The US has welcomed a British decision to redeploy troops to central Iraq following their request for assistance.
Five hundred Black Watch soldiers and 350 support personnel in Basra will move to the American sector but remain under British control.
A White House spokesman said the move would help American-led forces address what he called the ongoing security challenges in the country.
Do you agree with the decision? Will an assault on Falluja help bring stability to Iraq? Will the country be safe enough to hold elections? Do you know someone who is currently serving in the armed forces out in Iraq?
This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.
My grandfather was a British citizen before he emigrated to the US. I will always be proud of my heritage and now as a third generation American, I am still amazed and proud of the British people. Thank you for being such good and special friends.
Cheryl Hill Ruiz, Maryland, USA
I am the son of a 12-year Marine, 5-year Cop. and 2-year National Guard Solder! I think there should be a media black-out on crucial details until Falluja is under complete control. The ranking commanders will know best to resolve obstacles without having outside stress from political sources. I don't understand what happened to the phrase "united" with egos of country pride killing each other off and causing fogged judgement. Iraq is the country with the problems, not the US and UK. Allies are friends and all of the solders deserve the highest credit for risking their lives to defend all humanity from terror! To the solders of both nations: Think smart, think fast, and don't get dead.
Dereck R, Virginia
Yes if the redeployment will bring a strategic asset to the fight to end the insurgency.
Kareem Saad, Baghdad, Iraq
The UK troops have done their part, it is now time they return home. The people just don't want to see the Americans in their country. Blair let the solders go home.
Stephen SM Bendah, Liberia/Ghana
The deployment of our troops to allow the US to attack Falluja to capture Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is not required. It is impossible for him to be shown in videos taken elsewhere and be in heavily guarded Falluja at the same time. The US is just giving the impression that they are winning the war on terrorism.
Ray, Wolverhampton, UK
As a mom of a US Marine in the Sunni area, I say thank you. I am very proud of US troops, UK troops, and all other troops for their efforts in helping Iraq to have the freedom to choose leadership. Remember, without our freedom to choose we may not be able to voice our opinions freely in this forum.
Celia, Oklahoma, USA
There is only one ally in the world that I would trust to fight beside me. That being the fighting men and women from the UK! There is no other better fighting force in the world.
Johnny, Memphis, Tennessee, USA
As a Brit living in America I can assure you that very little mention is made of British troop deployment - there is no political advantage taken here for anyone. And, yes - the Yanks have helped us out before and helped the French and many others too - it's great that we can reciprocate like this and perhaps do it with the skill and poise with which our troops have become famous.
Bruce Robertson, Birmingham, AL, USA
Let's be realistic, we went into this war at the start and just because the going is getting a little tough we cannot now just back out, what kind of message would that send to the world about our troops, it certainly would not be the one that we are the best trained army in the world. Also all the years of policing the streets of Ireland which US troops do not have can only stand us in good stead.
We would do more harm than good by trading the British hearts and minds approach for the American shock and awe tactic. The government should take the brave decision to defer any redeployment until after the US presidential election. The request has been made at an inappropriate time, and the Americans should not have put the British government in a position where it has to take a decision which could have a serious impact on the US presidential election - if we agree, we are easing Bush's growing Iraqi burden, but if we don't we are playing right into Kerry's hands. But then, political sensitivity has never been the strong point of the Bush White House.
Paul, Watford, UK
Send our boys in. Let them do their job. It's what they chose to do and it's what they are paid for. You don't join the Army to sit about and wait.
No-one has mentioned that the dice has been cast. All Black Watch soldiers on courses, training etc are to be sent to Iraq and the Regts tour of duty has been extended to March next year instead of January. Hoon says no decision has be made - rubbish.
I suggest you take twenty billion dollars and start hiring every Iraqi at $200.00 a month to rebuild their own country. This will install self pride and give most of them something to do besides picking through junk. Take another 20 billion and jump start the total reconstruction using Iraqi companies. If they have to hire outside help, let them do the choosing. Fire Halliburton and all outside contractors that have committed fraud. Quit running around the country hunting ghosts, flattening homes and killing women and children.
US and UK have been the aggressors and should stand down. Quit trying to install a puppet government. Unite the world to clean this mess up. The world will never unite under the present leadership of the US and UK. They have failed and have their supporters in denial. It must be accepted that other methods and approaches have to be found for world peace without destruction of societies on both sides.
