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A blistering assessment of British policy in Iraq from the country's top soldier left Tony Blair reeling today.
General Sir Richard Dannatt said troops should come home within two years - flatly contradicting the Prime Minister's policy that the military will stay "as long as it takes".
In unprecedented comments he warned that the Army could 'break' if British soldiers are kept too long in Iraq.
"I want an Army in five years time and 10 years time. Don't let's break it on this one. Let's keep an eye on time," he said.
Downing Street was aghast at the general's remarks, though in public it offered "full support".
His comments come after an exclusive interview with the Daily Mail, where Sir Richard warned that the continuing presence of British troops "exacerbates the security problems" in Iraq and added that a "moral and spiritual vacuum" has opened up in British society, which is allowing Muslim extremists to undermine "our accepted way of life."
“We like to say that dependability is more important than ability,” Bill Belichickism....
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Re: Top UK General says all Brit soldiers should get out of IRAQ in 24 mos.
The most insightful part, IMO, was where he traced the Iraqi people's response as moving from "consent" (at least in some cases) to "tolerance" to active opposition. From the getgo, I thought the best case was that they kind of forgive us for occupying their country, both because of the bad regime we kicked out and because we seemed to be TRYING to be relatively benign occupiers. Sadly, the best case became unrealistic quite some time ago ...