Reality Check: don't believe a word of it.
Why should you when they don't, pumping out interminable spin as they do, processed and fed them by the Bush and Blair governments?
A recent MoD paper, reported in The Telegraph, in the UK talks about five years:
Britain's "overstretched" armed forces will fight in Iraq for at least another five years ... troops will be serving on operations in the Gulf until at least 2012.
The contents of the document, distributed last month, appear to be in marked contrast to a statement made by Tony Blair in February giving the impression that British troops would remain in Iraq for less than two years. He said: "The UK military presence will continue into 2008". Mr Blair told the Commons: "Increasingly our role will be support and training, and our numbers will be able to reduce accordingly."
Patrick Mercer, a former infantry colonel and former Tory homeland security spokesman, said: "The reality is that many troops will remain in Iraq for the foreseeable future and continue to take casualties."
Senior commanders also revealed the number of troops committed to Afghanistan is likely to increase over the next two years.
In a recent report, A Duty to Mislead: Politics and the Iraq War, on US National Public Radio, broadcaster Ted Koppel stated:
"Democrats are telling voters that if they are elected, all U.S. troops will be pulled out of Iraq. But as Sen. Hillary Clinton privately told a senior military adviser, she knows there will be some troops there for decades. It's an example of how in some cases, politics can force dishonesty."
"In a recent interview with the New York Times," Koppel continues, "Senator Clinton emphasized that there are remaining vital national security issues [clearly oil] in Iraq and that these would require a continuing deployment of American troops."
"She didn't, in that interview, give any sense of how long U.S. forces might remain in Iraq during a Clinton administration."
And to an old military friend of Koppel's Clinton revealed how, were she to be elected and then re-elected, "she would still expect U.S. forces to be in Iraq at the end of a second term."
"When, oh when," Koppel despairs, "is that deadly serious issue going to become the topic of an equally serious and candid discussion? When, in other words, will we get the brutal truth in place of vapid and misleading campaign applause lines?"
Well, the brutal truth is finally seeping out, proving that the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan was, all along, to capture and occupy areas of strategic and economic importance to the U.S. led multinational corporations: oil and gas.
Now we have a ruling class toff, Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles would you believe, the new UK Ambassador to Afghanistan, telling the ever servile Huw Edwards of BBC News 24 that the British will have to remain in Afghanistan for "a long time ... we should be thinking in terms of decades."
On being questioned why the British are building a huge new embassy in Kabul (as are the Americans in Baghdad) Sir Sherard admitted that "strategic interests" required it.
"Ministers realize we are here for the long haul."
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