Author Topic: Britain not having enough say in decisions over Iraq  (Read 59 times)

Don Rizzle

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Britain not having enough say in decisions over Iraq
« on: April 12, 2004, 09:43:53 AM »
UK struggles to be heard in Iraq
By Paul Reynolds
BBC News Online world affairs correspondent

As Tony Blair prepares to fly to Washington for his meeting with President Bush shortly, questions have arisen as to whether Britain has an adequate say in the decisions being taken in Iraq.
The former foreign secretary Lord Hurd said that Britain was "involved in the consequences and I think we should be involved in the taking of those decisions".

He referred in particular to the decisions to attack Falluja and to act against the Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr.

He recommended sending a senior British envoy to Baghdad to put Britain's case and suggested the recently retired Nato Secretary General Lord Robertson.

Implicit in what Lord Hurd said was a belief that Britain would somehow act as restraining influence on the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) which is under the control of the US Administrator Paul Bremer.

British representation in the CPA was somewhat weakened with the departure of Sir Jeremy Greenstock at the end of March.

He was a former British UN ambassador and had a great deal of diplomatic clout having impressed the Americans with his handling of negotiations over UN resolutions on Iraq.

But he kept to his contract under which he stayed for six months and did not extend it until the 30 June handover.

Instead he gave way to his deputy David Richmond, who, although a respected and experienced Iraq hand and an Arabic speaker, does not quite carry the same political weight.

Decision making

The other senior British official in Iraq is Patrick Nixon, who is the representative in Basra.

He, too, is a veteran Arabist who came out of early retirement to take on the job until June.

He is an independent and sceptically-minded diplomat and it is hard to see him approving actions which would lead to serious confrontations. But how much influence he has with Mr Bremer is not known.

The New York Times quoted British officials in London recently as saying that Sir Jeremy had complained to London that Mr Bremer had controlled decision-making "with minimal input from Iraqis and other voices, including Sir Jeremy's".

The officials were quoted as saying that "while they are sympathetic with the daunting management task that Americans have undertaken, they also believe that the Coalition Provisional Authority under Mr. Bremer has become too 'politicized', meaning that events are orchestrated and information controlled with the American political agenda uppermost in mind".

The British unease might be more about tactical than strategic decisions

Publicly however, British ministers are not criticising the decisions in Iraq.

Both the Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and the Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon were supportive in BBC interviews, though Mr Straw did stress the need for a political as well as military strategy.

There is a political strategy which should see formal sovereignty handed over to an interim Iraqi government on 30 June.

There are doubts however as to whether this government will have much power since the US military will stay on under a four star American general.

The British government appears fully signed up to this political process and Sir Jeremy himself has been praising it over recent weeks in briefings for the media in London.

The British unease therefore might be more about tactical than strategic decisions.

A problem arises however when a tactical decision has a major impact on the wider picture as has happened over the last few days.

Story from BBC NEWS:

if you look at the way our troops have acted over there, we have managed to keep much more stability in regions under control of british forces than americans have. Its only logical we should have more say in the major decisions concerning Iraq.

iraq would just get annexed by iran

That would be a great solution.  If Iran and the majority of Iraqi's are pleased with it, then why shouldn't they do it?


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Re:Britain not having enough say in decisions over Iraq
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2004, 02:50:29 PM »
yea britain is probably taking less oil too, so ur right.


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Re:Britain not having enough say in decisions over Iraq
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2004, 05:58:28 AM »
LOL  Iraq is OUR oil well.  We'll sell the Brits some oil though, at a reduced rate, since yall helped us.