I have just read about a husband having to tell his wife the heartbreaking news that he would not now be coming home next Wednesday as planned. They have three small girls and an R&R baby on the way. He feels distressed at having to break their hearts with the latest news and commented on how none of the Soldiers he serves with feel equipped or prepared to be sent out into this area.
He also commented on how the Americans are not prepared to assist our troops to ensure we are properly prepared and equipped out there. My fiancÚ left the army four weeks ago after 14 years service and I am so glad. He is from a military family and his father and grandfather, uncles and cousins have all served their country. I will ensure that our son is not encouraged to follow suit.
Jo Bee, Coventry
Members of Parliament should vote on this matter. And we should contact our MPs now.
Anne Picken, Stafford, England
The smugness of some is so unfounded. British troops were given the easiest and safest assignment in Iraq in the very anti-Saddam and monolithic southern Iraq. No Sunnis, no Sadr and poor crowded Baghdad slums. Yet I hear so many criticize the USA for excessive force even though they must try to control the Sunni Triangle and all the hot spots. If you are afraid to redeploy troops, then at least acknowledge the difficulties of the job already taken on by American troops. You can't have it both ways.
Who is running the army now... is it the government or the left wing media?
Alex Nicol, Greenock
This is madness! Few of us wanted to be involved in this war to begin with and now we're going to be used for one of Bush's political stunts? Blair doesn't care at all about the British people - he has consistently and constantly ignored our every desire. How he could even dream of another term is beyond me!
Jon, Sunbury-on-Thames, Middlesex
We have to help them, they have helped us.
Andrew Grimm, Edinburgh Scotland
It's a sad day when the mummies of British Troops have more say on their deployment than their commanders.
Paul Smith, Glasgow
I am a member of the British Army and have been for over 14 years. I signed on the dotted line and therefore go where I am told, so do the others who have joined HM Forces. We are regard as one of the best Military Forces in the world, respected by many and that is because we are professional and are training allows us to perform at the highest levels under the stress levels many others can not deal with. As long as the Unit pushing further North into Iraq is given the full support, logistically and back home in the UK then there should be no reason why they can not go in do the job and come home safely. I am sure when the Iraqi people see how the British differ from the Americans in their attitude they will accept us far better then them.
Serving Soldier (withheld name)
For the government to say that they don't know if the troops will be sent north is rubbish! My brother is in the Black Watch and he returned from Iraq two weeks ago. He was sent back first thing on Monday morning. Why would they have sent him back if they didn't know what was happening!
I served in Iraq during the conflict. There weren't any hard and fast rules at that stage about where we would serve. Eventually the country was divided into regions that would be policed by different nations' troops. That doesn't mean that troops cannot cross those lines. The British troops are there to do a job. They are soldiers and they should be used anywhere in Iraq that they are needed. The different style of soldiering that the Brits used compared to the Americans will help calm the tense situations in the North. Keep the politicians and the civilians out of the decision. It should be a decision made by Commanders.
Iain McMenemy, Stirling, Scotland
My brother has been in Iraq for seven months now. He has served his country and now he's tired. He's not superhuman. Why are they keeping people out there who have already been there for long enough? Their families are looking forward to seeing them home safe and now they throw this in our faces. So much for moral. Let them come home.
Liz, Manchester, UK
These soldiers signed up to serve Queen and Country... not Stars and Stripes, this is an appalling state of affairs... and all the while the Black Watch's future is under threat. Absolutely disgraceful.
Mike, Cupar, Fife
I doubt the US military would not have made the request without knowing that the request would be approved. The US military is not blind to political considerations in Iraq.
Victor, Atlanta, GA
After reading the comments below by Black Watch soldiers, it has been made obvious to me that they operate mentally on a different level to us citizens here at home. Although I admire their bravery, I must say that I am disappointed in their lack of independent thought when it comes to orders from above. The let's get the job done attitude is exactly why they are so easy to manoeuvre and influence, probably resulting in needless British deaths where the Americans have more than enough soldiers to deploy. It is no coincidence that the American Presidential election is looming and Bush doesn't want his people seeing any more American body bags coming home.
To Rich, London: It is exactly that attitude that destroys a good military. The British Army is the best in the world in no small measure to the fact that the soldiers do what they are told without question. In the heat of battle do you want someone to pop there head up and say "Well I'm not sure I should really be here, I never joined up to fight". It's this mentality that has brought the US military to its knees (with the exception of the Marines). I admire our armed forces more than any other job in the country, they are brave men doing a difficult job but it's the training and discipline that keeps them alive not questioning orders.
