So it looks like British troops have handed almost all of their Southern Iraqi mandate over to Iraqi control. I was reading this and was shocked that the Brits have obviously managed to do something that the US military hasn’t.
We are all focused on the Northern region, and the Sunni Triangle, that we have forgotten about the successes of the Southern Region.
Why have the Brits succeded where the Yanks have not? Well, needless to say I think the Brits had a slightly easier job in some regards – not to take away from the fantastic job Her Majesty’s soldiers did. The Al Qaeda efforts have seemingly been concentrated in the Northern Region, allowing a stable government to form in the South, and given the oppurtunity for the Iraqi troops in the South to be more effectively trained.
Having said this, perhaps it also comes down to planning. Over the past few weeks, there have been a number of British Generals publicly criticising the American post war planning – saying essentially Rumsfeld had no plans, and just assumed that the liberated people of Iraq knew instinctively how to form a democratic soceity. This is such a typically arrogant uneducated assumption that I would have hoped the Secratary of Defense of the largest military in the world, would not be making. I believe Freedom and Democracy are engrained a priori principles in human beings, but I would never want to assume that these 2 principles emerge freely out of the cauldren when so many people are massed together. History has discredited that theory too many times.
But I digress. I suppose I am now left wondering, if the British post war planning was just more effective than the US’. It seems US Generals are not as experienced at “post war nation builiding” as the British generals are. After all, during the past 20 years, the Brits have always been in charge after the US has blazed the trail and left. Kosovo, Serbia, Iraq (part one), etc.
Perhaps this has something to do with the British’ Troops success in Southern Iraq. If I were the President, I would be on the phones to my SoD (hehe) Gates, and asking him to place a call to British General (retd) Sir Mike Jackson, asking for advice. Mike Jackson has always exuded competetence, and I think he is one man worth listening too. If you don’t believe me feel free to start counting the number of British troops on the streets in southern iraq…