2008
08.16

Another article by Andy in today’s The Sun

THE commander of British troops in Iraq claims the time is almost right to pull out of the war-torn country. But former SAS hero and Sun Security Advisor Andy McNab has seen the chaos and violence there first-hand and says the move is premature. Here, he explains why it is too early to move out:

“Ultimately this is a case of our troops being spread too thin by our Government.

The main reason they want us to pull out of Iraq is a desperate manpower shortage. Quite simply, our combat troops are needed to fight the war in Afghanistan. The tragedy of it all is that we are so close to having the job finished in Iraq.

The aim was to stabilise a highly volatile country, give the local populace some peace of mind and create a secure environment. To do this they need to make the airport in Baghdad safe and reliable. No company will fly into a city where their staff could be shot or kidnapped. But this aim hasn’t quite been achieved and in the meantime all the oil produced in Iraq is going to waste at a time when fuel prices worldwide are going through the roof.

A far more sobering thought is the toll on human life. The war in Iraq has claimed 176 British troops since hostilities began in 2003 and the conflict has cost us about £5BILLION.

Now, just as the hard work of our servicemen and women has nearly paid off, the men at the top want to pull out.

We are about two years away from reaching a “safe” Iraq. It wouldn’t be too long before the airport is fully international and Baghdad a viable base for global business. But not yet – so don’t believe it when they say Iraq is able to look after itself. Let’s not forget it wasn’t that long ago when US and Iraqi troops had a major battle with militia in Basra City, resulting in scores of casualties on both sides.

ARMPITS

They may paint Iraq as stable but it is not. Locals are not exactly tending to their gardens and having picnics in the park with their kids at weekends. This is still a country at war.

They talk about housing prices in Iraq’s towns and cities doubling, but in reality that means from worthless to just a quarter of what they fetched before the war. It means nothing.

If things went wrong again after a British withdrawal, America would simply pump in more men.

Talk of a safe Iraq is only to justify pulling out our troops and redeploying them to Afghanistan.

Our politicians bask in the glory that our superior armed forces earn for Britain but they won’t do anything about their dwindling numbers.

We desperately need more troops yet they are still paid a pittance and expected to fight for months on end in the armpits of the world miles from loved ones and without the rewards they deserve. It’s too much battle space for an army that is too small – and now the manpower shortage means we are leaving Iraq as a job half done.”

“It may be the Government’s way but it’s not the British Army’s way.”

Source: The Sun

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