Get them home before you will regret their losses in the Valley of Death.
Omar Anwar, Baghdad, Iraq
As an ex-soldier I think it is right that the Black Watch be made available to the Americans. We have over 30 years of bitter won experience in working with terrorists in Northern Ireland. I feel that our walk softly and carry a big stick approach will show our American counterparts that success can be achieved without resorting to overwhelming firepower. Besides which, our troops can use the opportunity to scrounge kit of the American which the MOD should by rights give our troops - a word of warning to the Americans... if it's not nailed down the British army will have it!
David, London, UK
I have just retired from the forces after 22 years and think that politicians should let the military commanders get on with it and leave the decision to them, that after all is what they are paid for. If Charlie Kennedy wants to get involved with the rest of the meddlers let them put on a uniform and get out there so they could understand the decision being made by professional soldiers and not by meddling politicians.
Andy Price, Colchester, Essex
A lot of people insist on how good the British army is and how criticisms of this war some how affects the troops. First all of all, the job that currently coalition forces faces is not of fighting a war but of policing an occupied unfriendly country so the effectiveness of the in combat is irrelevant. Second this war was a war for the Iraqis but it was never a war for the coalition. Neither the US nor the UK ever declared war in Iraq nor was there peace treaty signed. The US and the UK were never threatened by Iraqi forces. This war was not inevitable but was rather a war of choice. In a county faced with life and death situation one has every right to ask from the people to blindly follow the head of state. A country on the other hand fighting a war of choice it is one's duty to question that choice.
Konstadinos Vita, Athens, Greece
The only thing more shameful than getting involved in this conflict in the first place, would be not doing our best to ensure security for the Iraqi citizens who have had their lives affected by our actions now that we're there. Part of the obligation that stems from our earlier actions involves committing troops to dangerous roles now.
Rachel Pirry, Glasgow, UK
To all those who say that disagreeing with this deployment is wrong for our troops - rubbish! I know all about being a serviceman, I was one for 37 years! I support both our troops and the Americans. The use of the lives of these brave men and women as political toys is what I object to. The Black Watch Officer who accuses those who question the action of politicians should look at the wider agenda, namely that when he and his regiment get back, this self same government is probably going to disband them! The loyalty, courage and professionalism of our armed forces is not the question - loyalty should work both ways.
Danny Streather, UK
I have two points to make. First moving of British troops has absolutely nothing to do with our domestic politics...check CNN, FOX and MSNBC they don't even mention it. This will have no effect on our elections - anyone who states otherwise is at best na´ve and uninformed. Secondly I am insulted by the posts stating that it is wrong for your troops to support the US when we ask for your help...as friends and more importantly allies you should expect us to come to your aid as we expect you to come to ours. I doubt you would have to wait too long the next time you call on us. Americans would fight and die for the UK if you need us again.
Bryan, New York
How ironic that the Black Watch was originally formed not to serve outside the Scottish border - and then asked to do more. Now they are to break new ground again. It will be a double irony if they excel in their new area of operations - which they inevitably will - and are then subsumed into a faceless new super-regiment as part of the planned restructuring (cuts). Bless them all.
Earlier this year I was staying with my brother in law, who is serving in the USAF and it seems to me that the majority of the British public don't appreciate how grateful the Americans are for the assistance that our armed forces are giving them. When the guys on the airbase found out I was British, all they could say was "We love you guys". We are in this together and we must fight shoulder to shoulder.
Paul H, Gillingham, Kent
Like the Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said: "Bush is the God and Blair is the prophet". Why Mr Blair? Please just show the British people that you make your own decisions based on what your people (who voted you into office) want. Please let your soldiers come home in November as you promised.
Emmanuel Nyoni, Harare
Here's another example of propaganda using misleading words. This is not just redeployment. It's not just moving troops around within Iraq. The 600 odd British troops taken from south Iraq will be replaced with troops stationed in Cyprus. Given our present commitment in Iraq is 8,500 troops, this means a 7% increase. Why does the BBC continue to mislead?
Marek Warno, London
I'm 16 and currently in basic training to join the British Army. The forces we have to send are highly trained and more than capable for the job. I know that those lads out there would much rather we support them 100% instead of a running debate. They're out there for us and our freedom. To give them all our support is the least we can do!
