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1 5th July 15:36
gandalf grey
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Posts: 1
Default Coalition of the Anonymous


Coalition of the Anonymous
Just which countries, exactly, are helping in Iraq?
By Fred Kaplan
Posted Thursday, July 10, 2003, at 2:30 PM PT


Each day brings fresh evidence that the Bush administration is planning to
keep American soldiers in Iraq for a long time-lots of soldiers, for several
years-and that it's doing stunningly little to get other countries, from our
supposedly vast "coalition," to chip in.

The case goes well beyond today's testimony by Gen. Tommy Franks, the
outgoing head of U.S. Central Command, who told the House Armed Services
Committee, "I anticipate we'll be involved in Iraq in the future. Whether
that means two years or four years, I don't know." This was an only slightly
more specific variation on his testimony Wednesday, before the Senate
committee, that our troops would be in Iraq "for the foreseeable future."
(He made this open-ended remark at the same hearing where Secretary of
Defense Donald Rumsfeld said, after repeated questioning on the subject,
that the monthly cost of our stay there has risen from $2 billion to $3.9
billion, not counting reconstruction.)

The median number of Franks' two to four years-three years-is how long
Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith said last Monday it would take to
train the New Iraqi Army's first 40,000 troops, or just over one-quarter the
number of U.S. troops currently in Iraq.

Rumsfeld has recently suggested the commitment might be longer still. At a
Pentagon press conference on June 30, he recalled America's own spate of
violence in its period of early independence and noted that, following the
failed Articles of Confederation, "it took eight years before the Founders
finally adopted our Constitution and inaugurated our first President." He
added, "That history is worth remembering as we consider the difficulties
that the Afghans and Iraqis face."

If that is now the measuring gauge, eight years is probably a conservative
estimate. Unlike Saddam and Osama, Benedict Arnold wasn't roaming the
countryside after the Revolutionary War. Shay's Rebellion, which Rumsfeld
cited as an example of America's post-colonial chaos, was put down by a
well-established militia and judiciary, the likes of which don't remotely
exist in today's Iraq.

A prolonged occupation has been in the game plan since at least June 13,
when, according to the trade journal Inside the Army, the Pentagon signed a
$200 million contract with Kellogg Brown & Root-a subsidiary of (guess what)
the Halliburton Corp.-to build barracks for 100,000 troops in Iraq, or, as
the contract puts it, "the set-up and operation of all housing and logistics
to sustain task force personnel." (The journal is available online only by
subscription, but a summary of the article can be found here.)

In a disturbing, if unwitting, bit of symbolism, these barracks-which
Halliburton has also constructed in Kosovo and Bosnia-are known as
"SEAhuts," an abbreviation for "South East Asia huts," since they are
similar to the quarters that were built for U.S. troops in Vietnam. (In a
move that indicates that Halliburton employs some image-savvy executives,
the name has recently been changed to "SWAhuts," for South West Asia.)

Gen. Franks said at yesterday's hearing that 19 countries have forces in
Iraq, with another 19 preparing to send some and 11 discussing the
possibility. But nobody is telling just which 19-much less 38, or
49-countries Franks is talking about. Consider this Hellerian conversation I
had today with a Pentagon public-affairs spokesman:

ME: How many countries have, or soon will have, forces on the ground in
Iraq?
PENTAGON: There's a dozen nations now, a dozen more very shortly, and a
dozen more considering it.
ME: How many people does this add up to?
PENTAGON: You'll have to talk with the individual countries about that.
ME: Which countries are they?
PENTAGON: We can't go into that.
ME: How can I talk with the countries if you won't tell me who they are?
PENTAGON: Well, Britain, of course. Poland has publicized its involvement.
But, as I'm sure you understand, this is a very discreet subject for many of
the others.

Let's ignore for the moment that the spokesman's three dozen nations amount
to a baker's dozen fewer than Franks' 49. (They also differ from Feith's
remark on Monday, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies,
that 18 foreign nations have "military capabilities on the ground in Iraq"
and over 41 have "made offers of military support.")

