At the sometime the British announced their military withdrawal east of Suez, the American government opinion was that a British withdrawal from the Arabian Gulf would provide the USSR with some opportunities to expand its influence there. [FRUS 1964-1968, Volume XXI Near East Region /Paper Prepared in the Department of State/1/Washington, September 2, 1965.] After the British withdrawal in 1971, the Gulf States experienced a series of dramatic jolts that included dispute with Iran over the UAE islands Abu Musa, Tunb, and Lesser Tunb , an Iraqi attack on Kuwait 1973, Iran- Iraq war1980, then the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait 1990. British influence in the Gulf was the principal stabilizing force securing Western interests in that area .But during 60s HMG was under the spur of economic necessity when they reduce their presence in the gulf, and they didn’t want to work as a security company for the American oil companies in the Area.
In the Gulf States we are not optimistic about the Iraqi ability to avoid chaos, British removal of their military presence from southern Iraq2007 well open the gate to Iranian influence. And the Transfer of security responsibility to the Iraqis is the same as transferring it to Al-Mahdi Army. The Iranian army now has the bridge they never had before, and the likelihood of Al-Mahi militia becoming the Vanguard when Iranian army marches to Arabian Peninsula doesn't need to be examine.
British troops were supposed to remain until Iraq is stable and secure enough to stand on its own feet but not on Iranian uniforms.
In our view, maintenance of a continuing military presence in southern Iraq will be far more important than the rest of Iraq.
40 years, and the Arabian Gulf is still the issue and the British are still the ones Withdrawing without examining their allies needs. and there they go again first as tragedy, second as farce.