Daniel, Gloucester, England
From what I've read, it sounds to me like the British people do not want to continue being part of this occupation. Why doesn't the parliament listen to their own people, since they claim to represent them?
Guy Gregory, Rapid City, South Dakota, USA
Yours has always been a noble and formidable fighting force. Let them show us how it's done.
We were united in liberating the Iraqis from the tyranny of Hussein and are still clearing the country of the hundreds of terrorists he had been aiding, so if we need to be redeployed then so be it. The British Army never leaves a job half done.
This war has generated so much mistrust and so much hatred of our political leaders that I believe that many people would now accept more US and Iraqi casualties in the hope that it would bring down George Bush. The same could be said for enlarged deployment of UK troops. Let the Black Watch move north and see how Labour support dips as the casualties rise.
Joe Ryan, Chartres, France
This wrangling is simply awful! We are in a war ladies and gentlemen. All efforts must now go towards winning. Back the troops 100%. Forget your politics. Forget your petty gripes. Debates and consequences are for afterwards.
J Westerman, Leeds, UK
I am old enough to remember Vietnam. Pres Johnson thought that pouring in more troops and armaments would defeat the Vietcong - it didn't.
Maybe we should consider rather than the balance between what American leaders want and the danger to our soldiers, the balance between the danger to our soldiers and the benefits to the people of Iraq? If it would benefit them, is the amount of benefit worth the danger. This seems more important than American politicians' opinions of Britain.
Mary, Colchester, Essex
It seems as if most of the British commentators here believe that Iraqis would feel honoured to be occupied and ruled by the British, as opposed to the Americans. The Iraqi people are resisting an occupation, not a nationality or a race. British troops will be just as unwelcome as the US troops. None have any business in Iraq.
Hussam A, UK
If it gets Margaret Hassan released, it will have been worth it.
Marc Brett, Teddington, UK
Yes they should. I think there must be more coordination between coalition forces to establish a more secure country before the elections. If we are really engaged in helping Iraq, then we must act, not only speak.
As an ex-soldier I am outraged at the lack of support for the soldiers by the vast majority of whining civilians. A soldier joins the Army to do this sort of job and you don't understand and never will. Our US allies came to aid the UK in our hour of need not once and not with 650 soldiers but twice and with hundreds of thousands. The whiners wouldn't hesitate to demand US involvement if we needed them again or if some part of the world was plunged into the ethic cleansing nightmare we have seen before.
They will/were heard wringing their hands saying "oh why can't the Americans do something?" The fact is that the British Army is better at managing these community policing roles and we should welcome them playing more of a leading role and helping to set an example for the US forces to follow. So stop moaning and groaning, it's not you out there and start supporting them, make sure their families get the support they need and they get the proper supplies they need to do the job properly.
David Whelbourn, Woking, UK
I think it is outrageous that we have to deploy our troops once again. I know two soldiers that are now serving there. The question is will they be home for Christmas?
I assure you America will never forget what PM Tony Blair and the people of UK have sacrificed to win this war. Although, I didn't support the war at the beginning, I support it now. I would sacrifice my life for US and/or for the UK anytime.
Andy Mersha, Las Vegas, USA
There was a soldier,
a Scottish soldier.
Who wandered far and wide,
to save George Bush's hide.
There was none bolder,
with good broad shoulders.
He fought in many a fray and fought and won.
He's seen the glory,
he's told the story.
Of Blair's ridiculous,
But now he's sighing,
his heart is crying,
To leave these brown hills of Iraq.
Don Hunter, Ayr, Scotland
This is all a lot of fuss by people who don't have a clue. I'm a British soldier, and we have known about this redeployment for several weeks, all prior to this becoming public. I was due to go to Iraq in May, but now will probably go sooner, if so, then so be it - it's my job! Maybe the American military is realising the tactics they have been using are flawed and need our help?
Joe, Notts, England
Of course the troops should be deployed. I believe that the military would not back such a move if it were politically motivated. As for some of the bleating done by the families, these guys joined up to do a job, and want to do the job. You can't dictate troop movements. The troops must be thoroughly embarrassed by all of this.
Joe Lally, Chapelhall, Scotland
I hate to disappoint all of you who want to believe the redeployment will somehow influence the presidential election, but as an American journalist, I can tell you that it's barely being reported here, and most Americans are barely aware of it - if they're thinking about it at all. There are too many other issues competing for their attention.
