The UK will expand its contribution to NATO Mission Iraq according to the Defence Secretary, following the Alliance’s decision to scale up the crucial mission at this week’s NATO Defence Ministerial.

According to a news release from the UK Government, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace confirmed to fellow Defence Ministers representing NATO’s 30 members that the UK will scale up its own commitment in line with the Alliance’s expansion of NATO Mission Iraq.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:

“The UK is setting a course for the future of NATO by modernising our own Armed Forces to keep the country and its allies safe in a more threatening world, following the record settlement of more than £24bn. Our commitment to NATO is at the heart of this approach and I was pleased to discuss with allies our shared vision of deepened cooperation, refreshed operational concepts, and the use of cutting-edge technology to counter the threats of today and tomorrow.

First and foremost we are committed to delivering on NATO operations. The UK Government remains resolute in our support to the government of Afghanistan in the face of unacceptable Taliban violence. We are determined to ensure that conditions are met for achieving a lasting political settlement, which is the only means of ensuring security from terrorism for the people of Afghanistan, the United Kingdom and its Allies.”

Over the two-day virtual conference defence ministers from across the NATO Alliance agreed to expand the mission to Iraq on an incremental basis to bolster Iraq’s fight against the terrorist threat of Daesh.

“This will see the UK continue to support the NATO mission which provides professional military training to the Iraqi security forces and is being expanded to cover more Iraqi Government institutions. The UK will work with NATO over the coming weeks and months to confirm the size and nature of the UK’s contribution. Working alongside our international partners, UK personnel have trained over 120,000 Iraqi and Kurdish security forces as part of counter-Daesh efforts.”

The Ministry of Defence added:

“The UK is committed to supporting the government of Iraq in further developing its counter-terrorism capabilities, as the threat from Daesh continues to evolve.”


5 1 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mark F

I was involved in the first and second. We made a mess then what on earth do we think we can do now?

George Royce

Never ever follow the Yanks like Blair did. They have tarnished their own name, along with ours.


Opinion noted, comrade.


Totally disagree mate.

Meirion X

I am sure this article should be about Afghanistan, AB? Not much work to do now in Iraq.So please George clarify?


Afghan also a bit of a mess, more so in fact but some decent training assets in place, but deffo more needed mate.

Meirion X

I agree AB, that some more troops are needed for training and special opps. and airpower is also crucial, and with a Afghan Army of 180000 there should be enough troops to finish off the ☠aliban, now they reneged on the peace deal by stepping up the attacks lately.

Meirion X

I would like to add, that the Afghans appear to be taking the lead lately with counter insurgency ops, so they should with our support!


I have to say that the Afghan army do have a decent SF group, trained by the US lads. The problem with the Afghan army is that whatever amount of training you give them, as soon as you get under contact, it’s as if they have just had months of training deleted from their brains and any effort at tactical deployment goes out of the window. Most have balls and up for a fight, but not an going close in one. As for politics, damn will we ever sort out that mess. Cheers.

john melling

Sorry, but it was long overdue. We sat and watch for decades at what Saddam Hussein was doing to his own people and the wider region

Same in Afghanistan, nothing more than a terrorists hang out and we turned a blind eye until 2001

We should be keeping a decent fighting force in each country and be helping them and stand by them for as long as needed

Last edited 12 days ago by john melling
Ross Hall

Yes, getting rid of Saddam has worked out so well


What was long overdue? turning Iraq, Syria and Libya into a home for terrorist. I am sorry but the evidence is all around that these interventions were and are a disaster. We have to try and stick with Iraq and support them to control Isis and the Iranians is clear but these countries are religiously and culturally different to the west and you cannot just force them to adopt our values. Indeed they are multi ethnic nations and we have let long pent up emenity’s re-emerge. I am genuinely not sure what you do with other two because you now… Read more »

Meirion X

As I said earlier for Afghanistan, easy said then done!
For starters, the Afghan Army was still non-existent after the overthrow, just the rag-tag Northern Alliance.
It took years to train up their army, now they got a 180000 strong army with SF units.
Are you saying we should let all that effort go to waste by running away, and letting the terrorists re-established themselves
there so they can stage a lot more attacks on our streets?

Last edited 11 days ago by Meirion X

First of all the problems in that country are largely cultural and political and no amount of force will change the endemic corruption, tribal allegiances or the outlook of a people who seem to be stuck in the dark ages. Are you saying what NATO tried to do with 130,000 personnel at its peak and failed to do, a newly trained army is going to achieve by defeating the Taliban? Yes I would withdraw but remind the Taliban that any exporting of terror will result in swift and decisive retribution. We have the ability to monitor and intervene when and… Read more »

Last edited 11 days ago by Sjb1968
Meirion X

You seem to have forgotten the London bus bombing of 2005 that was a result of terrorists having a base in Afghanistan!

Your last post was a sick joke!
In denial of terrorism!


