T Nation

Brits Out of Basra

As you probably all know by now, British troops are withdrawing from Basra. The BBC reports the following opinion of a prominent British officer;

[i][…]he [Lt Col Patrick Sanders] says it was time to leave the city. “90% of the violence was directed at us, so it made sense to hand over to the Iraqi security forces”

He says violence has been dropping in recent weeks, in the run-up to the handover.[/i]


The guy is predicting calm will return after foreign troops withdraw. Here are his own words: “By and large, and I’m reasonably optimistic here, I hope that by removing ourselves from Basra quite a lot of the focus of violence, which is directed at us - over 90 per cent of the attacks are against British forces - then Basra will become a calmer, less violent place.”

Why is the Bush administration resistant to reason?

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Seems to me the Basra pullout could also be a form of litmus test. It will tell us how well the training of the Iraqi forces have been and what kind of dynamics between sects will occur.

Or maybe they’ll just ignore any lessons that might be gleaned and just continue the cluster%$#^.