UK’s Iraq deployment – thin end of wedge?
The initial British deployment of forces to Iraq looks like being fewer than 50 soldiers.
But the UK recognises, along with the US, that reversing or freezing the Islamic State’s advance through Iraq requires much more effort than that.
Work is on to find a third country where bigger numbers of US and UK troops could be sent to undertake intensive training of Iraqi forces so that they can prepare to re-take Iraqi cities from IS.
Jordan has been mentioned in discussions but no decisions have yet been made.
Neither the US nor the UK wants to announce big troops numbers re-entering Iraq. The headlines that greeted even a small detachment of troops for strictly limited training work will have reminded this government of the sensitivity of Iraqi deployments… but no one really needs the reminder.
Today could be the thin end of an emerging wedge, but London and Washington are desperately keen to make sure it can’t be portrayed as recent history replayed.
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