2014
06.21

Andy McNab interview: “The advance of ISIS could see Baghdad fall”
The Big Issue 20 June 2014

As the fate of Iraq hangs in the balance, former SAS man McNab fears the nation’s capital could be overthrown by ISIS extremists

As the crisis in Iraq rages on, SAS hero turned best-selling author Andy McNab has warned that the advance of ISIS could see Baghdad fall.

McNab, who was captured behind enemy lines in Iraq during the first Gulf War, said that a lack of Allied groundtroops could allow insurgents to take the Iraqi capital.

“The only country that will do something, if anything really needs to be done, because they’ve got the capability, are the United States,” McNab, pictured, told The Big Issue. “But [for the UK] to actually put boots on the ground – we’re coming up to an election year… both countries are being very wary of putting boots on the ground. So there is a possibility that Baghdad would fall.”

He slammed political moves to downscale army numbers and sees this a problem for the future, and the key thing that will stop a move back to Iraq.

“Politicians just want to get out of Afghanistan before the election – they don’t want to commit troops [to Iraq]. We don’t want to commit troops, because it will show a weakness of policy at the moment – downscaling our army.

“We’re apparently about six years behind in recruiting and training reserves for the forces. There’s just isn’t what’s called the force projection capability to go and do it [British intervention]. All nations are scaling down. But the fact is that at the moment, we really don’t have the force projection to first of all get our troops from A to B, and more importantly sustain them while they’re there.”

David Cameron warned this week of the threat to the UK if an “extreme Islamist regime” is created in central Iraq. McNab, meanwhile, claims Britain was “supporting some of those groups” recently in Syria.

“Certainly what’s going on at the moment with Isis, it is really interesting because unfortunately we’re back to square one,” he said. “And it’s really, really crazy, because some of those groups, certainly when they were in Syria, we were supporting them. But it’s just history repeating itself. We’ve done it for centuries.”

Source: The Big Issue