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IRAQ : daily stuff here please

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« on: July 29, 2010, 08:28:10 am »

'Brit army unwilling to join Iraq war'
29/07/2010 08:19:43 AM GMT

Former head of the British Army says the country's military had "no desire" to enter the Iraq war in 2003 as its war machine ground to a halt over different engagements.

In his testimony to the Iraq war inquiry on Wednesday, former British army chief General Francis Richard Dannatt said that the British army nearly seized up since it was conducting simultaneous operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, the UK media outlet reported.

"There may have been a little bit of professional feeling that we should be doing this. But there was no desire to do it, there was no 'we would be happy to do it', and there was certainly a large element of 'we are very busy anyway so this will be difficult if we have to do it,'" said the former top commander.

"You can run hot when you are in balance and there is enough oil sloshing around the engine to keep it going. When the oil is thin, or not in sufficient quantity, the engine runs the risk of seizing up. I think we were getting quite close to a seizing-up moment in 2006," he added.

Dannatt also criticized the former Labor government for failing to provide more funding for helicopters and said, "It has been a definitive negative and we are paying to some extent the price for that in Afghanistan. You can't catch up just like that."

According to the top commander, the army was suffering from a fragile morale as the war dragged.

"My biggest concern was that that fragility could be turned into a sharp rise in exits from our trained manpower akin to going over a cliff edge. Once your manning has begun to plummet we would have been in all kinds of trouble trying to man two operations with units that were not fully manned. That would have spiraled into something of a nightmare," he further explained.

Following Washington's invasion of Iraq in 2003, the British-led coalition took control of Basra -- Iraq's third-largest city and a strategic oil hub.

Involvement in the US-led military campaign in Iraq came at a price for Britain.

Britain's military pullout from the war-weary Iraq took place in 2009 after more than 180 British troops lost their lives.

Source: Press TV
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