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Ukrainian Troops in Iraq Start Final Phase of Withdrawal (December 20, 2005)

Ukraine will withdraw the remaining 876 of its original 1,650 troops in Iraq by December 30, 2005. Ukraine's contribution to the US-led occupation has steadily dwindled in response to rising death tolls and public disapproval of the war. In addition to Ukraine, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, South Korea, Italy and Poland have also made plans to withdraw from Iraq. In March 2003, 50,000 troops from 37 countries joined 250,000 US troops in invading Iraq. After two and a half years, that number has dropped to 24,000 mostly non-combat personnel from 27 countries. (Associated Press)

Bulgaria Begins Withdrawing Troops from Iraq (December 16, 2005)

In response to strong public opposition to the war, Bulgaria's Parliament voted in May 2005 to withdraw from the US-led occupation of Iraq. By December 31, Bulgaria's 334 troops will join Ukrainian troops in departing from Iraq. Though initially hoping to withdraw in June, the Bulgarian government agreed to stay until after Iraq's December 15 parliamentary elections. (Reuters)

Are British Troops at Breaking Point in Iraq? (October 18, 2005)

British troops are mounting increased opposition to the war in Iraq. Numerous soldiers, including an Air Force Officer who challenged the war's legality, have decided to abandon the war effort, even if it means going to jail. Former Cabinet Minister Clare Short, who resigned from her post, has drafted a bill that would require the government to seek parliamentary approval before going to war in the future. Despite the war's unpopularity, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has said that troops may remain in Iraq for as long as ten years. (Independent)

Japan Voters Could Deal US a Blow in Iraq (August 16, 2005)

A Democratic Party victory in Japan's September 11, 2005 elections could lead to the withdrawal of Japanese troops from Iraq. The party, which currently holds opposition status in Japan's parliament, is promising to pull troops out if elected. Though Japanese soldiers only perform reconstruction duties in Iraq and do not participate in combat, their withdrawal would damage the US effort to present the occupation of Iraq as an international project. (Reuters)

"We've Failed to Build New Iraq" (August 3, 2005)

In remarks at a forum on nation-building, the Prime Minister of Poland said that the reconstruction of Iraq has "failed totally," and that "major mistakes have been committed" by the occupiers. Poland has commanded a multinational military contingent in Iraq since September 2003, but the size of that force has dropped from 9,500 soldiers to 4,000. (Scotsman)

Options for Future UK Force Posture in Iraq (July 9, 2005)

The Mail on Sundayprinted this leaked memo, which describes the UK military's aim to draw down troops from their current level of 8,500 to 3,000 by the middle of 2006. The memo also refers to the Pentagon's desire for a "relatively bold reduction of force numbers," from 176,000 troops to 66,000, by early 2006.

Japan Considering Exit Strategy from Iraq (May 11, 2005)

The Associated Presswrites that "Tokyo seems to be leaning toward a speedy withdrawal" from Iraq, possibly at the end of 2005 to coincide with the expiration of the UN mandate. Japan would join a number of other major coalition members which are either planning to or already withdrawing troops, including Italy, Ukraine, the Netherlands, Spain, and Poland.

Poland Sets Date for Iraq Pullout (April 13, 2005)

Poland announced that it will withdraw all its troops from Iraq with the expiration of the United Nations mandate for the multinational force in December. Polish Defense Minister Jerzy Szmajdzinski made it clear that the Polish government is "carrying out an exit strategy," though he left open the possibility of extending the mission if the Security Council renews the UN mandate. (International Herald Tribune)

Britain to Pull 5,500 Troops Out of Iraq (April 3, 2005)

The Telegraphreveals that Britain will cut its presence in Iraq by 5,500 troops "within 12 months" as part of a "phased withdrawal." The announcement coincides with a United States Marine Corps general's statement that the US will "probably start withdrawing its troops in 12 to 24 months."

Ranks Begin to Thin in Coalition of the Willing (March 15, 2005)

The coalition of 30 countries which once had 25,000 troops serving in Iraq alongside US forces shows "signs of unravelling" as key allies order their forces to return home. Poland, Ukraine, and the Netherlands, all major contributors, plan to withdraw troops by the end of 2005. Ten countries have already withdrawn their entire contingents from Iraq. (Times, London)

US Moves To Preserve Iraq Coalition (February 25, 2005)

Since the summer of 2004, nearly a dozen members of the US-led coalition have either withdrawn or announced plans to withdraw their troops from Iraq. The US hopes to retain its remaining partners, as well as lure back some of those that have withdrawn their troops, by shifting the duties of foreign troops from providing security to training Iraqi forces. Poland, Ukraine and the Netherlands, which have some of the largest contingents deployed in the country, all plan to withdraw by the end of 2005. (Washington Post)


More Muslim Troops (December 20, 2004)

The Wall Street Journalproposes a "constructive" solution to the deteriorating security situation in Iraq and calls on Islamic countries to assist in the "creation of a new democratic Iraq." The author lists Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia as worthy candidates because they are supporters of "democratic elections" and are free of "special sensitivities" that led to a previous refusal of Turkish troops.

