Sunday, July 10, 2005

Curious Leakage

The BBC reports that a "pull out" plan for Iraq has been leaked to the Mail on Sunday (via CY). Here's the article in the Mail on Sunday.
A secret paper written by Defence Secretary John Reid for Tony Blair reveals that many of the 8,500 British troops in Iraq are set to be brought home within three months, with most of the rest returning six months later.
The leaked document, marked Secret: UK Eyes Only, appears to fly in the face of Mr Blair and President Bush's pledges that Allied forces will not quit until Iraq's own forces are strong enough to take control of security...
The Ministry of Defence last night confirmed the leaked document was genuine. Mr Reid said: "This is but one of a number of papers produced over recent months covering various scenarios. We have made it plain we will stay in Iraq for as long as is needed. No decisions on the future of UK forces have been taken.
And as Justin points out, it's a curious time for a leak of this sort. No decision has been taken but the idea has been leaked to the media by someone. A government toe in the water of public opinion?
I seem to remember that the House of Commons was used for holding debates like this at one time. I could be wrong.

Anyway, here's the memo in full.
There seems to be very little mention of the quality of life of ordinary Iraqi's. I'm sure it is the number one priority though. The Defence Secretary summarizes US pressure:
US political military thinking is still evolving. But there is a strong US military desire for significant force reductions to bring relief to overall US commitment levels.
Mr Reid also gives us an insight into the important factors weighing on his own mind.
Looking further ahead, we have a clear UK military aspiration to hand over to Iraqi control...
This in turn should lead to a reduction in the total level of UK commitment in Iraq...
This should lead to an estimated halving in the costs which fall to the reserve, around £1 billion per annum currently.
Money money money, must be funny...
Ordinary Iraqi's are the number one priority though.

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