|現在地 HOME > 掲示板 > 戦争３４ > 575.html ★阿修羅♪||
British Troops Step In To "Bail Out Yanks"/May 23/Mirror/jihadunspun
British Troops Step In To "Bail Out Yanks"
May 23, 2003
Source: The Mirror
Coalition chiefs plan to send 5,500 British Paras to Baghdad to save US troops from losing control of the Iraqi capital. Central Command top brass are terrified that war-weary American soldiers in Saddam Hussein's former power base have turned the population against them. Little if any peace keeping experience and only minimal training have been blamed for the growing disaster and continuing violence.
One senior British defence source said last night: "We have three months at best to get this right. It is absolutely crucial the people of Baghdad can be persuaded we are there to help them.
"Otherwise, the whole point of the operation could totally collapse and we could have a new war on our hands against the Iraqi people we came to liberate. "The American troops in Baghdad are not doing what is necessary. They are tired, they want to go home and they do not have the training for the job that needs to be done. After 30 years of being in Northern Ireland, as well as the Balkans, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan, we know we have those skills and have offered our help."
The urgent mission - to be given to the Paras and their mother unit 16 Air Assault Brigade - could see them airlifted to Baghdad in weeks. Sensitivity surrounding the Allies' law-and-order role was all the higher last night as the United Nations prepared for a key vote.
The Paras' mission will be diplomatically called a "reinforcement". But it will be a deep embarrassment for US commanders - and an admission they may have won the war but have failed to win the peace. Another British military source said: "Nobody is saying the US can't do soldiering. But war fighting and peace keeping are very different." But the likely plan has also caused fury among the Paras, who have already been overseas and in Iraq for almost five months. Many are desperate to come home.
The 5,500-strong brigade - which includes the Parachute Regiment's three battalions - are still on peace keeping duties around Basra. The three-month additional deployment to Baghdad has been scheduled to last until September, but could drag on until the autumn. Troops with 16 Air Assault Brigade were originally due to return home in the next few weeks. Top brass are waiting for Premier Tony Blair and Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon to rubber stamp the decision, before it is announced.
Aid agencies have accused America's 3rd Infantry Division of having too few military police on Baghdad's streets, failing to halt civil disorder and, when troops do intervene, of being heavy handed. Some suburbs are almost lawless bandit country, which US soldiers seldom enter. And troops have been accused of firing on unarmed crowds in the nearby town of Falluja, killing up to 20 demonstrators.A handful of Paras discreetly travelled up from Basra to reoccupy the British Embassy in Baghdad two weeks ago. Since then, they have been acting as an unofficial reconnaissance force for the rest of the brigade. It emerged yesterday that all 60,000 US marines in the Gulf will return home by the end of August.
Up to 100,000 American Army troops are expected to stay on as peace keepers. Relatives of Paras reacted with fury to their imminent move to Baghdad. Caroline Kelly, 34, wife of 3 Para Corporal Michael Kelly, of Colchester, said: "I want my husband home, not in another really dangerous place like Baghdad. "It's completely unfair. They have done enough already and shouldn't be sent to clear up someone else's mess." An MoD spokesman said: "This idea is speculation at the moment. All sorts of options are under consideration."
News of the mission came as America's oldest senator accused President George Bush of deceiving the US into launching an illegal, unprovoked war on Iraq. Robert Byrd, 85, said the use of weapons of mass destruction to justify the conflict had "become more than embarrassing". But in a sign of a healing of international rifts, France, Germany and Russia - which had all opposed war - said they would back the American, British and Spanish UN resolution to lift sanctions.
Meanwhile, the Queen spoke of her "great admiration" for the courage of the Household Cavalry in the Gulf as she presented them with new banners in London.