Policy Watch: Impact of Britain's drawdown




Katz, Mark N.

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UPI.com (United Press International, Inc.)


Tony Blair's announcement that Britain will reduce its troop presence in Iraq from 7,100 to 5,500 by the end of summer, and possibly to 5,000 by the end of 2007 has come as a shock to the Bush administration. After all, until now, Blair has been President George W. Bush's supporter amongst foreign leaders in the Iraq war effort. The fact that Blair will decrease British presence in Iraq right when Bush is seeking to increase the American one by 21,500 troops has major implications. Both the White House and Downing Street claim that the British drawdown is being undertaken because the security situation in Basra -- where the British are primarily deployed -- has improved. This, however, appears to be little more than an attempt to put a positive spin on an unpleasant political reality.


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International affairs, Great Britain, Iraq War, 2003-2010, Blair, Tony, 1953-