Thursday, July 29, 2004

Brits Raise Warnings on Iraq and Afghanistan

The Commons Foreign Affairs Committee has issued its fifth report on the “war against terrorism”, warning that both Iraq and Afghanistan are on the verge of becoming failed states:

“Iraq has become a ‘battle ground’ for al Qaida, with appalling consequences for the Iraqi people. The coalition’s failure to bring law and order to parts of Iraq created a vacuum into which criminal elements and militias have stepped.”

“The insufficient number of troops in Iraq has contributed to the deterioration in security.

“The failure of countries other than the US and the United Kingdom to send significant numbers of troops has had serious and regrettable consequences, not only for the Iraqis but also in terms of the burden placed on UK resources and perceptions of the legitimacy of operations in Iraq.”


“The alternative to a positive outcome in Iraq may be a failed state and regional instability.”


“Fine communiqués and ringing declarations are no substitute for delivery of the forces and equipment which Afghanistan needs on the ground.”

“There is a real danger if these resources are not provided soon that Afghanistan – a fragile state in one of the most sensitive and volatile regions of the world – could implode, with terrible consequences.”


At a news conference to launch the report, the committee chairman, Labour MP Donald Anderson, conceded that the invasion of Iraq had resulted in a heightened terrorist threat.

“It would be difficult to resist the argument that the threat has increased,” he said.

Reading around, I discovered another little Iraq info tidbit:  200 Jordanian truck drivers have been killed in Iraq by armed thieves or U.S. forces since the war began.  I wonder, are the number of foreign workers' deaths in Iraq compiled anywhere?

UPDATE:  The Pakistanis came through on the July Surprise.  Unfortunately for Bush, they appear to have captured Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, a Tanzanian wanted in the Africa embassy bombings, rather than Osama bin Laden.  If the report is true, I'm happy to hear that another alleged terrorist has been taken out of circulation.  But I don't see this bumping Big John's speech off of the unseeing eye.

Thanks to bo for the link.