20 May 2007

More Trouble Brewing for Yesterday's Man

The UK Telegraph is predicting a British U-turn on Iraq:
US President George Bush has been told to prepare for a British U-turn on Iraq once Gordon Brown becomes prime minister, a Sunday newspaper reports.

Bush has been briefed by White House officials to expect an announcement on British troop withdrawals during Brown's first 100 days in office, The Sunday Telegraph said.

The president was advised on how to handle the aftermath of a British pullout and the end of steadfast support from London, said the broadsheet, citing senior officials.
Now that can't be good news for the embattled PM.

UPDATE: Juan Cole cites the SMH article above plus another in the Scotsman. He says:
The British officer corps is skating close to insubordination in its opposition to the Iraq mission.

Second, British public opinion is turning decisively against the war, and Brown will have to face the electorate in 2010 at the latest (Bush and Cheney face no further elections). In a February poll, 63 percent of Britons said entering the war had been an error, and only 56 percent supported keeping troops in Iraq. The first number is likely to rise and the second to fall over the period leading up to the next elections. The controversy over the decision not to send Prince Harry to Iraq (and not to let him go clubbing, either) will have put the British political elite in a bind. It is hard to justify sending British youth to be blown up in Basra if it is openly admitted that it is too dangerous for a member of the royal family to serve there. Not to mention that the political and security situation in Basra is not promising and a reduced British garrison will be increasingly vulnerable.
Brown has since done a quick PR blitz to silence the rumours. Time will tell.