Feb 22, 2007

[World Affairs] Pulling Out of Iraq

Flickr - tmaiduongthi: Tony Blair Tony Blair is back in the news, and for once it's not about his impending exit as Prime Minister. This time he's rocked the world with the announcement of his exit plain for British forces in Iraq.

Of course this isn't just driven by Prince Harry serving in Iraq but of course long-term clamour from British citizens to pull out their forces from the controversial war.

The staggered withdrawal proposed by Tony Blair will involve cutting down 1,500 troops in the coming months to have troop levels below 5,000 by the end of the year. It's a rather strong statement given the recent US troop surge which sends a somewhat opposing message, coupled with other members of the coalition of the willing slowly announcing their own withdrawal plans. More and more the US is being left to its own devices in order to "finish" what they've started in Iraq, whatever that will mean in the long run.

It's an interesting move on Blair's part - given his previous statements which have always been highly in favor of US foreign policy initiatives, this move one not immediately expected from Blair. Perhaps it's a way for him to end his term on a more "positive" note for British citizens so he won't simply go down in memory as Bush's lap dog or something to that effect.

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Photo linked from Flickr user tmaiduongthi's photosteam.

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