US sought explanation from Britain on commander's Iraq remarks

October 13th, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: US sought explanation from Britain on commander's Iraq remarks

Media: AFP
Byline: n/a
Date: 13 October 2006

WASHINGTON, Oct 13, 2006 (AFP) - The United States indicated Friday that it
had asked Britain for an explanation after a British commander urged a
quick withdrawal from Iraq, and said there was no difference of opinion
between Washington and London.

Britain's army chief, General Sir Richard Dannatt, insisted Friday that
British troops would remain in Iraq "until the job is done," backing down
from his previous call for them to withdraw soon.

Since sparking a storm with his interview in Friday's Daily Mail, Dannatt,
the chief of the general staff, tried repeatedly to put to rest any
impressions that he was at odds with Prime Minister Tony Blair and Defense
Secretary Des Browne.

"I'm a soldier -- we don't do surrender," Dannatt said in a brief written
statement that followed television and radio interviews. "We will remain in
southern Iraq until the job is done -- we're going to see this through."

In the Daily Mail interview, Dannatt said: "I don't say the difficulties we
are experiencing round the world are caused by our presence in Iraq, but
undoubtedly our presence in Iraq exacerbates them."

He told the newspaper Britain should get out "sometime soon, because our
presence exacerbates the security problems."

White House spokesman Tony Snow denied that the United States pressed for
Britain to backtrack.

"We did call and say what did he say, and we received transcripts,
especially this morning's interview. What he said is that the comment was
taken out of context and his general point was that you know when your work
is done you hand over authority to the Iraqis," Snow said.

"His general argument is: number one, there is no difference between him
and the Blair government or between Britain and the United States; and
number two, this is not an injunction to leave, that somehow everything's
getting worse. In fact, he said that there has been numerous successes on
the British part and that they are committed to victory in Iraq, and he
obviously had words of praise for the forces in Iraq and Afghanistan," Snow

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