Those who haven't followed the Iraq war closely may not realize that the British mission to pacify and stabilize the city of Basra in the south turned out to be a complete failure. Now Britain is about to depart in virtual disgrace after the Iraqi army, supported by American troops, ousted the Shiite militias who were in control of the city, while the British hunkered down outside in their encampments.
Michael Portillo, a former Tory cabinet minister writes this about the humiliation Britain has endured in Iraq. Many wonder if the US can count on any effective support from any European country in future conflicts. Britain did the most to try to help in Iraq, but ultimately failed.
It's sad to see a modern version of ancient Rome turning into Italy.