Iraq: Neocon War Pimp attacks Brits
Frederick Kagan, one of the architects of the surge strategy, warned that the British departure risked creating "bad feeling" among US troops, some of whom may face extended terms of duty as a result.
He spoke out after the deaths of three British soldiers in Afghanistan, killed by bombs dropped from a US aircraft, placed new strains on the alliance in the other main military theatre.
In an outspoken interview, Mr Kagan condemned British politicians for failing to understand how best to tackle Islamic extremists, and for refusing to increase the size of the Armed Forces so they could pull their full weight in Iraq.
Details of the number of US troops required to take over were disclosed by a senior British officer, who asked not to be named. He also revealed that commanders at the Ministry of Defence were "irritated" by the growing criticism from the US of their handling of Basra.
To fill the vacuum, US Army chiefs may have to break a promise not to extend operational tours in Iraq beyond the current 15 month maximum, or risk diverting a significant number of the extra soldiers currently in Baghdad for the troop surge.
Mr Kagan, who has just returned from Iraq, said: "The likeliest effect of British withdrawal from Basra is to keep an American unit in country for longer than they would like. I do worry about the short term effects on the relationship between the two countries. It will create bad feeling with American soldiers if they can't go home because the British have left." Link