Perspective: The Politics of the Brit Drawdown
British troops in Basra
March 5, 2007 issue - In public, British and American officials say the U.K.'s withdrawal of troops from southern Iraq is a sign of success. But that wasn't the private reaction when the Brits first explained their plans last year. Several officials on both sides of the Atlantic (who all declined to be named when discussing the internal debate on security issues) say there was real consternation among Bush's aides about the prospect of a British withdrawal at a time when the president was planning to make the case for a surge of troops. Two senior officials in Washington said the concern was about how the British drawdown would look in PR and political terms inside the Beltway.
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