This morning on RTE Radio1 Tom McGurk discussed the Iraq war with Colonel Tim Collins, Tom Cloonan and Robert Fox.
All three are military experts. Robert Fox claimed that British military commanders are telling the Government that no more can be done in the area around Basra. He claims that a split is opening between Britain and the US on the issue.
Tom Cloonan argued that the real war should have been in Afghanistan. He stated that the devices used by the insurgents in the initial period were rudimentary. He described how Iranian military equipment is now being used against US and Iraqi forces. According to Tom Cloonan Iran wishes to extend its influence in Iraq.
He alleged that Israel had threatened the US that it would use tactical nuclear weapons against sites in Iran. So the US is caught between a rock and a hardplace. If the US withdraws Israel might launch a nuclear strike against Iran as it fears a possible nuclear attack. This would plunge the Middle East into a huge military conflagration and disrupt oil supplies. Middle East issues are more complex than Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama realise. The presence of US forces in nearby Iraq probably helps to forestall the possibility of an Israeli attack on Iran.
Colonel Tim Collins argued that Britain would be better off cutting its losses and getting out.
Further complicating the matter is the fact that there are major separatist tendencies and linguistic differences within Iran. Iran is anything but stable. The US must never invade Iran.
The US and Britain must work toward withdrawal from Iraq. However the simplistic approach being adopted by Democrats in the US would lead to disaster. The US and Britain cannot afford to suffer an ignominious defeat. If such were to occur Islamic terrorists would be encouraged to step up attacks on the West. The US erred in the first place by invading Iraq however Israel had previously threatened to use nuclear weapons against Iraq also. Did this spur the invasion of Iraq? If the Republican party is to retain the Presidency a coherent withdrawal strategy must be put in place.
The partition of Iraq looks inevitable. Only a tyrant could hold Kurds ,Shiias and Sunnis together.