The United States could go to Iraq war without Britain, US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Tuesday night.
In recent weeks, the British Prime Minister has faced a growing unease within his Labour Party regarding the participation of British forces in a military action against Iraq.
In his comments, Rumsfeld said America would go it alone if necessary. “To the extent that they are able to participate – in the event that the President decides to use force – that would obviously be welcomed,” he said.
“To the extent they are not, they are work arounds and they would not be involved, at least in that phase of it.”
Asked specifically whether the US would go to war without its “closest ally”, he added: “That is an issue that the president will be addressing in the days ahead, one would assume.”
Downing Street responded by stressing Britain’s involvement in military planning. “This has not changed anything. We are still working to get a second resolution,” a spokeswoman insisted. “We are not at this stage (war) yet.
“But there has been complete cooperation throughout between the United Kingdom and United States on the military planning.” (Albawaba.com)