Magazine article Insight on the News

Despite Opposition, Blair Quietly Prepares Britain for Iraq War. (News Alert!)

Magazine article Insight on the News

Despite Opposition, Blair Quietly Prepares Britain for Iraq War. (News Alert!)

Article excerpt

Despite public resistance to another war in Iraq, the British government quietly is preparing for a protracted conflict in the region, according to Middle Last Newsline defense sources in the Persian Gulf. They claim Britain is taking steps in cooperation with other allies to ensure logistical support for British naval forces in the region.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair has maintained an ambiguous tone about his options to address the security threat posed by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Blair carefully has crafted his public statements to maintain a high degree of solidarity with the Bush administration's fixation on Saddam, while at the same time publicly assuring his domestic constituency that all diplomatic options must be exhausted before any discussion of war can begin. This notwithstanding, Blair continues to reiterate his intention to stand "shoulder to shoulder" with America.

But with U.S. resolve to effect regime change in Iraq increasing, war is being viewed more and more as inevitable. British newspapers have hyped potential British involvement, reporting possible activation of military reserves, repositioning of an armored division, modifications to amphibious warships and the forthcoming deployment of the Royal Navy's flagship, the aircraft carrier Ark Royal, to engage in "training exercises" with U. …

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