“The British in Basra are unpopular and mostly ineffective. The last survey of Basra residents by BBC Newsnight indicated that 86 per cent believe British troops have had a negative effect on the Iraqi province since 2003. More than half felt the troops presence had actually increased the overall level of militia violence over the past four years. Twelve per cent believed that British troops had made no difference at all. Only two per cent believed British troops had had a positive effect. And 83 per cent said they wanted British troops to leave Iraq without delay.“
So why do they stay?
“As Basra province holds 80 per cent of Iraq’s oil reserves and is home to the country’s only deep sea port and trade routes to the Gulf, the private sector is likely to be primarily US or US allies and not Iraqi. The British helped with the drafting of the new oil law, and with this commission are moving along the take over of Iraq’s assets and the long-term expropriation of massive profits from them.”