Bush gets good news in Britain on Iran sanctions and troops for Afghanistan

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown handed US President George W. Bush good news on two fronts Monday: a modest increase in Britain's troops for the tough Afghanistan fight and a fresh European effort to squeeze Iran's nuclear ambitions. The deeply unpopular prime minister seemed to calculate he had more to gain politically by being hawkish than he risked losing by appearing at the side of the also unpopular Bush. Brown's predecessor, Tony Blair, was wounded by the impression he did too much of Bush's bidding. But there's no greater platform for publicity than a joint appearance with the US president. So Brown talked tough on Iran, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe and other issues when the two leaders addressed reporters after two days of meetings. The announcements by Brown, combined with earlier pledges by other allies, allowed the White House to crow that Bush was returning home from his weeklong European trip with new commitments, although aides had said beforehand there would be none. At every stop, Bush heard the kind of tough talk and promises on Iran that he wanted, and Italy announced welcome changes to its Afghanistan military presence.