Skip to comments.Nations lining up to back U.S. war - 27 countries (full list of supporting countries)
Posted on 02/09/2003 4:01:52 AM PST by MeekOneGOP
Nations lining up to back U.S. war
WASHINGTON - Critics accuse President Bush of preparing to make war on Iraq "unilaterally," but U.S. officials say they are molding together a coalition of nearly two dozen nations willing to help disarm Baghdad by force.
Britain, with thousands of troops, dozens of combat aircraft and an aircraft carrier battle group of ships already in the Persian Gulf or on the way, is the ally expected to make the largest contribution of military forces. Australia also is said to be ready to commit significant combat power.
A number of central and east European nations will send troops, too, at least chemical and biological agent decontamination battalions or medical units.
The coalition the United States can hope to lead if Mr. Bush opts for war is almost certain to be far more modest in number than the dozens of nations that joined in the 1991 Gulf War to eject Iraqi troops from Kuwait. But the list of countries willing to provide bases or transit rights to allied forces nears two dozen - and includes some of Iraq's closest neighbors.
"People will be surprised," said a senior Pentagon official, speaking on condition of anonymity. "We'll have a coalition that will include a bunch of countries."
The two major powers in continental Europe, Germany and France, are resisting Mr. Bush. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder long ago vowed that his nation would not participate in a military "adventure" in Iraq. French President Jacques Chirac is insisting that U.N. weapons inspectors be given more time.
U.S. officials have written off Germany. But some predict that France ultimately will join in a military coalition to strip Iraq of the biological, chemical and nuclear weapons that Mr. Bush accuses dictator Saddam Hussein of hiding.
"Conventional wisdom is they'll jump on at the end because they don't want to be left out," a Democratic Senate aide said of the French, speaking on condition of anonymity.
With or without France, the list may be longer if the U.N. Security Council adopts a new resolution more explicitly authorizing the use of force to disarm Iraq than did Resolution 1441, the disarmament measure the council adopted in November at U.S. and British request, the Pentagon official said.
"Most countries reserve a final decision until they see what the situation is and what happens in the U.N.," the official said. "They all say that it's easier for them if there's some U.N. cover."
|NATIONS IN THE U.S. COALITION|
The potential coalition centers around two groups of nations:
- Persian Gulf allies that want to be rid of dictator Hussein as a neighbor.
- Central and east European nations that won their freedom from communism just over a decade ago and have either joined the U.S.-led NATO alliance or want to be members.
"It sure as hell won't be unilateral," said Bruce Jackson, a leader of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, a nonprofit group with close ties to the Bush administration. Mr. Jackson also has worked closely for years with central and east European leaders eager to join NATO.
The Bush administration sent out a démarche to other governments in November asking what they would be willing to contribute to a coalition to disarm Iraq. Because Mr. Bush has yet to decide for war, no formal answers have come in, the Pentagon official said.
But Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage told a Senate committee Jan. 30 that as many as nine nations would contribute troops and nearly two dozen would offer bases or transit rights.
Among the most cooperative prospective coalition partners, said the Pentagon official, are nations near Iraq.
"Most countries in the region share our analysis of Saddam Hussein and would be delighted to see him gone," the official said.
Persian Gulf states
Whether any Persian Gulf states might contribute troops is unclear. But six have opened their bases to U.S. forces, and at least five are expected to allow the United States to launch operations from their soil. The five are:
- Kuwait, which Iraq invaded in 1990, provoking the 1991 Gulf War. The United States already has more than 20,000 troops in Kuwait, expected to be a jumping-off point for an invasion of Iraq;
- Bahrain, headquarters of the U.S. Fifth Fleet for decades;
- Qatar, which has allowed the United States to expand an airfield to handle more combat jets and build a Combined Air Operations Center that could be used to coordinate operations against Iraq;
- Oman, where Air Force bombers and AC-130 gunships used in the Afghanistan campaign have been based;
- United Arab Emirates, used as a base by U.S. surveillance and refueling aircraft.
Saudi Arabia allows the United States and Britain to use its Prince Sultan Air Base to enforce the no-fly zone over southern Iraq. The base also is the site of a major Combined Air Operations Center.
The Saudis have declined to say whether they would allow the facility to be used in a war on Iraq, but Saudi officials suggest they might if the Security Council adopts another resolution.
Given the support elsewhere in the gulf, however, "we're not dependent on any one country," the Pentagon official said. "That's an interesting new strategic fact."
Jordan, meanwhile, which sided with Iraq politically during the 1991 Gulf War, is said by U.S. officials to have agreed to open its airspace to allied planes and let the United States base search-and-rescue teams and possibly even special operations troops on its soil.