As a family member of a serving soldier in Iraq I am absolutely disgusted that Mr Hoon could allow this to happen. To go under US command in a volatile part of Iraq is undermining for the British army. Did Mr Hoon think about the consequences that this may have on the morale of the soldiers? Probably not as he does not seem to think much these days. Also, the US does not necessarily need our mere 650 soldiers when they have tens of thousands of their own troops out there. Is our boys really going to make a difference, well no this is obviously a plan by the government to be seen as an alliance to America. Well quite frankly this may be the biggest mistake made in the world of politics. It's disgusting.
A member of the Labour Party for over 20 years, I have today, cancelled my membership in protest at the political use of our troops to help save GW. I fully expect that America will attempt an all out attack on Falluja as a cynical vote winner. As someone who deplored Thatcher's use of our Police for her own political ends during the Miners Strike this is one step too far.
Chris Hogg, Northumberland, UK
This is a disgrace. Geoff Hoon is mighty quick off the mark in getting rid of the Highlanders, but, whenever there's a dangerous or unpopular mission involved, guess who is called upon. Yet again Scottish soldiers will be lost because the government don't want to risk losing English votes.
Steve, Perth, Scotland
The Black Watch are among the best of the best (and that's coming from an ex Para). It seems that they'll be sent - and there isn't too much that we can do about it for the present. However, if this deployment is made into a political football, we'll be putting the lads' lives in jeopardy. We have to just make sure that if any pencil neck even hints at disbanding this great regiment once their tour is over... well, you pick a suitable expletive.
Have the Americans finally learned that their heavy handed approach to keeping the peace doesn't work? The UK troops have used a much less confrontational approach which has paid off - now we are expected to go in and clean up the Americans mistakes! Being from Dundee I am in the heart of the traditional home of The Black Watch a regiment the government may be about to disband! It makes no sense to disband a regiment of such standing.
Neil, Dundee, Scotland, UK
I believe Tony Blair, cabinet members and others responsible for this terrible decision have children of army recruitment age. If they really believed this decision was right, they should have arranged to let their children to do the fighting and dying - not the children of poor working class parents from Scotland.
Liam Enim, UK
To all the whining people who have said we should not support our ally I would say this - if you're so upset why don't you come out here and sort it out? It's our job and if we need to go and do it, so be it.
A Black Watch Officer, Basra, Iraq
To the Black Watch officer, Basra: You're right it's your job, but what you should realise is that you are an instrument of the Government, answerable to the people. It is the public's job to ensure that you are used, and not abused. This is not a military issue (your domain), but a political one (the civvies domain). Believe me; the people of the UK are fully behind the forces. They are not behind the reasons that you poor guys are out there for.
Gus, Geneva, Switzerland
With all due respect to "A Black Watch Officer, Basra, Iraq", you are only there to follow the orders of your superiors and their civilian bosses aka politicians. It is up to us, the People, to decide whether we believe those politicians are right or wrong in their decisions. I believe it is wrong that British troops be sent to help the Americans doing their jobs. I am entitled to this opinion and am not whining. Good luck in your new area and let us hope you are home for Christmas as promised by Hoon...
Pascal Jacquemain, Welwyn Garden City, UK
I was with the Black Watch during the invasion last March. We were under US marine command at one stage and then had US marines under our command. UK troops under US command would still operate under their own rules of engagement. There's a great deal of nonsense being talked about this by people who don't know any better.
It's tough luck on a battalion that's on its second combat tour in a year, but as they say in the army, if you can't take a joke, don't join.
Ian, Glasgow, Scotland
I am a Scottish soldier. This move will see British troops bogged down in a US sector and extremely stretched. The troops have become a pawn in the US elections to secure Bush a second term. Agree or disagree, we just get on with it and do our job.
Anonymous, Glasgow, Scotland
My son is 17 and finishes his 2nd Phase Training on 29th October - he is in the Black Watch. Is he going to be posted to Baghdad? Does this Government feel that sending soldiers just out of basic training at 17 years old is a good idea or should he and his classmates survive, it is a good vote winner for both Mr Blair and Mr Bush?
