With Blair on the way out, the British military leadership seems to be in open revolt. Following the admission last week by the army chief that the Iraq war had made terrorism worse, there’s this
The invasion of Iraq prevented British forces from helping to secure Afghanistan much sooner and has left a dangerous vacuum in the country for four years, the commander who has led the attack against the Taliban made clear yesterday.
Brigadier Ed Butler, commander of 3 Para battlegroup just returned from southern Afghanistan, said the delay in deploying Nato troops after the overthrow of the Taliban in 2002 meant British soldiers faced a much tougher task now.
Asked whether the invasion of Iraq and its aftermath had led to Britain and the US taking their eye off the ball, Brig Butler said the question was “probably best answered by politicians”.
Not original, but significant by virtue of the source.
The only reading I can make of this is that the British top brass are desperate for a quick withdrawal from Iraq, as soon as Blair goes, and are applying as much pressure as possible (even at the cost of violating conventions about military comment on political issues) to ensure that Gordon Brown does not succumb to threats or blandishments from Washington.
Update Brigadier Butler claims he was misquoted