Brother, Can You Spare a Brigade? (December 11, 2004)

This New York Timesop-ed piece debunks the Bush administration's myth of a "powerful coalition of the willing." In a tour of pro-war Baltic nations, the author exposes the contrast between public opinion and government policy on Iraq in Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. He asserts that these countries' small troop contributions merely serve as a political gesture or "window dressing" that hardly amounts to a "powerful coalition."

Japan Shifts to High Gear in Military Fast Lane (December 9, 2004)

Despite public opposition, Japan will extend the deployment of its 600-troop Self Defense Force in Iraq for another year. Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi defended his cabinet's decision, saying it was "appropriate [...] as the next year will be an important one for Iraq." Critics fear that Japan's close cooperation with the US "greatly endangers the security of the Japanese" and simply courts "die-hard conservatives who want to promote an overseas role for Japanese troops as a means of restoring past military glory." (Inter Press Service)

NATO Envoys Approve Iraq Military Training Plan (November 18, 2004)

NATO officials have agreed to send up to 300 military instructors and hundreds of guards to Iraq to support a military academy for Iraqi officers outside Baghdad. The move will significantly expand NATO's current mission of 70 staff members in Iraq, and the mission should be operational by December 2004. Opponents of the war such as France, Germany and Belgium refuse to send troops to Iraq but will participate in training Iraqi forces outside of the country. (Daily Star)

Hungary Joins Others in Pulling Troops From Iraq (November 4, 2004)

Hungary has announced it will withdraw its troops from Iraq by March 2005. The news comes after Spain, Nicaragua, Honduras, the Dominican Republic and the Philippines brought their soldiers back, and after Poland, New Zealand and Thailand announced they intend to do so as well. The countries cite security concerns and growing public opposition to the war as the main reasons for withdrawal. (International Herald Tribune)

Japan Troops in Iraq Keep Heads (and Guns) Down (October 6, 2004)

Japan's 550 troops, deployed in Iraq in a non-combat role, have not lived up to local expectations. The Japanese have only undertaken modest projects that do not "express Japan's economic might" and Iraqis feel the mission is much more about increasing international standing than about reconstruction. (International Herald Tribune)

NATO Role in Training Iraqi Army Takes Shape (October 4, 2004)

NATO's Commander General James Jones announced that up to 3000 NATO troops could train the new Iraqi army but insisted that the troops will not take over from the multinational forces in Iraq. He dismissed claims that the US was passing on its tasks to NATO. (International Herald Tribune)

Britain to Cut Troop Levels in Iraq (September 19, 2004)

Despite ongoing heavy combat in Iraq, the UK will withdraw approximately one third of its troops based in Basra by the end of October. Military experts have warned that the decision may lead to instability and consequently to the postponement of January's elections. (Observer)

Costa Rica Asks to Be Taken Off List of Iraq Coalition Partners (September 10, 2004)

Costa Rica asked to be removed from the US "coalition of the willing" list, noting the country did not contribute troops and does not provide economic assistance for Iraq's reconstruction. The Constitutional Court ruled that Costa Rica's inclusion on the list violated the country's pacifist principles. (Associated Press)

Saudis Take Lead on Muslim Forces for Iraq (July 28, 2004)

Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal confirmed that negotiations are underway between the Iraqi government and Muslim and Arab countries to establish an independent "Muslim" security force for Iraq. States mentioned as possible participants include Malaysia, Algeria, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and Morocco, with Iraq opposing any troop deployments by bordering countries. (Associated Press)

Philippines Announces Pullout to Save Iraq Hostage (July 13, 2004)

Responding to threats by insurgents to execute a Filipino hostage, Philippine Deputy Foreign Minister Rafael Seguis announced the immediate withdrawal of all "humanitarian troops" from Iraq. However, the government will not change plans to pull-out 50 soldiers stationed in the country before the scheduled August 20, 2004. (Reuters)

NATO Agrees to Help Train Iraqi Forces (June 29, 2004)

The agreement by NATO to help train Iraqi security forces and rebuild Iraq's security institutions came as a setback to the Bush administration, who hoped for a commitment of ground troops by member states. France and Germany "flatly opposed" Washington's request, preferring instead to train Iraqis at elite military academies in their own countries. (New York Times)

Public Pressure Grows Against Troop Deployment (June 23, 2004)

Inter Press Serviceargues that South Korea's deployment of 3,000 troops to Iraq will ensure Washington's support for a peaceful end to the nuclear standoff between North and South Korea. South Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun reaffirmed the government's commitment to Iraq despite the murder of a Korean national by Iraqi insurgents.