I am the sister of a Black Watch soldier currently serving in Iraq. The British army have much more experience of dealing hand-to-hand with terrorists, look at Northern Ireland. The south of Iraq is much more secure and whilst I understand that this area was not as pro-Saddam, I think that this is a credit that should be given to the British soldiers who fought there in the midst of the conflict. Pull the Americans out and send them to the south to keep the security and let the British deal with the militants in Baghdad and surrounding areas. Let's show the Americans how it's done. They might be bigger but we are the best.
Leanne, Dundee, UK
OK so now it's official, the military have assessed it and the Black Watch are moving north. My son's been out there and the moaning back home does reach them and it depresses them no end. Let's give them all the support we can and persuade our leaders that we need more like them, not fewer.
John, Lincoln, England
There is no way that this request would have been turned down and the Government has been playing lip service to the public. As an ex-serviceman (having recently left after 23 years), I joined the armed forces to defend our country not fight other people's wars in other countries. Iraq is a complete mess and God only knows what horrors are to come.
Derek Thomas, Kelso, Scotland
Bush's troops are obviously not up to the job. Sounds like it's time for our military to take command!
It is absurd to suggest that the mighty American army, with 130,000 troops in Iraq, do not have 650 who are 'suitable' for use in the areas they want the Brits to clean up. This proposed deployment is entirely political, and goes to show how cheap the lives of British soldiers are to the likes of Bush and Blair.
Nigel, Manchester, England
That's right Mr Blair, roll over like a good boy. Anybody capable of joined-up thinking can see this is not a military requirement but a political ploy.
Morris Hughes, Monmouth
As The Power of Nightmares on BBC 2 last night so clearly showed, the battle is between the neo-conservatives and the Islamists - they have jointly created the situation. It is not our fight and we should not be sucked in.
Mr Kim Lyon, London
Why should British troops be used to replace American ones? If they need more troops let them send more out. The only reason they are wanting more UK troops is because Bush is worried that if he sends more troops out it will affect the chances of him getting re-elected.
Paul Thompson, Newport, Isle of Wight
The strength of feeling obviously seems to be against supporting the US but if the tables were turned and it was the Brits seeking American help, which way would the debate go then? Our troops will always obey the political will of their masters so we should at least give them the moral support they deserve.
The coalition does not consist of USA and UK forces only. If further troops are required why can't the Australians or any other members of the coalition supply troops? The UK forces are already stretched.
Tom McKenzie, Aberdeen, Scotland
I think the special relationship between the UK and the US is over. The UK should apologise for its part in the war and repair the bridges with mainstream Europe. President Bush claims the world is now a safer place thanks to his and Tony Blair's actions. I, for one, don't feel safer.
Charles Stenhouse, Pont Aven, France
My biggest concern is the timing. It seems likely that President Bush wishes to start a US attack on Falluja days before the US election in an attempt to influence the voters (many voters will see it as a national issue of support). We must not allow the UK to be used in a political campaign for one die or the other. Sure, let's give them the support they want (with the appropriate limitations and provisos), but only after the US presidential election.
David Allen, Chichester, UK
As much as I hate to say it as a Muslim, this war must be bought to a swift end. Therefore if it can be achieved by more troops being redeployed then so be it. An operation like this cannot be half-hearted.
Dr Abdul Mohhammed, Liverpool
People tend to forget that living in Iraq under Saddam Hussein was a living hell for the population of Iraq. Even though the coalition forces have yet to install all out peace Iraq has become a much better place to live for an immense majority of Iraqis. The coalition forces need to be reinforced to ensure a lasting civil peace and British troops are the most qualified to ensure this as they have proven in Basra. Please don't let them leave.
The only gratifying thing about this abominable war is the revival of the old ties of friendship and aid between our countries. The war was a terrible mistake, but Britain should be honoured for offering to support a friend, and for engaging in an honest public debate about it at home.
David Parsons, Lakewood OH U.S.A.
A good retreat is better than a lost battle. The more soldiers that are killed the harder it will be to admit the invasion was wrong. Bring the soldiers home while there's still some nobility for the way they have behaved. I believe this extra deployment will only end in disgrace.
Michael Harris, Cork, Ireland
If the troops are going to be deployed then they should come under British command. The way the Americans run their forces is completely different from ours, and if they do come under the command of the US, this is only going to make things more difficult for our troops which is the last thing they need.
Wayne, Warrington, UK
It's time to stop thinking about the election and start thinking common sense, we went into Iraq as allies, we must stick to being allies otherwise our relationship with the US will be in serious jeopardy. Furthermore if we don't help out then the situation in Iraq will only get worse. Who knows what sort of threat Iraq could pose if the situation is not resolved soon.
