Classified documents reveal hostility between Brit, US commanders

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London, Nov.23 (ANI): A deep hostility prevailed between British and American military commanders in Iraq, classified government documents leaked to the Daily Telegraph, have revealed.

In the papers, the British chief of staff in Iraq, Colonel J.K.Tanner, described his US military counterparts as "a group of Martians" for whom "dialogue is alien," saying: "Despite our so-called 'special relationship,' I reckon we were treated no differently to the Portuguese."

The top British commander in the country, Major General Andrew Stewart, told how he spent "a significant amount of my time" "evading" and "refusing" orders from his US superiors.

At least once, say the documents, General Stewart's refusal to obey an order resulted in Britain's ambassador to Washington, Sir David Manning, being summoned to the State Department for a diplomatic reprimand - of the kind more often delivered to "rogue states" such as Zimbabwe or the Sudan.

The frank statements were made in official interviews conducted by the Ministry of Defence with Army commanders who had just returned from Operations Telic 2 and 3 - the first, crucial year of "peacekeeping" operations in Iraq, from May 2003 to May 2004.

A set of classified transcripts of the interviews, along with "post-operational reports" by British commanders, has been leaked to the Daily Telegraph.

The disclosures come the day before the Chilcot inquiry is due to begin public hearings into Britain's involvement in Iraq. Among the issues it will investigate is the UK-US relationship. (ANI)

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