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Old 02-20-2007, 06:07 PM   #1
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The British Are Leaving.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/...ops/index.html

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Reports: UK to begin withdrawing Iraq troops
POSTED: 6:04 p.m. EST, February 20, 2007
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- British Prime Minister Tony Blair will order nearly half of all British troops in Iraq home by the end of 2007, British news outlets reported early Wednesday.

The Sun newspaper said that Blair will tell the House of Commons Wednesday that 1,500 soldiers will be back in Britain within weeks and that 3,000 of Britain's contingent of 7,000 will be back by the end of the year.

"Control of the south of the country, unaffected by the civil war raging around Baghdad, will be handed back to the Iraqis," the tabloid reported.

The move comes as the United States is sending more troops into Iraq in an effort to put down a wave of sectarian violence in Baghdad and pacify the western province of Anbar, the heart of the Sunni Arab insurgency.

In Washington, National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said President Bush has been grateful for British support "in the past and into the future."

"While the United Kingdom is maintaining a robust force in southern Iraq, we're pleased that conditions in Basra have improved sufficiently that they are able to transition more control to the Iraqis," Johndroe said in a statement issued Tuesday evening. "The United States shares the same goal of turning responsibility over to the Iraqi Security Forces and reducing the number of American troops in Iraq."

British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett said in January that the United Kingdom was unlikely to send any more troops to Iraq.

In November, Defense Secretary Des Browne said Britain planned to bring several thousand troops home from Iraq by the end of 2007, but he gave no specific numbers. The remaining troops would be used to train Iraqi military and police forces, provide backup for Iraqi troops and protect supply lines for British, U.S. and allied troops who remained.

Britain contributed about 46,000 troops, sailors and air force personnel to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003. More than half of those troops were withdrawn within two months of the invasion, and the remaining contingent, now numbering about 7,000, was based mostly in the southern city of Basra.

The war has claimed more than 130 British lives and has never been popular with the British public. In January, as the United States announced plans to increase its contingent in Iraq by more than 20,000, Beckett said London would not be following suit.

Opposition to the war has hurt Blair politically, with his ruling Labor Party losing seats in Parliament and in local elections in the past two years, and the prime minister announced in September that he would leave office within a year.

Report of the withdrawal comes three days after reports that Prince Harry would deploy with his unit to Iraq in April or May.

His father, Prince Charles, was a pilot with the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy. Harry's grandfather, Prince Philip, had a distinguished career in the Royal Navy. Harry's uncle, Prince Andrew, was a Royal Navy pilot and served in the Falklands War against Argentina 25 years ago.
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Old 02-20-2007, 06:17 PM   #2
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coalition of


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Old 02-20-2007, 06:19 PM   #3
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you cannot just run from an agreement.
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Old 02-20-2007, 06:21 PM   #4
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Brits = cut and run surrender monkeys


Blair is W's Runaway Bride?
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Old 02-20-2007, 06:22 PM   #5
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But what about Poland??
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Old 02-20-2007, 06:24 PM   #6
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denmark is still there.
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Old 02-20-2007, 06:25 PM   #7
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Originally posted by deep

Blair is W's Runaway Bride?
when is it election time in britain?
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Old 02-20-2007, 06:27 PM   #8
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When the job is done, why stay?

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when is it election time in britain?
When Blair decides. He should decide this year, probably in the first half.
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Old 02-20-2007, 06:28 PM   #9
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i wouldnt say that the job is done.
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Old 02-20-2007, 06:37 PM   #10
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So wait. Prince Harry is about to go to Iraq and the British pull out.

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Old 02-20-2007, 06:45 PM   #11
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i wouldnt say that the job is done.
Me neither. Time will show if it's early enough to decrease the strength of the troops in that area.

But they are certainly further developed than Bagdad is.

So it seems such a strong troop presence isn't needed anymore.
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Old 02-20-2007, 06:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep
Brits = cut and run surrender monkeys
I'm boycotting muffins.
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Old 02-20-2007, 07:18 PM   #13
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What's next? Are the Canadiens leaving by 2008?
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Old 02-20-2007, 07:19 PM   #14
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Me neither. Time will show if it's early enough to decrease the strength of the troops in that area.

But they are certainly further developed than Bagdad is.

So it seems such a strong troop presence isn't needed anymore.
then i guess the u.s. could need some british help in bagdad.

that area has been more peaceful and cooperative than bagdad since the very start of the war, due to the strong presence of shiites there.
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Old 02-20-2007, 07:30 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep
Brits = cut and run surrender monkeys


Blair is W's Runaway Bride?
The British withdrew far more troops in 2003 when they went down from 46,000 to just over 20,000. The British have been gradually withdrawing troops each year as conditions on the ground will allow it.

This is not news.

The British lost far more troops in the early 1970s in Northern Ireland than they have lost in southern Iraq over the past 4 years.
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