US & UK Quietly Prepare to Pull Out?
"LONDON, July 10 (Reuters) - A leaked document from Britain's Defence Ministry says the British and U.S. governments are planning to reduce their troop levels in Iraq by more than half by mid-2006, the Mail on Sunday newspaper reported.
"The memo, reportedly written by Defence Minister John Reid, said Britain would reduce its troop numbers to 3,000 from 8,500 by the middle of next year."
Mmmm, I don't know about this. Sounds like one of those straws in the wind that keep getting floated by the media for various ulterior motives. I personally don't think Jug-Ears and his neo-con and big business backers have any plans to withdraw from Iraq at all, and those four mammoth bases the American military is building in Iraq would seem to back that up.
If this memo is accurate, going by what it says in the full story, essentially the plan is to more or less hand over Iraqi Kurdistan to the Peshmergas and the Shi'ite south around Basra to Sistani's Badr Militia (these are the "free and democratic Iraqi forces" we here so much about.) These paramilitary organizations are already for all practical purposes running their parts of Iraq anyway, and American occupation troops are significant by their absence.
The Americans generally stay the hell out of any part of Iraq which does not contain significant oil reserves or infrastructure; that's why U. S. troops are in Mosul and Kirkuk up in Kurdistan and risk stepping on the Peshmergas' toes, because there is oil there. The non-oil rich areas, i.e. most of the desert parts of the country, are quiet because they are ethnically homogenous and because the local strongmen and warlords keep order.
This is in essence what we did in Afghanistan--ZOG hired the local thugs to do the wet work. The idea appears to be to subcontract our occupation to the Kurds and Shi'ites and let them slaughter the Sunnis while we quietly look the other way, whistling a tune and pretending we don't see. It has, well, sort of worked in Afghanistan, although the sitch there seems to be deteriorating. Still, it does show that at least a little thinking is now going into trying to find some way out of the Iraqi morass.