RUSI JournalVolume 158Issue 1members only

The Charge of the Knights: The British in Basra, 2008


By 2008, it was clear that Britain had got Basra wrong. Ten years on from the invasion, an insider provides a first-hand account of what the mistakes were, and what can be learnt for future operations.

By 2008, the initially promising security situation in Basra had deteriorated to the extent that the British Army had withdrawn to the airport, kilometres from the city. Domestic pressure was also hastening the UK's handover to local security forces. The British became onlookers in Basra's insurgency; Operation Charge of the Knights was the result. In this article, Richard Iron identifies the lessons of the British campaign in Basra and the strategic nature of the mistaken

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