John Ritchie, Edinburgh, Scotland
There are other troops in Iraq - Australians, Bulgarians etc. Why hasn't Bush asked them for help? Britain has a much higher profile in America's eyes than those and other countries and what a co-incidence, Bush has an election coming up. Need I say more?
Steve Davis, Toronto, Canada
Why is there such a concern for soldiers to be home by Christmas? People are acting like babies over this. It's the British ARMY we a talking about here! We should be prepared and able to fight at any time of year and be prepared to go in harm's way to get the job done. How can we claim to have the best soldiers in the world when as soon as they are required to be put to use we throw our arms up and demand they are back for Christmas and that they remain in safe territory down south, its pathetic and an insult to our armed forces.
Kevin, Great Yarmouth
If this is military and not political then we are seeing a US military in total crisis - do they not have an additional 640 troops to send to Iraq? Is the entire US army tied up elsewhere? If we were being asked to supply a further 4000 troops, it may be a little different, but please consider the US elections are in less that a fortnight
Alun Thomas, Swansea, Wales
Right or wrong to go into the war but if the decision to help the US with the war was taken by all parties in the Commons then we must continue to finish the job. Signing up and then backing out gets you nowhere.
Kenneth Jorgensen, Alnwick, Northumberland
The decision has already probably been made in favour of the redeployment, and I support it. The British Parliament chose to go to war, and it strikes of cowardice to turn our backs away. The British Army is the best trained military force in the world in dealing with a hostile situation (Northern Ireland).Through fair headed (less trigger happy) professionalism they have kept Basra relatively calm. Maybe we could the Americans a few lessons. The deployment is not big enough, we got into this mess together, we should fix it together.
Tim , Manchester, UK
Our army is not for sale! British forces should help - but under British command and should act according to British interests. Our military is not a mercenary force - its a national Army and should be treated as such.
Jeffrey Lake, London, UK
I'm absolutely against it. Britain has been pulled enough into this mess of a so-called war for the sake of George Bush. If the Americans need help they should have thought of that when they decided to sever ties with the UN. In my eyes Tony Blair has totally lost what trust I had in him as a Prime Minister. Things like this don't help. I may only be nineteen, but I know right from wrong and this war stank of 'wrong' from its first mention. Blair should be apologising rather than backing up Bush even further. At least wait until after the US election, then we can be sure its not just a ploy to get Bush re-elected.
Chris Terry, Weymouth, UK
Did Blair say WHICH Christmas?
Bob Guy, Jamestown, RI, USA
A huge country like the US needing a few of our troops for back-up? Looks very political to me. The hole Blair has dug is getting ever deeper. I'm sure he would lose a Commons vote if taken. No-one I know wants more British troops to die for the sake of Blair's ego-trip.
Michael Ellis, Maidstone, UK
This is not about choosing sides, this is about deciding on the best course of action for Iraq. Britain and America need to work together not against each other. Working together however should be on equal terms. I strongly disagree that Britain should start to take orders from America.
Jennifer Shearer, Aberdeen
Placing British combat troops under US command as requested is a strategic decision unlimited in time or scope, subjecting Britain to US political and military objectives and policies, difficult to refuse under military command, weakening the search for international, UN, or NATO collaboration.
Terry, Valencia, Spain
No way. America made the mess - America the superpower can get out of it. No way should we allow the USA to control our troops.
Jack, Essex, UK
No more troops to help the Americans before a vote. We have been lapdogs long enough. Sadly, no doubt Blair has already acceded to this overtly political request
C T Chambers, Colne, England
If the redeployment of troops is a military issue and not a political one, how can Mr Blair know that any soldiers will be home by Christmas?
George Barnard, London
It's about time we took our own country back - never mind Iraq!
Gerry Noble, Salisbury, UK
I think the PM is risking his chance of a next term in number 10 if he sends our troops to back-up the yanks. He was mistaken to follow Bush into Iraq on the say so of information supplied by the USA. No weapons of mass destruction have been found. As my brother is serving in Iraq at present it makes me think it will put our lads in more danger if we put the boys out there under control of the yanks
Tony Hoolin, Wigan, Greater Manchester
We have done enough to support US, and it is getting out of hand. The area of Iraq that we are responsible for is quite peaceful due to the hard work of our men and women in the Forces. Let the US clean up its own mess, we've followed them too far already in the name of Allies.
