Thursday, June 02, 2005


A further note on the Brits and Afghanistan

Monday a week ago I wrote a post on the leaked "secret" that Britain would be sending 5,000 troops to Afghanistan. Since it was no secret, the point of the post was to try to determine what was the British government's ploy in putting this out to the media. I concluded that this was likely a maneuver to provide cover for the Brits in pulling troops out of Iraq and to put some pressure on the Americans.

Rereading that post last night I realized that I had missed a very important additional point. There was a paragraph in the Scotsman article that quoted a defense analyst from Jane's, who said—

"They might struggle to cover their commitment to Iraq, but even if they do that, it would mean that the UK could not take on any further military commitments anywhere else."

This makes clear that the British are not only putting pressure on the Americans with regard to the troops in Iraq but sending a strong message that they should not be counted on to partner in any new U.S. military adventures.

Good. They may need to tell them more than once.

Previous posts
What's up in Britain? (9/23/04)
What's up in Afghanistan and why is Blair sending more troops? (4/5/05)
The secret that's not a secret: British troops to Afghanistan (5/23/05)

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