According to the London Daily Telegraph, the Bush administration believes that incoming British prime minister Gordon Brown will accelerate the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq. There are plans now to reduce the number of British troops from around 7,000 to around 5,000, but no timetable. Tony Blair, during his recent visit to Washington, all but assured the Bushies that there would no substantial change in British policy regarding Iraq and the U.S.-U.K. "special relationship. But it should only be surprising if there were not a significant British pullaway from the Bush wars.
The Washington Post did a story May 11 headlined ("Brown May Loosen U.K. Ties to Bush," based on the fact of an "impromptu" meeting between Bush and Brown ((I can't get their search engine to work but I'll post the story in full when I'm able). British people across the political spectrum are ready to get their troops out of Iraq, and Brown will face plenty of pressure to take steps in that direction. He also undoubtedly believes that doing so sooner rather than later will cement his popularity and make the rest of his term politically easier.