Wednesday, October 13, 2004

The international coalition in Iraq is not strong.

Why you're right:

1. 7 countries have withdrawn from the coalition. Nicaragua (February 2004); Spain (late April 2004); Dominican Republic (early May 2004); Honduras (late May 2004); Philippines (July 16, 2004); Thailand (late August 2004); and New Zealand (late September 2004). Poland plans to withdraw its troops from Iraq by late 2005. (Global Security, CBC News, Associated Press)

2. 4 countries have, or are planning to, reduce troop commitment. Ukraine (-200); Singapore (reduced from 191 to 33); Moldova (reduced contingent to 12); Norway (reduced from ~150 to 10 in late June 2004/ early July 2004). (Global Security)

3. Arab presence lacking in the coalition. Pakistan has no intention of sending troops to Iraq under the present conditions, with a dangerous security situation Iraq and troops withdrawing from the coalition. No Arab countries are part of the coalition. (Associated Press)

4. U.S. troops are suffering from the weak coalition. The United States has 135,000 troops in Iraq and make up 94% of the overall coalition casualties suffered in Iraq. TheUnited Kingdom is the second largest contributor, with only 8300 troops. (Brookings, CBS News, Knight Ridder)

Why they're wrong:

Bush’s statement of “Our coalition is strong. It will remain strong, so long as I'm the president,” rings hollow. The coalition is losing more members than it is gaining. Only 5 countries are planning to contribute troops or increase present troop strength to the coalition and two of those countries (Romania and Fiji) are still tentative. (Washington Post, Global Security)