British and American Forces in Iraq: Bruising Experience

Only days into their operational tour in the US sector of Iraq, four soldiers and an interpreter of the British infantry regiment, the Black Watch, were killed in several well planned attacks.

The World Today
2 minute READ

John Mackinlay

Grim news, but there are reasons why this particular mission may attract more than its share of hostile attention. Military experts have understated the significance of the disparity between American and British approaches to counter insurgency in Iraq and also failed to anticipate the unfortunate ramifications for the troops on the ground of recent media attention at home.

Analysts have frequently acknowledged the different ways British and American forces work. However the recent redeployment of the Black Watch to the American sector has been presented as a routine transfer. It is not. The two armies have seldom operated together in a counter insurgency campaign and no British battalion has ever been under US command in this context for such a significant operation. 

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