Saturday, October 14, 2006

Having a COW

Among the Vote 2006 editorials, recommendations for state office, and the rest of the political notes that made up the issue of the Boulder Weekly this week, was a bit by Jim Hightower on the "Coalition of the Willing" in Iraq. Now I haven't heard much about this since Bush was touting it two years ago -- basically it's been proven to be such an embarassment that it only gets trotted out when they haven't got anything else to talk about.

There are 192 nations in the world. 48 joined the COW. (including leetle teeny places like Estonia and the Solomon Islands).

Of that 48, thirty-nine sent troops. Of the 39 who sent troops, 32 of them sent less than a thousand people (many sent only non-combat troops). Of the 39 who sent troops, 17 have already withdrawn, and another 7 are planning to in the next year.

Not really much of a coalition, and many of them only came because they were paid to.
It's received little publicity, but the Pentagon runs a special Coalition Solidarity Fund that slips payments to many COW members, essentially buying their involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Acccording to the article, in 2005, for example, we paid 57 million dollars to Poland for their involvement -- and in addition, built their camp and paid for their transportation.

From Wikipedia:

More than 100,000 troops - US
More than 1,000 troops - Australia, UK (7500), Korea (2300)
100-1000 troops - Poland, Romania, Georgia, Denmark, El Salvador, Azerbajan, Mongolia, Albania, Latvia, Slovakia
< 100 troops - Czeck Republic, Lithuania, Armenia, Boznia, Stonia, Macedonia, Kazahkstan, Moldova

Withdrawn in 2006 - Italy, Canada, Japan
Withdrawn in 2005 - Portugal, Netherlands, Ukraine, Bulgaria
Withdrawn in 2004 - Nicaragua, Spain, Hunduras, Dominacan Republic, Norway, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Hungary, New Zealand, tonga, iceland

Only Italy had more than 1000 troops involved.

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