As the people of Great Britain prepare for their fifth Christmas with members of their armed forces fighting in Iraq, there is growing lack of confidence not merely with the war itself, but with the attitude of British army leaders to their own soldiers. Only 33% of people surveyed say, “British soldiers are fittingly housed at home, abroad and on operations.” At least one in four blame the Iraq war for loss of confidence among the population for their own military leadership. The past few years have witnessed a gradual decline in those believing the army values its soldiers and now only about 58% have such an attitude. There apparently is a gap between support for British soldiers and the manner in which they have been treated by leadership of the armed forces.
As in any war that goes on for years, the population grows weary of promises that fighting will soon cease.
There has been too much rhetoric about victory and too little honesty concerning problems in gaining victory. Part of the difficulty is even having a definition as to what constitutes “victory” in Iraq. There is scant evidence George Bush, let alone, Tony Blair ever grasped the complexity of what they were getting into by invading Iraq. Now, there is strong desire on the part of the British people to conclude the invasion and bring troops back home.