Are the Brits getting serious ... ?

We all wish it were easier. But in the Jihad War thus far, the most wishful thinkers have always been the most mistaken. That applies to Americans (beginning in the 90s), but also the British  and the continental Europeans. Everybody is more sober now, and beginning to understand that the only thing worse than fighting the bad guys is losing to them. This is Dunkirk, but we have no Churchills to seize the moment and bolster our courage

We can see the debate taking place across the pond. The Brits have drawn down their troops in Basra until now only 5,000 are left. They want to pull out the rest, and maybe increase troop support in Afghanistan. But those 5,000 British Army troops are crucial to holding the supply route from Kuwait to Baghdad, which makes the American military surge possible. If the Brits pull the plug in Basra the other Coalition gains in Iraq will be lost. Say welcome to Ahmadi-Nejad, Al Qaeda and the bloodbath.

To make things worse, the British military has been decimated over the last decade by someone named Gordon Brown: Today's Prime Minister, but then Chancellor of the Exchequer. The insatiable welfare state gobbled up money for defense (and national security, police, etc.), with disastrous results. Europe boasted of how peaceful everything was, and how budgets could therefore be diverted to social welfare. Millions of indoctrinated Muslims were imported by the multicultists, sneering at plainly visible dangers from their higher moral plane. Defense spending over there is now proportionally half of America's, even after our own "peace dividend" was spent.

Today Russia is re-arming very fast, using its new oil money, Iran's corrupt theocrats are hot on the trail of nukes, and shaky regimes from Saudi to Pakistan are dogged by Islamist suiciders. The jihad has metastasized.

This is called "reality." It has never been any different. The end of the Cold War merely brought the illusion that the Age of Aquarius had finally arrived. Democracies disarmed, as they always do. All the troublemakers were gone, right?

In an important article in the UK Spectator, William Shawcross recalls some home truths. He quotes US General Jack Keane, one of the architects of the surge, on two basic points:   

1.  ‘It's really frustrating that while the US has the momentum in the north the Brits have let the south come apart. It would be absolutely the wrong time to withdraw. We need the Brits as an anchor in the south. Otherwise we will need to pull forces from the main effort, in the central region of Iraq, which is exactly what our enemy would want.'

2. ‘American leaders have now realised that more troops are needed to meet the increasing challenges of extremism and radical Islam. I hope the British face up to this harsh national reality as well. Our collective security is at stake.'
Shawcross concludes,
"The sirens who call for us to abandon Iraq would do well to turn an eye to history. In the careless partition of India in 1947 around a million people died. When America was defeated in Vietnam in 1975 the bloodbath theory proved true - horror engulfed all of Indochina.

In Iraq the bestial zealotry of the Muslim terrorists warns us of even greater horrors. Hundreds of thousands of people could die or be uprooted in the full-scale civil war that followed Western capitulation. Huge numbers who hoped that we really would help them create a decent Iraq are terrified that we will capitulate. And with reason. As  Petraeus said recently of the aftermath of withdrawal, ‘If you didn't like Darfur, you're going to hate Baghdad.'" (italics added)
This is a huge test of British resolve, but also of NATO, the EU, the United States and the civilized peoples of the world. This is not the first challenge, and it will not be the last. We have heard all the wishful thinkers since 9/11. With new leaders in Britain, France and Germany, it may be possible --- though not certain, by any means --- that the West will finally mobilize for victory.

James Lewis blogs at