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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Italy: unwilling

This past week, Italy announced that it will be withdrawing all of its troops from Iraq by the end of 2006. At the start, Italy had provided about 3000 troops to the war.

It has been awhile since I blogged about this, but note:
  • By July 2004, the Phillipines, Spain and Honduras were gone. Poland had already cut its commitment in half.

  • In January 2005, I reported Ukraine's imminent withdrawal from Iraq.

  • April 2005, Poland announced its complete withdrawal. Oh, and the Netherlands was already gone by then -- along with Thailand, Hungary, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, New Zealand and Norway.
  • Maybe the US should follow the Italian lead on this. Defence Minister Antonio Martino is simply declaring "mission accomplished"!
    "The military operation Antica Babilonia [Ancient Babylon] will end its mandate gradually over the course of the year 2006 and the mission will be considered over and accomplished at the end of the year," said Mr Martino.
    I guess they didn't hear President Bush's warning in December 2005 (echoed by Karl Rove this week), about how it would be dangerous to "cut and run" as it would "embolden the terrorists and invite new attacks."

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