J Walton, South Yorkshire
The Americans would never let their troops be under anyone else's command and neither should we.
I think British troops should not be deployed in the US zone. The war is escalating and the situation degrading because the Americans are behaving irresponsibly. Britain has tried at many levels to show that hearts and minds approaches are more successful that the retribution that the US army repeatedly uses. The British Army must not be seen to be colluding with the US.
Barbara Demeneix, Paris, France
If troops are sent it should be for the military on the ground to decide free from political interference. However, before such a relatively large number of troops is moved out of the British sector, 8% of the available UK force in Iraq. The British military must state that they have a contingency in place should Sadr use the move to create instability in the Basra region.
Joseph Wilkinson, Whitehaven, UK
UKIP and Tories are worried about the UK becoming part of an European superstate, I think they should realise that we are actually becoming more like the 51st US state rather then a equal member of the European superstate. Just to prove my point wait and see how obedient Blair is to Bush, our people will be used to help Bush.
This is political posturing by Bush to try to squeeze more votes. We should ignore it.
Tim, Cheltenham, UK
This is a military issue that is being used as a means of political elevation. The British military should decide whether it is appropriate to back up our US allies and make a decision, taking into account the rules of engagement, etc. They are the true professionals. It should not be a matter of holding a ballot in the House of Commons.
Andy Bird, Cheshire, UK
What happened to the MP's votes, if it is not a political matter then it is up to the military commanders and not Tony Blair? Let's just get them out, they are in a dangerous country that terrorises the West. We all know that it is for the oil don't we and in 33 years it will run out!
So now we need the Black Watch, will this be remembered when the powers that be are deciding which regiments to disband?
Jackie, Stirling, UK
If I remember correctly at the beginning of the invasion wasn't there some discord as regards US and UK rules of engagement and the use of weapons by the USA that were outlawed by the UK? I'm sure this is not entirely necessary and why can't the USA use their own troops - is this because they are over extended with already one mutinous bunch on their hands? I would ask the troops if they want to go before sending them - I think a democratic vote would be most in keeping with the rhetoric of today - after all it is their lives which will be at stake.
Blair should wait until November 5 before he makes a decision, then the whole country will back his decision. Anything else will be highly political.
D Smith, London
I am from Yorkshire and have lived here in the USA with my family for years. I love both my countries and feel that the Brits should support the USA in every way possible. Our two countries are the two greatest friends and allies and that should never change. God Bless all our troops for what they are doing to make this a safer world for all of us.
Janet Tate, Lewisville, TX, USA
These troop movements have been planned for at least the last month. Why are we hearing (and debating it) only now? I have family who are involved and they have known for the last four weeks exactly where they are going (sic to backfill Southern Iraq). Why does this news take so long to filer into the public domain?
Yours respectfully (and a keen supporter of the armed services - if not necessarily the government),
Simon Witts, Harpenden, UK
Let the Americans get on with it. They have no right to expect our troops to help clear up their mess. The Americans should have followed the example of the UK troops and dealt with the situation in a different way.
I Guthrie, Edinburgh, Scotland
No way! I am an American who does not support the war. When we first began the war President Bush did not care whether or not the rest of the world was in agreement and he went to war anyway without UN approval. Now that he is floundering and the war is not going well at all, he is asking for more support. I say the UK should keep there troops right where they are, at home!
Shanna Thompson, Silver Spring, Maryland
The French can say non , The Germans can say nein, The Russians can say Ýň˛, but what do you think the Brits are going to say ? You won't get very good odds at William Hills for a no !
Rob, Kent, England
I believe it's a military request, given how overstretched the US Army is at the moment. To those decrying this as a political ploy for the US elections: The German-French "I'm alright Jack" attitude has not saved a single life and cost many more by inaction. Would you rather do this, retreat into Fortress Europe, lock everyone out and hope that no-one breaks in? Get on with it and finish the job!
EN, London, UK
There is a far more pressing issue at hand. When are we going to get our own star on the US flag? Surely it can't be far off now?
Jennifer Hynes, Plymouth, UK
How can the government claim it is a purely military decision based on a request from the US when the American commander in chief is Bush? The military don't decide on wars, they are purely instruments of the political will, which is why we are holed up in Iraq as it is.