Britain to offer force
July 8, 2002
By Michael Evans
Britain is making plans to offer a "significant" force from the three Armed Services to join the United States in a military campaign against President Saddam Hussein next year.
Although there is no formal request from the US, the Ministry of Defence is involved in what one senior official described as a "rebalancing" of troops, warships and combat aircraft to ensure that Britain can play its part in any offensive.
Troops from Afghanistan and the Balkans are being withdrawn, partly because their missions have come to an end or have been reduced, but also because the MoD knows it will need enough forces if a decision is taken to attack Iraq.
An MoD official said that Britain would want to provide "a militarily significant force", involving a small division of 12,000- 15,000 troops, to ensure that commanders had appropriate power and responsibility to influence decision-making. The MoD would also be expected to offer a Royal Navy task force and Tornado bombers.