Troops must be moved from Iraq

OVER the last few days tragic news out of Iraq and Afghanistan has given an added impetus to the debate over the role of western troops in those countries.

OVER the last few days tragic news out of Iraq and Afghanistan has given an added impetus to the debate over the role of western troops in those countries.

It is becoming clear that while the invasion of Iraq in 2003 may have been a military success, there had been no pre-invasion thought given to what would happen in the country later.

It is now degenerating into a total civil war with different ethnic and religious groups attacking each other and coalition forces.

In Afghanistan the situation is rather different - the death of two soldiers from the Royal Anglians over the weekend may have made many people question Britain's involvement in the country but most observers feel outside troops are making a real difference in a country where most of the population fear a return of the Taliban.

Many military experts feel that British troops are now stretched too far, and that the country's commitment to Iraq must be scaled down as quickly as possible.

Meanwhile those troops who might have gone to Basra would be better employed in helping mop up the remaining Taliban forces in Afghanistan.

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Prime minister Gordon Brown has made a good start to his tenancy of 10 Downing Street, but now he really needs to make some tough decisions about British troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And if President Bush doesn't like those decisions, then that just his hard luck. The American congress is already calling for a US withdrawal - and with less than 18 months left in office the current president is a lame duck in any case.

THOUSANDS of Town fans who watched the superb season opener against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday will be scratching their heads today about how the same team could have crashed so disastrously out of the Carling Cup to lowly MK Dons.

A defence which looked tight at the weekend until the last minute when the match was already won shipped goals against the minnows.

And the decision about who should take penalties was baffling - both Tommy Miller and Danny Haynes have scored from spot kicks before. Why did they not step up before Dan Harding, whose miss ultimately cost the club the chance of a cup run?

Jim Magilton was rightly furious with his team after the match - everyone will hope that spurs them on as they prepare for the long trip to Plymouth at the weekend.

IT will be a great relief to many people that yachts taking part in the Fastnet Race around the Isle of Wight have abandoned the contest and sought shelter as storms swept the English Channel.

Exactly 29 years ago to the day 15 people were lost when similar storms hit the race - this time there were mercifully no casualties as skippers took the sensible decision.

They may have missed out on winning the race this year - but at lease they'll be able to come back and have another crack at it in 2008.

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