First of all before the war on terror attacks such as those in 2005 were thankfully limited in the UK and I suggest you read the official report on that event because it is not clear where the British second generation Pakistani terrorists were trained with possibilities including Pakistan, Afghanistan and even Saudi Arabia. I too would have invaded Afghanistan after 9/11 but I take a far more pragmatic view than you obviously do in the limit of what western power and influence can actually achieve in that hell hole of a country. You might not like my last post… Read more »

Meirion X

The Afghans have been getting better at democracy as well as counter insurgency.
In last election there the defeated candidate accepted gracefully, so heading in the direction of a perfect democracy.
Most of ground work of security is now handle by the Afghans, it is the eyes in the sky that they are mainly reliant on western forces.
So maybe a few more years of relatively small numbers of troops and USAF.

Meirion X

Need to add! We should keep our patience with the Afghans, to help them over the line!


I genuinely admire your optimism and hope you are proved right.


Why it has nothing to do with the UK let these countries or less active nato partners have a go


Iraq is still there, the terrorists are still at bay. ISIS are suppressed. Giving in is not a good example to offer.


Better, Al Qaeda lost any standing with most Muslims because of Iraq.


I’ve got to say mate that I’ve spent quite some time over there and think any effort we can do, to increase the effort against Daesh and all its various off shoots, can only be for the good and benefit. But we have to continue, and increase the training of the Iraqi army and SF as well as possible kinetic ops.

Meirion X

The article is about the UK’s contribution to a NATO training mission in Iraq.
Not a combat mission!

Mark F

Training missions aways turn into combat missions when the balloon goes up which turns to mission creep and beforem you know it you are pouring resources into the country with no clear aim.

Harry Bulpit

This is an interesting development, given Iraqs warming relationship with Iran. Nevertheless it’s a positive development.


I can see this being an emotive subject, but, as professionals the military goes where they are sent. Regardless of the past, the situation is as it is, and we need to be realists. If we can, to help the Iraqis with both training and kinetics, then we should. Whatever the reason for Daesh, whatever the past, they are a constant and unpredictable danger to both Iraq and the West, and if we can remove even part of that threat then we should. Cheers all.

Robert Blay

Wise words mate,👍

John Clark

Totally agree with BATT’s (or whatever they are called these days), that and air support and SF ops when called for. As long as we learn the lesson of deploying combat troops in insurgencies, it simply doesn’t work. We can’t deploy and sustain the mass needed, no one can. Afghanistan is unfortunately reverting to type, back to their default position of killing each other and brutally subjugating woman. They will ‘never’ change, the folks with power simply don’t want to….. The hard work done over the last 20 years and heavy cost in Western lives has simply put a sticking… Read more »


Agree. After 911 the West should have quit A-stan after the first few months when we had hit the Taliban hard kinetically. Telling the Taliban that we’d be back if necessary. One thing Afghans understand (and respect) is brute force.

Lord Roberts employed exactly that stratagy after the 2nd Afghan War – as he said back then something like ‘the best thing is for them to see as little of us as possible’.
No liberalist nonsense of regime change. Let the Afghans squabble amongst themselves – its what they do best.


Totally agree with the sentiment it is heartbreaking to think of the lives lost and ruined trying to civilise that place. Until the Afghans as a whole want to live in the 21st century no amount of money or external force will make them.
As for Iraq we have to try and stick with it and keep up the support for the country or else we will see the expansion of Isis and Iranian influence.

Last edited 12 days ago by Sjb1968
Meirion X

Easy Said then done!
For starters, the Afghan Army was still non-existent after the overthrow, just the rag-tag Northern Alliance.
It took years to train up their army.

Meirion X

Regime change was necessary in
Afghanistan to remove the terrorist supporting government. And reestablished the rule of law.

“Let the Afghans squabble amongst themselves – its what they do best.”
A backward attitude indeed!
This is what allows outside fundamentalist influences to be ingrained in a society.

Meirion X

That’s why it is important that the Afghans have reestablished a education system to change backward attitudes.

Glass Half Full

I agree but with a caveat that the emphasis is on the host country with the insurgency to drive the kinetic actions, with training and support from NATO and only limited direct action if at all.

We seem to get into trouble when we take the pole position. This may be in part because it largely takes responsibility away from the host government to get their political house in order, through negotiation and partnering. Instead it allows the religious, clan and/or political party divisions and power struggles to perpetuate, preventing a consistent, determined and united host government response.


Agreed mate.


Looks like Sleepy Joe Biden is going to stop Trump’s withdrawal from Iraq and keep us all there forever. Ugh

Meirion X

It is from Afghanistan that Foolish and gulllible Don wanted to withdraw all the troops by the 1st May. It is the tALIBAN that has reneged on the peace deal. Foolish Don really believed All the Crap of peace in our time from the T.!

John Clark

And why wouldn’t the Taliban go back on the peace deal, Trumps announcement of US withdrawal was effectively a declaration of surrender! Insurgencies are notoriously hard to beat in the best of times, but Afghanistan is a case apart, it’s effectively a hard wired Insurgency culture! It’s been that way now for many decades, with sons following father’s, fueling an eternal violence and chaos machine. The insurgency aside, you are up against a tribal culture in many areas, one that will never reconsolidate with the 21 century, their social norms are out of step with the 19th century for that… Read more »

Meirion X

British attitudes have changed since the 19th Century, so no reason why Afghanis culture will change in time!


Trumptard alert !!!!!!

Ross Hall

BTW, the overuse of exclamation marks is very tedious