British troops

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6 UK Troops Believed Killed in Afghan Blast

Could be largest loss of life for British forces since 2006

(Newser) - Six British soldiers were believed killed after an explosion hit their armored vehicle in southwestern Afghanistan, Britain's Ministry of Defense said today. If confirmed, it would be the biggest loss of life for British forces in the country since a plane crash in 2006 killed 14. The soldiers were... More »

Afghan 'Snuff Films' Degrading British Troops

But military says films shown to inform troops and help morale

(Newser) - It's not exactly must-see TV. British troops in Afghanistan have been watching "Kill TV," featuring gruesome footage of helicopter attacks cutting down people, reports the Independent . The revelation comes from a documentary soon to air on British television. In one video, an Afghan woman is referred to... More »

Pedophilia Accepted in South Afghanistan: Study

'Boy play' common across parts of country

(Newser) - Pedophilia is a widely-accepted practice in southern Afghanistan, where "boys are apprenticed to older men for their sexual initiation," US social scientists find. British officers requested the study amid soldiers’ complaints about unwanted advances from locals, including Afghan soldiers. Young Western troops "were beginning to feel uncomfortable... More »

British Budget Cuts Threaten to Weaken Our No. 1 Military Ally

Pullback could severely limit their ability to man joint operations

(Newser) - The Brits are about to make "brutal" cuts in their military budget, slashing as much as 20% and leaving US military experts to wonder if America's most reliable ally in combat operations will be substantially weakened. The British say the cuts won't undermine their troop commitment in Afghanistan over... More »

US Tries Out British Camo in Afghanistan

MultiCam pattern could replace current digital one

(Newser) - US troops could soon be mistaken for their across-the-pond counterparts: The US is now testing out uniforms with a camouflage pattern similar to the one the British announced they were using last week. The "MultiCam" uniform is being tested by one infantry regiment in eastern Afghanistan, and if successful... More »

US Seeks 10K Allied Troops in Afghanistan

Grumbling nations only want to provide half

(Newser) - The US is struggling to convince its allies to commit 10,000 more troops to the war in Afghanistan, according to federal sources. Allied leaders are willing to provide only half that figure for an operation increasingly unpopular with their citizens, particularly amid concerns about corruption in the Afghan government.... More »

Rogue Afghan Cop Kills 5 Brit Soldiers

Culprit escapes after turning weapon on training team

(Newser) - Five British soldiers died in Helmand province yesterday after a rogue Afghan cop opened fire on a group of Afghan policemen and their British mentors drinking tea together. The mentors had been training the Afghans for two weeks when one of the trainees turned his weapon on them without warning.... More »

UK Colonel's Death Raises Fury at Home

He's killed by roadside bomb after warning about lack of choppers

(Newser) - Britain's newspapers are up in arms today over the revelation that a commander got killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan just weeks after warning his superiors they weren't doing enough to prevent such deaths. Lt. Col. Rupert Thorneloe complained in an email that troops didn't have enough helicopters and... More »

US to Pressure Brits for More Troops in Afghanistan

(Newser) - The US is expected to push for more British troops to help fight the Taliban in Afghanistan, a move certain to be unpopular with the British public, reports the Guardian. NATO Gen. Stanley McChrystal will likely recommend to President Obama that the current total of 150,000 Afghan troops should... More »

Soldiers Who Survive War Are Less Intelligent

Records reveal that the smartest of Scottish regiments died on WWII battlefields

(Newser) - Soldiers who survived World War II were on average less intelligent than their fallen comrades, a study of British records has revealed. Researchers merged military records with an IQ test given to Scottish schoolchildren in 1932 and found that Scots who died in battle had an average IQ of 100.... More »

Brown Announces July Withdrawal in Baghdad

Brown says troops home by July in surprise Baghdad visit

(Newser) - British Prime Minister Gordon Brown made a surprise visit to Baghdad today and announced that all but a handful of British troops will leave Iraq by July 2009. About 4,000 British service members remain in Iraq, mostly around Basra, though at the height of the war 100,000 were... More »

Brown Hints He'd Nix Obama Plea for Troops

Time for other nations to step up in Afghanistan, warns prime minister

(Newser) - British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has hinted that Britain would defy a request by Barack Obama to send 2,000 more troops to Afghanistan, the Times of London reports. After hearing of bleak progress there against the resurging Taliban, Brown warned that other nations will have to shoulder further deployments.... More »

Britain to Withdraw Troops From Iraq by June

(Newser) - British troops will begin withdrawing their 4,000 troops from Iraq in March and will have all but a few hundred out by the end of June, the Guardian reports. They will be replaced at their base in Basra not by Iraqis but by Americans, who are worried about keeping... More »

Britain Will Resist US Calls for Afghan Buildup

Army stretched too thin, top commander says

(Newser) - Britain should oppose any calls from President Obama to shift troops to Afghanistan as they are pulled out of Iraq, the country's defense chief says, arguing that UK troops need a breather. “I have said for a very long time that the British armed forces are stretched,” Sir... More »

Brits Join the Fight in Basra

US widens its airstrikes, and Sadr tells followers to keep their weapons

(Newser) - As the Iraqi army struggles to combat militias in Basra, British troops for the first time directly joined the fight, and American forces expanded their bombing beyond the militia stronghold. The Brits, who had previously provided only logistical and air support to the Iraqis, fired on an insurgent mortar team... More »

Prince Harry Should Have Stayed

Christopher Hitchens asks what threat he posed others

(Newser) - When Matt Drudge revealed to the world Prince Harry was in Afghanistan, there he should have stayed, writes Christopher Hitchens for Slate. It's "piffle" to think that his royal highness was a "bullet magnet" in Helmand province, already one of the most dangerous places on Earth for any... More »

Aussie Mag Apologizes to Harry

Publishing Afghan story was 'irresponsible and insensitive,' say editors

(Newser) - An Australian women's magazine has apologized to Britain's Prince Harry for breaking a media embargo and being the first to reveal that he was serving with troops in Afghanistan. The young royal was immediately pulled from the combat zone after just 10 weeks because of fears he would become a... More »

UK Troops Accused of Executing Iraqis

Five men file suit, say soldiers killed and tortured 20 captives

(Newser) - British soldiers killed up to 20 Iraqi captives after a 2004 firefight, say lawyers representing five men taken prisoner that day, the BBC reports. The men—described by their lawyers as laborers, not insurgents—say they heard UK soldiers killing and torturing captives at a British base after the gun... More »

After 5 Years, Brits Hand Over Basra to Iraqis

Strategic, unstable region to test strength of Baghdad government

(Newser) - Ending five years of British control in southern Iraq, the UK today handed over authority for the wealthy, populous Basra region to the Iraqi government. Residents greeted the handover with jubilation, but the responsibility for Basra—strategically located, an oil export hub and home of Iraq's only port—will prove... More »

Britain Coordinated Troop Cuts With the US

Defense heads say they agreed southern Iraq was secure enough

(Newser) - The British and American defense secretaries say the US was consulted before Britain halved its troops in Iraq, the Los Angeles Times reports, and they agreed southern Iraq was secure enough for the withdrawal. US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the withdrawal was coordinated with US commander Gen. David Petraeus,... More »

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