British Forces to Start Leaving Iraq in March

Britain, the only other nation besides the United States with a significant number of troops on the ground in Iraq, intends to begin pulling its remaining 4,100 forces from the nation in March, with a goal of having no more than 400 remaining by next summer.

Britain was among the largest allies for America’s “coalition of the willing” which invaded Iraq in 2003. The United States presently has over 150,000 soldiers in Iraq, which by next summer will constitute over 99% of the international commitment.

Under the plans, Britain will remove all equipment currently in Iraq. Drones and a handful of helicopters will be shifted to Afghanistan, while the remained will be, according to a British military source “put on the shelf for another occasion.” The British forces will be replaced in Basra by a new American headquarters to be set up at the airport.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.