Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

UK Forces 'Are Close to Losing Control of Basra'; Vigilant: British Troops on Patrol in Basra. the MoD Rejected the US General's Claims

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

UK Forces 'Are Close to Losing Control of Basra'; Vigilant: British Troops on Patrol in Basra. the MoD Rejected the US General's Claims

Article excerpt

Byline: PIPPA CRERAR

'BRITISH forces are on the brink of losing control in Basra, a formersenior US commander warned today.

General Jack Keane, who has just returned from Iraq, said the securitysituation in the south of the country was "deteriorating".

The retired officer said US commanders were "frustrated" at the "generaldisengagement" by the British Army as it prepared to pull out.

The White House is becoming increasingly concerned about an imminent Britishwithdrawal, as US troops would be left to fill any vacuum.

The Bush administration is expected to signal its intention to draw down UStroops next month after a report by General David Petraeus, clearing the wayfor Gordon Brown to announce the withdrawal of the remaining 5,500 troops inIraq the following month.

However, Gen Keane, an architect of the US "surge" strategy in Baghdad, saidthe Americans would prefer them to remain for another year or two. "It has beengradually deteriorating, with almost gangland warfare and the lack of abilityof the police to control that level of violenceso the situation is gradually getting worse," he said.

"I know what the commanders are trying to avoid is having to sendreinforcements to the south from forces that are needed in the central part ofIraq. That situation could arise if the situation gets worse in Basra if andwhen British had no strategy troops leave." The former commander, who has theear of US vice-president Dick Cheney and national security adviser StephenHadley, questioned the ability of British forces to deal with the securitysituation in the region.

The remaining British troops in the centre of Basra are expected to move to theairport on the outskirts this autumn.

"The Brits have never had enough troops to truly protect strategy Girls thepopulation and we have found that out painfully in the central region as well,"Gen Keane added. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.