Let's also flit over the dubious merits of a coalition whose members do not
want their participation known.

Let us focus instead on Franks' base number of nations, 19, an awfully
suspicious number. Could these be the 19 nations of NATO? Rumsfeld said at
yesterday's Senate hearings that NATO was assisting Poland with the division
that it's sending to Iraq. On June 30, a NATO force-review conference did
decide to aid Poland "in a variety of supporting roles," including
"communications, logistics and movement." However, it would be very
misleading to tag NATO, much less to count every member-nation in NATO, as a
participant in this plan. NATO Secretary General George Robertson has
emphasized, "We are not talking about a NATO presence in Iraq. We are
talking purely and simply about NATO help to Poland."

Poland's plan is to send a multinational force of 7,000 personnel to patrol
central Iraq, in an area between the U.S. and British zones. Warsaw is
contributing 2,000 of this force. Other NATO nations will fill in the other
5,000 slots, on a negotiated bilateral basis. But which countries these are,
and how many will come from each, has not been announced, and may not have
yet been decided.

Whichever countries are involved, it also remains a mystery just what they
will be doing. The example of Australia may provide some clues. The Bush and
Blair administrations always cited Australia as a strong coalition partner
during the war. However, on May 15, Australian Prime Minister John Howard
told his country's Parliament, "Now that the major combat phase is over . we
have begun to bring home our defence personnel. . The government has made
clear all along that Australia would not be in a position to provide
peacekeeping forces in Iraq. Our coalition partners clearly understood and
accepted our position."

Even so, Howard noted that Australia would keep in the Iraqi theater a naval
task group, an Army commando element ("for a brief period"), two PC-3 patrol
planes, two C-130 transport planes, some air-traffic controllers, security
for the Australian mission in Baghdad, and a team of experts hunting for
weapons of mass destruction. Together, these elements add up to 1,200
personnel. Even though they are not for peacekeeping as the term is commonly
understood-even though Howard has ********ly bowed out of the coalition-we
can be sure that Bush and Rumsfeld will count them among the faceless total
of those still in.

In any case, Rumsfeld seems firmly footed in his prewar mode of insistent
unilateralism. During a break in yesterday's Senate Armed Services Committee
hearings, a reporter asked him to clarify the administration's position on
"reaching out to NATO to provide troops" for Iraq. Rummy's first response
was to act as if that was outside his jurisdiction. "The Department of State
has been the instrument through which the United States of America has been
consulting with many, many dozens of nations and organizations around the
world," he said. "They deal with NATO, they deal with the U.N., they have
been doing it." He added:

I tend to be very precise when I answer a question and I don't answer what I
don't know. Can I say precisely what the request was made-or requests,
plural, made-by the United States of NATO? No. You may think it's something
I ought to know, but I happen not to. That's life and that's a very honest
answer.

There was also this typically rambunctious exchange:

QUESTION: Do you welcome the participation of France?
RUMSFELD: We would be happy to have them.
Q: Will you ask them?
R: I've answered that question four times this morning, Charles. Really.
Isn't there a limit?
Q: On France?
R: You keep repeating yourself. I have said that we would be happy to have
troops from a wide variety of countries, including France. How's that?
Q: OK.
R: Does that really nail it for you?
Q: It does.
R: Great! Let's hear it for him!

There! That's the attitude that'll get the allies onboard.


Article URL: http://slate.msn.com/id/2085428/

--
--
FAIR USE NOTICE: This post contains copyrighted material the use of which
has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I am
making such material available in an effort to advance understanding of
environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and
social justice issues, etc. I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any
such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright
Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107

"If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so
long as I'm the dictator." - GW Bush 12/18/2000.

