"The US soldiers are expected to move south early next year, when Downing Street hopes to begin a scale down that will lead to a complete departure. Iraqi sources last night confirmed earlier reports that Britain would pull its remaining 500 troops out of Basra Palace – the last remaining garrison in the city itself – in a matter of days, paving the way for a full scale withdrawal in the coming months.
But the British officer also added: "It’s clear from talking to the Americans that they are going to have to fill the gap we will leave.
The feeling is that the moment the vacuum opens there the Iranian Revolutionary Guard will be in like a shot. The Americans are talking about sending a brigade, but it’s still fluid."
The likely US presence in the south is smaller than the 5,500 strong British force currently deployed, but US brigades come with far more air power than their counterparts." The Independent
I have a lot of respect for British troops, but there is no doubt that the vacuum created in southern Iraq by their government’s decision to withdraw them will have to be filled by US troops. This is yet another burden for a force that is already too small.
I have written often of the danger posed by the exposed US supply line in the same area. That supply line will have to be protected. In the same way, the city of Basra can not be completely surrendered to ISCI, the Sadrists and/or their Iranian friends.