Daniel Furr, an independent liberal who comments international affairs, worries that we have failed both Iraqis and ourselves by winding down operations in Basra.
As the Prime Minister got to his feet to address the House, he opened his mouth and ushered the lines “if we are to fall, let us fall like men”. The Prime Minister was not Gordon Brown; he was Lord North speaking about the war of American independence. Under the pressure to deliver a victory and to protect British integrity and respectability aboard, Lord North would face an onslaught from critics who opposed the American war and his handling of the conflict. Sound similar to Iraq?
Comparing both conflicts we can see two striking similarities in how the operation has unfolded. Both underestimated the insurgency and failed to secure the hearts and minds of the neutral population, who did not support the rebel army. Secondly, more damaging to our nation, the military scheme mirrors Cornwallis' strategy in the Southern States and is operating under the same principles. The tactics were destined to fail from the start. Now in Basra; the British have occupied the airport and barricaded themselves in resulting in a never ending siege. Haunting memories of Yorktown?
But it seems the British government has no strategy of winning or even preventing a humiliating defeat and Gordon Brown is happy to just wait. Why else would Britain have a part-time Secretary of State for Defence?