January 08, 2007

Splits emerge over a 'troop surge' in Iraq

The 82nd Airborne Division, on their way to Kuwait. (c) Getty Images

America looks set to go it alone in its widely-anticipated “troop surge” in Iraq. An extra 20,000 U.S. soldiers will be sent to the country to ‘finish the job’ and build a longer-lasting peace.

But Britain and other (notably miniscule) members of the coalition don’t intend to follow suit. It’s widely agreed that British forces have been having more success than the Americans, using a cautious, softer approach in trying to win over ‘hearts and minds’. President Bush’s advisors seem to believe they can achieve the same ends through very different means.

Perhaps this is the only option open to the United States. Its forces are hardly renowned for their peacekeeping skills, so a surgical strike may be their own possible plan.

But there’s been criticism of the plan in Congress. The Democrat-led Senate is considering blocking funding for the surge, and a number of Republicans have spoken out against it too.

And with Britain looking to reduce its commitment during 2007, it appears few people have faith in the ‘surge’ as an effective method of bringing peace to Iraq.


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