3,000 More UK Troops for Iraq (June 19, 2004)

The US and the UK submitted a proposal to NATO seeking the deployment of its Allied Rapid Reaction Corps to Iraq to "support the new Interim Government." However, the force would not operate under NATO command but under the umbrella of a "British-led multinational force." (Guardian)

Leaders Dispute NATO Role in Iraq (June 10, 2004)

G8 leaders meeting in Sea Island, Georgia rejected US calls for expanding NATO's role in providing security for Iraq. French President Jacques Chirac insisted that NATO should not "intervene in Iraq," adding that "it would be either timely or necessarily well understood." The failure by US President George Bush to gain a consensus comes as White House officials try to showcase unity over plans for Iraq and the Middle East. (Washington Post)

Powell Says Troops Would Leave Iraq if New Leaders Asked (May 15, 2004)

French, Russian and Italian officials assert that an "effective transfer of power" to an Iraqi transitional government includes ceding control of Iraqi security forces and granting Iraq the authority to halt military action by US-led forces. US Secretary of State Colin Powell rejected that notion, saying that Iraqi and International forces will remain under US command. (Washington Post)

Spain Is Firm: Troops Won't Return (May 7, 2004)

Prime Minister José Luis Rodrí­guez Zapatero asserted that Spanish troops will not return to Iraq, even under the command of the UN or NATO. Zapatero called the creation of an international peacekeeping force "rather improbable or utopian," citing the continued deterioration of security in the country. (New York Times)

Dominican Republic to Pull Troops Out of Iraq Early (April 20, 2004)

Dominican Republic General Jose Miguel Soto Jimenez announced the immediate withdrawal of the country's 302 troops deployed in Iraq, citing the increased attacks on coalition forces. The announcement comes two days after President Hipolito Mejia renewed his troops' commitment to Iraq through August, 2004. (Associated Press)

Poland Planning Pull-Out of Troops from Iraq (April 20, 2004)

A senior government adviser announced that Poland will withdraw its contingent of 2500 soldiers from Iraq "in the coming months." Poland currently commands an international force of 9000 troops from 24 nations, including the 1300 Spanish soldiers preparing to withdraw from Iraq by June 30, 2004. (Irish Times)

Honduras to Withdraw Troops from Iraq (April 20, 2004)

Honduran President Ricardo Maduro announced the withdrawal of troops from Iraq "as soon as possible," declaring Honduras'mandate accomplished. 368 troops are currently deployed in Iraq under the command of Spanish troops. (Middle East Online)

South Asia Still Hard to Get on Sending Troops to Iraq (April 19, 2004)

Pressured by increased attacks on coalition forces throughout Iraq, the US renewed its request for troop commitments from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The three South Asian countries, historically among the highest contributors to international peacekeeping operations, remain reluctant to send in forces until a UN resolution mandates a peacekeeping mission. (Inter Press Service)

Spanish Premier Orders Soldiers Home from Iraq (April 19, 2004)

Holding firm on a campaign promise, new Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodrí­guez Zapatero ordered the withdrawal of troops from Iraq by June 30, 2004. Zapatero asserted that Spanish forces would only remain in Iraq if international forces formed part of a UN mandate, an unlikely scenario given the continuing deterioration of security throughout the country. (New York Times)

Japanese Troops Finally on the March (January 17, 2004)

The deployment of Japanese troops to Iraq is splitting Japanese public opinion, questioning the government's pursuit of major policy change since WWII. Professor Junichi Fujiwara contends, "The only reason Japan is sending troops is because President Bush has told Koizumi to do it." (Asia Times)


Turks Trade Troops for Hard US Cash (October 12, 2003)

Countries with massive debts and weak economies often feel obliged to cast their lot with foreign powers. This article from the Toronto Sunargues that Turkey's decision to send troops to Iraq at the request of the US provides a perfect example.

US Secures Only Half Foreign Troops Sought (August 5, 2003)

The US has enlisted foreign peacekeeping troops from 29 countries to assist in Iraq. After months of US arm-twisting, the number of troops amount to only half the figure the Pentagon expected. (USA Today)

All South Asian Countries Must Reject US Requests for Troops (July 31, 2003)

The US occupation of Iraq continues to prove extremely costly at over $4 billion per month. So far the US remains unsuccessful in recruiting enough countries to provide adequate soldiers and resources to relieve their faltering forces. This article urges countries not to support the occupation, due to the motives of Washington and its fabricated justifications for the war. (News International)

Poles Prepare for Iraq Role (July 18, 2003)

Polish troops in Iraq prepare for their new role of leading an "international force" in the central and southern regions of the country. Polish Foreign Minister Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz looks forward to this role, admitting that Poland's "ultimate objective" in Iraq was to gain access to its oil. (BBC)

Be Bold, US Said (July 17, 2003)

The US has put pressure on the Indian government to send troops to Iraq. Washington was quoted as saying to the Indian government: "take the initiative now… if you send troops right now, that will strengthen our friendship." However, in spite of this pressure New Delhi decided against sending troops. (Indian Express)

1,500 Spanish Troops To Aid Iraq Recovery (May 8, 2003)

Spain is sending a force to Iraq but it has barred them from any combat missions. The US plans for how the foreign troops would be deployed and their exact mission remains "opaque as other aspects of its occupation strategy." (Washington Post)

Who Is Ready to Do What (May 7, 2003)

Countries that were part of the coalition are going to provide some troops to the stabilization force and the UN will be kept out of peace keeping in Iraq for the time-being. (Guardian)

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