Britain has more than 5,000 troops in Iraq but there
are suggestions that they may soon be leaving [EPA]
The head of the British army said on Sunday that he has no fresh soldiers to send into battle. They need time, he says, to train and rest.

Britain has more than 5,000 troops in Iraq, 7,000 more are in Afghanistan and the human cost is taking its toll. In the last five months nearly half of the 1,500 combat troops have needed significant medical attention. The Ministry of Defence estimates that 2,300 UK military personnel go AWOL each year.

The number of soldiers quitting the British army now exceeds the number of new recruits.

Britain is scaling back in Iraq and there are suggestions that its forces may soon be leaving.

Inside Story asks if the US administration feels that it can no longer depend on Britain and if cracks are appearing in the coalition of the willing.

Peter Felstead, the chief editor of Jane's Defence Weekly, Josh Rushing, Al Jazeera's military analyst, and Oliver Miles, a former British ambassador, join the show.

Watch this episode of Inside Story here:

Part 1:

Part 2:

This episode of Inside Story aired on Monday 20 August 2007

Watch Inside Story at 17:30GMT on Al Jazeera English


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