British Occupation of Iraq Holds Lessons for U.S. Britain's experience in Iraq after World War I offers a cautionary tale for the United States and its forces in the country. Like the United States, Britain promised to "liberate" Iraq, not to "occupy" it. As with U.S. forces, British troops were attacked by Iraqis not long after the occupation began. And British forces in Iraq were stretched too thin. NPR's Mike Shuster reports on these and other parallels between then and now.