Tony Blair announced the force reduction today, which will bring U.K. troops strength in Iraq down to 5000 by the end of summer, with the rest to come out by next year. At their peak, the British forces had over 45,000 troops in that country.
And it is not only the Brits drawing down. Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen is pulling out his nation's 460 combat troops, and will replace them with 50 observers. The coalition as reported by the BBC currently looks like this:
Now if all this wasn't depressing enough, the GOP is in full, out of control, spin mode. The administration is gushing about how this is great news, that the Brits have stabilized southern Iraq to the point they can go home. Apparently, U.S. Senator, Wayne Allard, a Republican from Colorado, didn't get the talking points memo. He was just on the local news on KCNC-TV (CBS 4) in Denver, blaming the Democratic-led, non-binding vote against Bush's troop surge for sending the allies a wrong message that America is not committed to winning in Iraq. Wayne, didn't you hear? No blame needed. This is a good thing. Just ask the Decider-In-Chief.
I just have to ask . . . if southern Iraq is secure and can be handed off to Iraqi forces, why don't the British troops go to help with the surge in Baghdad? I guess Blair is finally listening to his constituents. I only wish our President would listen to his.