Britain is withdrawing troops from Iraq, but it has been revealed that Prime Minister Tony Blair plans to send more to Afghanistan. The increase is reported to involve more than 1,000 personnel. They will be sent to reinforce Britain’s 5,600 troops currently in Afghanistan and will mainly be deployed in the southern province of Helmand.
Prime Minister Tony Blair made no mention of the troop increase in parliament. Britain’s Shadow Defence Secretary, Liam Fox, was critical of the move. “The Prime Minister didn’t mention it at the House of Commons when he was talking about withdrawing troops in Iraq on Wednesday, despite the fact he must have known about it. To see it leaked to the press in this way shows not just contempt for parliament, but contempt for the families of our servicemen and women and for our troops themselves.”
Meanwhile, families of British servicemen killed in Iraq demonstrated outside London’s Downing Street. They joined a nationwide protest against British troop deployments in Iraq, organised by the Stop the War Coalition.