Britain has traditionally lined up behind the United States in advocating a tough stance against the Iraqi president and has lately taken the lead in pressing for substantive action in the U.N. Security Council. Having played a strong second to U.S. forces in the Gulf war, Britain's new Prime Minister Tony Blair has reaffirmed his support for strong measures, up to and including military force, to get Iraq to cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors.
Britain, a former colonial power that once ruled both Kuwait and Iraq, maintains a small flotilla of naval vessels in the Gulf, and its Royal Air Force takes part in multinational patrols of the no-fly zone. In December, the British sent a small aircraft carrier, HMS Invincible, and several escort ships to join the large U.S. flotilla in the Gulf.
Britain involvement in Gulf War 91:
43,000 troops, 6 destroyers, 4 frigates, 3 minesweepers, 168 Challenger tanks, 300 armored vehicles, 80 M-109 self-propelled guns, 12 multiple-launch rocket systems, 12 155 mm nuclear-capable M-110 howitzers, 70 jets
Britain's Royal Navy
Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office