Checking In With the Willing
Posted on Jun 13, 2007
Radar Online checks in with Mongolia, Bulgaria and the other member nations of the “coalition of the willing” still fighting in Iraq. Albania, true to its love of George W. Bush, promises to see the war through to the end, with its 120 troops. Reminder: Of the roughly 162,000 troops fighting in Iraq, 150,000 are American, 7,100 are British and the rest, a hodgepodge of nations from Armenia to the Ukraine—and that’s not counting the mercenaries.
Remember the “Coalition of the Willing?” Those countries that trailed right behind us like a rapper’s entourage as we rolled into Baghdad to give Saddam a little taste of American freedom? In all, there are still about 12,000 foreign troops fighting for our president in Iraq, plucked seemingly at random from a battle-ready Epcot Center of 27 different nationalities. (Mongolia sent 160 infantrymen. Mongolia!) Some offered succor in a symbolic gesture of solidarity, others in a blatant bid for NATO recognition.
Given the vastly disproportionate number of American boots on the ground (150,000), it’s hard to argue that the “coalition” is anything more than international garnish on a U.S. venture. But it should be recognized that many thousands of non-American soldiers have gone to Iraq since 2003, and nearly 300 of them have died. Many still remain despite the catastrophic strategy failures and raging chaos, but significant withdrawals have taken their toll on the dream team. Spain pulled out after the March 2004 terrorist bombings in Madrid, and more than a dozen others have followed suit. Of those who packed it in, Italy suffered the most casualties, with 33 soldiers killed.
So, as Bush’s base of support disintegrates at home, who’s still holding his hand in Baghdad? And who’s inching toward the door? [Click the link below to see] Radar’s comprehensive, country-by-country State of the Coalition Report, from A to Z.