Another example of public deception, since Bush and Blair pledged "that Allied forces will not quit until Iraq's own forces are strong enough to take control of security." . A secret UK memo has been published this weekend that shows that the UK and US are planning drastic troop reductions next year, contradicting public comments from Bush. The Daily Mail's story is entitled "Secret Plan to Quit Iraq" -One major reason is the cost, rather than the lives of the soldiers-the UK would save 500 million pounds per year. If this plan is followed, will the reduction of the forces in Iraq lead to stopping building military bases there? We are all for leaving Iraq and supporting the troops by bringing them home from Bush's war of adventure and the sooner the better.
Britain and America are secretly preparing to withdraw most of their troops from Iraq - despite warnings of the grave consequences for the region, The Mail on Sunday has learned.
A secret paper written by Defence Secretary John Reid for Tony Blair reveals that many of the 8,500 British troops in Iraq are set to be brought home within three months, with most of the rest returning six months later.
The leaked document, marked Secret: UK Eyes Only, appears to fly in the face of Mr Blair and President Bush's pledges that Allied forces will not quit until Iraq's own forces are strong enough to take control of security.
If British troops pull out, other members of the Alliance are likely to follow. The memo says other international forces in Southern Iraq currently under British control will have to be handled carefully if Britain withdraws. It says they will not feel safe and may also leave.
Embarrassingly, the document says the Americans are split over the plan - and it suggests one of the reasons for getting British troops out is to save money. Mr Reid says cutting UK troop numbers to 3,000 by the middle of next year will save £500 million a year, though it will be 18 months before the cash comes through.
The document, Options For Future UK Force Posture In Iraq, is the first conclusive proof that preparations for a major withdrawal from Iraq are well advanced.
The British Government's public position is that UK troops will stay until newly trained Iraqi forces are ready to take control of security. Less than a fortnight ago, Mr Blair said it was "vital" the US-led coalition stayed until Iraq stabilised, and Mr Bush endorsed his comments.
The document states: "There is a strong US military desire for significant force reductions.
"Emerging US plans assume 14 out of 18 provinces could be handed over to Iraqi control by early 2006, allowing a reduction in [Allied troops] from 176,000 down to 66,000. There is, however, a debate between the Pentagon/Centcom, who favour a relatively bold reduction in force numbers, and the multinational force in Iraq, whose approach is more cautious."