Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced on Monday that Britain would drastically reduce the number of troops in by early next year.
"We plan for next spring to reduce force numbers in southern to a figure of 2,500," he told parliament's lower House of Commons. The figure will more than half the number of troops currently in
Brown said that there would two distinct stages to the handover. The first will see British forces training and mentoring Iraqi security forces, securing supply routes, protecting the Iraq-Iran border and providing back-up to local troops.
In the second stage British forces will maintain a limited ability to intervention by force and the main focus will be on training.