Jordanian Information Minister Mohammed Affash Adwan has denied reports of his country's potential cooperation. But the Pentagon official noted that, as a neighbor of Iraq, "for the Jordanians, it's just very delicate."
Taking the U.S. side against Iraq also is politically touchy in Turkey, a secular state governed by an Islamic party. But Ankara, where the military often wields more political power than civilian officeholders, appears to have decided to cooperate.
Turkish television reported Saturday that the country's top civilian and military leaders had agreed to allow the United States to send 38,000 troops into the country to open a northern front for any war with Iraq. The decision would have to be approved by parliament, which is to meet Feb. 18 to discuss the matter.
On Thursday, Turkey's parliament authorized U.S. engineers to start renovating military bases and ports that could be used by allied forces to invade Iraq.
"Their interests are so inextricably bound up with ours, and they're not going to want to say 'no' to the United States," said Richard Perle, chairman of a civilian board that advises Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. "Secondly, they know we're going to do it anyway, so if they say 'no,' how do they benefit?"
Germany and France, meanwhile, have complicated Mr. Bush's effort to enlist Turkey's support. On Jan. 29, those two nations, Belgium and tiny Luxembourg, blocked a U.S. request to NATO to send aircraft and missiles to alliance member Turkey to help fend off a possible Iraqi counterattack.
On Thursday, the day after Secretary of State Colin Powell presented the U.S. case against Iraq to the U.N. Security Council, NATO Secretary-General Lord Robertson invoked a NATO "silence procedure": Unless a member objects by 10 a.m. Monday, NATO will send Turkey AWACS early warning planes from Germany, Patriot anti-missile batteries from the Netherlands, and chem/bio decontamination units.
Ready to help
Mr. Powell had barely finished stating the U.S. case against Baghdad to the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday when 10 central and east European nations declared themselves ready to help disarm Iraq.
The statement by the "Vilnius Group" - Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia - followed by days a declaration in an article on The Wall Street Journal's opinion page by eight other European nations that they, too, back the U.S. stance on Iraq.
"The Iraqi regime and its weapons of mass destruction represent a clear threat to world security," said the leaders of Britain, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain.
Security Council Resolution 1441 is "Saddam Hussein's last chance to disarm using peaceful means," they added, referring to the U.N. measure approved in November.
The east Europeans see eye to eye on Iraq with the United States because "we had our experience with autocracy and dictatorship in countries like mine," said Romanian Ambassador Sorin Ducaru. His nation overthrew and killed communist dictator Nicolae Ceaucescu in a bloody 1989 revolt.
"Romanians understand that dictators cannot be appeased but only opposed," he said, noting that a 400-man Romanian battalion took part in combat against al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Hungary is allowing the United States to use a base on its territory to train Iraqis to serve as translators who would accompany U.S. troops in an invasion. Bulgaria has offered the use of an air base for refueling aircraft.
The Czech Republic already has a chem/bio unit in Kuwait - sent there when the U.S. campaign in Afghanistan began in 2001. And Slovakia and at least two other east European nations have offered similar units, according to European diplomats and others.
Most of the 18 European nations backing the U.S. position have indicated they will provide transit rights, bases and/or support troops such as decontamination or medical groups rather than combat units.
But U.S. officials crave their political support more than any military backing.
"It isn't clear what we need militarily," said the Pentagon official. "We get a big coalition, politically it's great. Militarily, we'll do our best to include them for political reasons."
"People will be surprised," said a senior Pentagon official, speaking on condition of anonymity. "We'll have a coalition that will include a bunch of countries."I counted 27 in that list in the box. Let's Roll !
Great post my FRiend. Let's see, 27 against the France/Germany peace train plan. This week will be a media circus over all the support the appeasement plan will get.
Our eye is on the ball however, and the concentration will NOT be broken.
(can anybody hack into that list and add France and Germany...just to torque 'em?....snicker, snicker)
You can also substitute "France and Germany" for "Dems."
This insane reaction from the French and the Germans--the UN in general, I guess--makes me wonder how we are going to get free to go where we need to in the future. Even if the French and the Germans offered to take over in Afghanistan or Iraq or wherever, to free up our troops to go elsewhere, we now know that they would be useless and quickly undo everything we accomplished in those countries.
I am thankful that Bush and Blair are going ahead anyway, but the treachery of these so-called allies is going to slow down the progress we make overall.
Unless you've been lodging on planet Mars these past couple of days, by now you know the nation's threat alert status was raised a notch Friday, from Elevated to High ("Level Orange"), the second-highest level, in response to what officials characterized as new, specific intelligence backed by multiple sources. The move marks the second time the alert level's been raised, and corresponds with Islam's Hajj, an annual pilgrimage of hundreds of thousands of Muslims to Mecca for a week to honor Muhammad.