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that
we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic
and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."
---Theodore Roosevelt

"Feels Good!"
---George W. Bush on the Brink of Declaring War on Iraq.
  Reply With Quote


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2 11th July 09:48
gandalf grey
External User
 
Posts: 1
Default Coalition of the Anonymous


Coalition of the Anonymous
Just which countries, exactly, are helping in Iraq?
By Fred Kaplan
Posted Thursday, July 10, 2003, at 2:30 PM PT


Each day brings fresh evidence that the Bush administration is planning to
keep American soldiers in Iraq for a long time-lots of soldiers, for several
years-and that it's doing stunningly little to get other countries, from our
supposedly vast "coalition," to chip in.

The case goes well beyond today's testimony by Gen. Tommy Franks, the
outgoing head of U.S. Central Command, who told the House Armed Services
Committee, "I anticipate we'll be involved in Iraq in the future. Whether
that means two years or four years, I don't know." This was an only slightly
more specific variation on his testimony Wednesday, before the Senate
committee, that our troops would be in Iraq "for the foreseeable future."
(He made this open-ended remark at the same hearing where Secretary of
Defense Donald Rumsfeld said, after repeated questioning on the subject,
that the monthly cost of our stay there has risen from $2 billion to $3.9
billion, not counting reconstruction.)

The median number of Franks' two to four years-three years-is how long
Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith said last Monday it would take to
train the New Iraqi Army's first 40,000 troops, or just over one-quarter the
number of U.S. troops currently in Iraq.

Rumsfeld has recently suggested the commitment might be longer still. At a
Pentagon press conference on June 30, he recalled America's own spate of
violence in its period of early independence and noted that, following the
failed Articles of Confederation, "it took eight years before the Founders
finally adopted our Constitution and inaugurated our first President." He
added, "That history is worth remembering as we consider the difficulties
that the Afghans and Iraqis face."

If that is now the measuring gauge, eight years is probably a conservative
estimate. Unlike Saddam and Osama, Benedict Arnold wasn't roaming the
countryside after the Revolutionary War. Shay's Rebellion, which Rumsfeld
cited as an example of America's post-colonial chaos, was put down by a
well-established militia and judiciary, the likes of which don't remotely
exist in today's Iraq.

A prolonged occupation has been in the game plan since at least June 13,
when, according to the trade journal Inside the Army, the Pentagon signed a
$200 million contract with Kellogg Brown & Root-a subsidiary of (guess what)
the Halliburton Corp.-to build barracks for 100,000 troops in Iraq, or, as
the contract puts it, "the set-up and operation of all housing and logistics
to sustain task force personnel." (The journal is available online only by
subscription, but a summary of the article can be found here.)

In a disturbing, if unwitting, bit of symbolism, these barracks-which
Halliburton has also constructed in Kosovo and Bosnia-are known as
"SEAhuts," an abbreviation for "South East Asia huts," since they are
similar to the quarters that were built for U.S. troops in Vietnam. (In a
move that indicates that Halliburton employs some image-savvy executives,
the name has recently been changed to "SWAhuts," for South West Asia.)

Gen. Franks said at yesterday's hearing that 19 countries have forces in
Iraq, with another 19 preparing to send some and 11 discussing the
possibility. But nobody is telling just which 19-much less 38, or
49-countries Franks is talking about. Consider this Hellerian conversation I
had today with a Pentagon public-affairs spokesman:

ME: How many countries have, or soon will have, forces on the ground in
Iraq?
PENTAGON: There's a dozen nations now, a dozen more very shortly, and a
dozen more considering it.
ME: How many people does this add up to?
PENTAGON: You'll have to talk with the individual countries about that.
ME: Which countries are they?
PENTAGON: We can't go into that.
ME: How can I talk with the countries if you won't tell me who they are?
PENTAGON: Well, Britain, of course. Poland has publicized its involvement.
But, as I'm sure you understand, this is a very discreet subject for many of
the others.

Let's ignore for the moment that the spokesman's three dozen nations amount
to a baker's dozen fewer than Franks' 49. (They also differ from Feith's
remark on Monday, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies,
that 18 foreign nations have "military capabilities on the ground in Iraq"
and over 41 have "made offers of military support.")

