallacious.

. . . . I don't say that the difficulties we are experiencing around the world are caused by our presence in Iraq, but undoubtedly our presence in Iraq exacerbates them.
On the real central front on the global war on terror:
There is a clear distinction between our status and position in Iraq and in Afghanistan, which is why I have much more optimism that we can get it right in Afghanistan.
On his son Bertie, who was a platoon commander in Iraq until a couple of months ago:
It was tough: three of his contemporaries, young officers, have been killed. There is a lot of pressure on young commanders. When my son was deployed he got into some quite hairy situations.

I am still a dad as well as being Chief of the General Staff. I wouldn't send an army where I wouldn't send my own child.
Shock and Awe, Baby...