Here's my problem with this: The administration still doesn't get it. Did Bush seek U.N. approval before this headlong rush to war, oops, um, rush to ramp up security? What does Kofi Annan think of this reckless unilateralism? And Germany? What about France?
And don't give me the 'Apples and Oranges' routine, either. Raising America's security alert is War on Terrorism stuff, meaning global, meaning tightening security at airports (effecting countless peaceful foreign tourists -- Mohamed Atta and other paragons of non-violence and conflict resolution spring to mind), hotels (also impacting foreign travelers -- peace-loving Alhmazmi and Almihdhar, two other 9/11 hijackers, similarly spring to mind), to say nothing of heightened security at U.S. embassies and consulates, many located in bastions of pro-Americanism like Damascus, Syria.(No word yet on whether or not the American Embassy in Berkeley will be closed.)
Another problem: How does one define "terrorism", anyway? Has the administration consulted Reuters for the "true" definition?
Meanwhile, Newsweek reports the reason behind the move to step up security: "New intelligence reports that point to the possibility of multiple, imminent attacks by al-Qaeda against Jewish groups and Jewish-owned businesses in the U.S."
Hold it! Stop the tape! Attacks on Jewish groups? And Jewish-owned businesses? Now how could this possibly be? The New York Times and Eleanor Clift and Nina Totenberg assure us that Muslim fanatics aren't motivated by anti-Semitism (only Tobacco-chewing, gun-touting right-wing red-necks hate Jews); that Islamists aren't animated by hatred of Jews, per se, but nationalism (ah, yeah, that's the ticket!), so Jews would never be a terror target specifically. Ergo, the administration must be 'making it up' -- the New York Times, home of journalistic titans a la Maureen Dowd, would never, ever lie!
Meanwhile, speaking of Kofi, the U.N. Secretary General, in a surprise move, warned the White House Saturday not to make the crippled and dysfunctional U.N. appear crippled and dysfunctional in its dealing on Iraq.
A bold and assertive U.S. is detrimental to the U.N.'s self-esteem and sense of self-worth, diminishing its great strides forward in promoting peace and harmony, among them: Putting Libya in charge of human rights and Iraq in control of its disarmament commission. (Zimbabwe is rumored next in line to head up the U.N. Commission on Racial integration & diversity and Michael Jackson will be leading a week-long U.N. symposium on effective baby-sitting).
"We all need to understand that the United Nations is not a separate or alien entity...the [U.N.] is us; it is you and me." We are the world, we are the children, just you and me.
"[Colin Powell] should apologize!...we need an apology from Colin Powell!" a C-Span caller screamed hysterically Saturday. (Is it me, or do C-Span callers these days sound like a tag-team of LaRouchites and Farrakhanoids?)
She cited a "report by the BBC and CNN" showing "how Colin Powell quoted a student term paper as part of an intelligence report to the U.N. We're trumping up charges to go to war against Iraq based on a student paper!"
I thought to myself, 'whoa! Some student we've got here.' I mean, this "student" apparently owns a network of spy satellites (big part of Powell's report based entirely on this "student term paper"); this "student" managed somehow to tap elite Republican Guard phones in Baghdad (also a big part of Powell's report based entirely on this "student term paper"); this student also got informants to sing like canaries (also a big part of Powell's report based entirely on this "student term paper.")
Gee, whiz, make that student President!
Meanwhile, Hans Blix, tireless U.N. inspector-for-life, reports "very substantial" progress Saturday in talks with cronies of the Butcher-of-Baghdad.
"Instead of gassing hundreds of thousands of women and children to death, president Saddam promised to trim that number down next time to, say, tens of thousands of women and children," said one upbeat official of the U.N. negotiating team that is not negotiating.
Mohamed ElBaradei, the other tireless 'Inspector-for-life' and head of the U.N.'s watchdog I.A.E.A, called the negotiations which aren't negotiations critical, but not the last chance for Peace In Our Time, either -- rebuking Washington which holds that U.N. resolutions which call on Iraq to disarm means Iraq should disarm and other such ridiculous non-sense.
In their marathon negotiating sessions which are not negotiating sessions, ElBaradei and Blix took a surprisingly tough line with Baghdad, begging for concessions on overflight rights for U-2 reconnaissance planes and allowing private meetings with deadly Baby Milk weapons scientists to continue, after comprehensive coaching sessions, of course.
My two cents...
I sense they are suggesting Ceaucesau therapy for Saddam.
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