Sunday, January 13, 2008

Coalition of the Wilting- 2008

From Parade Magazine January 13, 2008

Who's Left In The Coalition?

When the U.S. invaded Iraq in the spring of 2003, we had 47,200 combat troops from three nations with us. In March 2004, there were 24,000 troops from 33 countries.

Today, the number of foreign troops has dropped below 12,000, according to the Brookings Institution’s Iraq Index. That includes 4500 British troops, 2000 from the former Soviet Republic of Georgia and 1200 from South Korea.

Other coalition members, such as Spain, Italy and Japan, left Iraq months or years ago. By this summer, the numbers could diminish by an additional 50%. Britain and South Korea are halving their forces, and Georgia is pulling out 1700 troops. The new prime ministers of Australia and Poland also have promised to remove all of their soldiers—600 and 900, respectively—which would leave the foreign troop strength under 6000. (Right now, the U.S. has about 160,000 troops there.)

Says Brookings’ Michael O’Hanlon: “The military mission in Iraq is increasingly just a U.S.-Iraqi enterprise.” He adds that we can expect less help as time passes, “even given improvements on the ground and a new President.”

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