Let's also flit over the dubious merits of a coalition whose members do not
want their participation known.

Let us focus instead on Franks' base number of nations, 19, an awfully
suspicious number. Could these be the 19 nations of NATO? Rumsfeld said at
yesterday's Senate hearings that NATO was assisting Poland with the division
that it's sending to Iraq. On June 30, a NATO force-review conference did
decide to aid Poland "in a variety of supporting roles," including
"communications, logistics and movement." However, it would be very
misleading to tag NATO, much less to count every member-nation in NATO, as a
participant in this plan. NATO Secretary General George Robertson has
emphasized, "We are not talking about a NATO presence in Iraq. We are
talking purely and simply about NATO help to Poland."

Poland's plan is to send a multinational force of 7,000 personnel to patrol
central Iraq, in an area between the U.S. and British zones. Warsaw is
contributing 2,000 of this force. Other NATO nations will fill in the other
5,000 slots, on a negotiated bilateral basis. But which countries these are,
and how many will come from each, has not been announced, and may not have
yet been decided.

Whichever countries are involved, it also remains a mystery just what they
will be doing. The example of Australia may provide some clues. The Bush and
Blair administrations always cited Australia as a strong coalition partner
during the war. However, on May 15, Australian Prime Minister John Howard
told his country's Parliament, "Now that the major combat phase is over . we
have begun to bring home our defence personnel. . The government has made
clear all along that Australia would not be in a position to provide
peacekeeping forces in Iraq. Our coalition partners clearly understood and
accepted our position."

Even so, Howard noted that Australia would keep in the Iraqi theater a naval
task group, an Army commando element ("for a brief period"), two PC-3 patrol
planes, two C-130 transport planes, some air-traffic controllers, security
for the Australian mission in Baghdad, and a team of experts hunting for
weapons of mass destruction. Together, these elements add up to 1,200
personnel. Even though they are not for peacekeeping as the term is commonly
understood-even though Howard has ********ly bowed out of the coalition-we
can be sure that Bush and Rumsfeld will count them among the faceless total
of those still in.

In any case, Rumsfeld seems firmly footed in his prewar mode of insistent
unilateralism. During a break in yesterday's Senate Armed Services Committee
hearings, a reporter asked him to clarify the administration's position on
"reaching out to NATO to provide troops" for Iraq. Rummy's first response
was to act as if that was outside his jurisdiction. "The Department of State
has been the instrument through which the United States of America has been
consulting with many, many dozens of nations and organizations around the
world," he said. "They deal with NATO, they deal with the U.N., they have
been doing it." He added:

I tend to be very precise when I answer a question and I don't answer what I
don't know. Can I say precisely what the request was made-or requests,
plural, made-by the United States of NATO? No. You may think it's something
I ought to know, but I happen not to. That's life and that's a very honest
answer.

There was also this typically rambunctious exchange:

QUESTION: Do you welcome the participation of France?
RUMSFELD: We would be happy to have them.
Q: Will you ask them?
R: I've answered that question four times this morning, Charles. Really.
Isn't there a limit?
Q: On France?
R: You keep repeating yourself. I have said that we would be happy to have
troops from a wide variety of countries, including France. How's that?
Q: OK.
R: Does that really nail it for you?
Q: It does.
R: Great! Let's hear it for him!

There! That's the attitude that'll get the allies onboard.


Article URL: http://slate.msn.com/id/2085428/

--
--
FAIR USE NOTICE: This post contains copyrighted material the use of which
has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I am
making such material available in an effort to advance understanding of
environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and
social justice issues, etc. I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any
such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright
Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107

"If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so
long as I'm the dictator." - GW Bush 12/18/2000.

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that
we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic
and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."
---Theodore Roosevelt

"Feels Good!"
---George W. Bush on the Brink of Declaring War on Iraq.
  Reply With Quote


  sponsored links


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