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Retired British General: UK and US Must Admit Defeat and Leave Iraq

According to The Guardian, General Sir Michael Rose, a former SAS commander and head of UN forces in Bosnia, said: "It is the soldiers who have been telling me from the frontline that the war they have been fighting is a hopeless war, that they cannot possibly win it and the sooner we start talking politics and not military solutions, the sooner they will come home and their lives will be preserved."
Asked if that meant admitting defeat, the general replied: "Of course we have to admit defeat. The British admitted defeat in north America and the catastrophes that were predicted at the time never happened. "The catastrophes that were predicted after Vietnam never happened. The same thing will occur after we leave Iraq."


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David on :

Americans agree overwhelmingly with General Sir Michael. New [url=]Newsweek Poll[/url] out today. Bush at 28% approval - lowest numbers for any president since Jimmy Carter.

Pat Patterson on :

And Americans are overwhelmingly in favor of the death penalty, closing the border to new immigrants, no gay marriages and any host of ideas that make the toes of most Europeans curl. But without a parliamentary system the polls are irrelevant and neither the President nor Congress have a constitutional duty to act or call elections on the basis of polling. Every war has its George Meades or Smeldley Butlers. And considering how badly the British were prepared and how poorly they are supported now its certainly not surprising that a few senior officers are opposed to a continuation of the war.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

"And considering how badly the British were prepared and how poorly they are supported now..." Badly Prepared? I thought the British should be more prepared than the US, because of the UK's colonial history in the region and because of the experiences in Northern Ireland. But then again, they did not seem to be well prepared for the hostage crisis. I read somewhere that the British pursue a smarter counter-insurgency policy in their sectors than the Americans. And that this is one reason for their relative success. Of course, there are not many Sunnis in their sectors. Though, I also read that the British have made murky deals with the Shiite leaders and therefore there is a lot of corruption and not much democracy. Are the British moving out of Southern Iraq in a few months? I wonder what will happen then. "how poorly they are supported now..." You mean that the British people don't support the Iraq war? I agree. Or do you refer to something else?

Pat Patterson on :

No, generally the British seem to be well led and trained at the regimental level. However, as of today and for the last couple of years the British have used antiquated and minimally armored Land Rovers for patrol unless they can borrow US or even Estonian equipment. The Estonian vehicles are those which had been previously sold as surplus and then to be replaced by the newest EU sourced armored carriers which have still not arrived. They, the British, have no heavy lift helicopters, no reconaissance fixed wing(Britain being dependent on the Iraqi Air Force's Brazilian made and US paid for fixed wing reconaissance) or rotor assets, no strike helicopters and in a few incidences were sent out on patrols with strict ROE to preserve limited ammuntion. Mind you not running out of ammunition while under attack but sent out knowing they do not have enough to engage for more than a few moments. The Thames Valley Police Department has more light helicopters then the British forces in Iraq do. For a much better and more detailed view of the British military I've provided a link to Euroreferendum. [url][/url]

David on :

If you want to read about poor preparation, I recommend Thomas Rick's book "Fiasco" - the best book so far about the Iraq debacle. The war planners inside and outside the Pentagon were almost criminal in their negligence, and Ricks documents the mistakes meticulously. Of course these same planners received the Medal of Freedom from President Bush.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

Pat, David, If these things happen in movies, I always tell myself, what a crappy, unrealistic plot...

garrett on :

Well, were thes British soldiers anything like their naval brothers ( and sister) in arms? Laughable.

Pat Patterson on :

Please do not assume that anything I posted would serve as the basis for the above comment. The British and the American soldiers, as well as their numerous allies have performed far above the levels that their political and military leaders have a right to expect. Most recently in the Basra section, with the addition of more artillery and more aggressive response the British have begun to disarm some of the militias and pacify the areas around the British bases. The RN in due time will issue its new ROE and probably announce the retirement of the head of the RN, Admiral Jonathan Band and the task force commander in the Gulf, Commodore Nick Lambert. Failure in the military of the West earns retirement now, not court martials.

GM Roper on :

It seems to me that both the Brits and the American Military have done fairly well. The carnage you see on a daily basis is not the result of pitched battles of us against them, for when that has happened, the "insurgents" come off rather poorly. What we see on a daily basis on television (and read daily in the dead tree versions of the news) is a determined foe's egregious war on civilians in order to do just what has been done, erode the publics will to beat al q. Has the top brass in the past made mistakes? Sure, same in any and every war, sometimes mistake after mistake after mistake. But the islamo-fascists aren't counting on beating the allied military, they are counting on the numbing of our own civilian population and our own internal critics. And guess what, those civilians are losing the war, not the military

JW-Atlantic Review on :

Of course the UK and US military can win "pitched battles" against the insurgents. Though, this is a new type of war. No pitched battles. The UK and US military will only win, if they manage to bring peace and stability to Iraq. Anything else is considered a defeat. Of course, this is not fair to the military, but that is how it is. The enemy adopts new policies and avoids "pitched battles." The question is: Can the US and UK adopt?

David on :

Who exactly is the enemy? Iraq is in a civil war. US and British troops are in the middle of it. "Peace" cannot be imposed from the outside on the warring factions of a civil conflict. Most people now realize this, and that is why we want a timetable for troop withdrawal.

Zyme on :

""Peace" cannot be imposed from the outside on the warring factions of a civil conflict." I think this is nonsense. Of course peace can be imposed on a civil conflict when you really want it. You would simply have to decide which elite of the civil conflict is most favourably towards your politics and then create a form of government that will allow them to pursue their politics. In such a case, american troops would only have to remain in Iraq for a limited time to put down rebellions until the new government has recruited enough soldiers for its own army. When a county is as divided as Iraq is, you cannot allow every party to participate in the political process, since they will only agree to the fact that they can´t agree on anything. Instead, you have to make a decision who shall be favored.

Jim Bass on :

"The catastrophes that were predicted after Vietnam never happened." Oh? Tell that to the millions of Cambodians who died in the Killing Fields. Tell that to those slaughtered in South Vietnam when the commies rolled in. Tell that to the thousands of boat people. His comment demonstrates the ugliest form of self-absorption. Curiously, it is precisely this type of selfishness that has the Left in such a swoon. Remember the old days when "progressives" stood for human rights and helping others?

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