Multinational force in Iraq: Wikis

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Multi-National Force - Iraq
Multi-National Force-Iraq ShoulderSIeeveInsignia.jpg
Multi-National Force - Iraq Insignia
Active May 14, 2004 – December 31, 2009
Country United States
Size Approximately 200,000 at most,
112,000 at time of deactivation [1]
Part of United States Central Command
Engagements Iraq War
Commanders
Commanding General General Raymond T. Odierno
Command Sergeant Major Command Sergeant Major Lawrence Wilson
Notable
commanders
David Petraeus
George W. Casey, Jr.
Ricardo Sanchez
Insignia
Distinctive Unit Insignia MultinationalForce-IraqDUI.svg

The Multi-National Force - Iraq (MNF-I) was a military command, led by the United States, which was responsible for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Multi-National Force - Iraq replaced the previous force, Combined Joint Task Force 7, on May 15, 2004, and was later itself reorganized into its successor, United States Forces - Iraq, on January 1, 2010.

The media in the U.S. generally used the term "U.S.-led coalition" to describe this force, as the vast majority of the troops were from the United States.[2] The majority of nations that deployed troops confined them to their bases[2] due to widespread violence. Additionally, the deployment of troops and the war itself was highly unpopular in many of the countries that participated in the Multinational Force.[3]

Also in Iraq, but not part of MNF-I, are the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq, which is doing humanitarian work, but has a number of guards and military observers, and the NATO Training Mission - Iraq, training the Iraqi army and police force.

The Force was significantly reinforced during the Iraq War troop surge of 2007. As of August 2009, all non-U.S. coalition members had withdrawn from Iraq.[4]

Contents

Mission objectives according to the US Military

The MNF objectives, as at June 2004 as expressed in an annex to UNSCR 1546, a letter from U.S. Secretary of State Powell to the UN Security Council, appear to be:[5]

"The MNF under unified command is prepared to continue to contribute to the maintenance of security in Iraq, including by preventing and deterring terrorism and protecting the territory of Iraq. The goal of the MNF will be to help the Iraqi people to complete the political transition and will permit the United Nations and the international community to work to facilitate Iraq’s reconstruction.

The government of Iraq enjoys broad international support, including from nations of the Arab League. Jordan is assisting in training of the Iraqi Security Forces, and the United Arab Emirates have donated military equipment (bought from Switzerland), for example.

Iraq is, nominally, a pluralistic democracy. The US-influenced Constitution of Iraq[6] guarantees freedoms of speech, assembly and religion, private ownership of property, privacy and equality before the law. The first parliamentary elections occurred in December, 2005.

Dispositions of U.S. and allied units in the different occupation zones as of April 30, 2004

As of September 2008, over 545,000 Iraqi Security Forces have been trained.[7]

In November 2006, the United Nations Security Council voted to extend the mandate of the multinational force in Iraq until the end of 2007. The move was requested by the Iraqi government, which said the troops were needed for another year while it built up its own security forces.[8] In December 2007, the Security Council unanimously approved resolution 1790, which extended the mandate for the "last time", until December 31, 2008.[9]

In December 2008 the Iraqi and US Governments agreed the U.S.-Iraq Status of Forces Agreement which covered US, but only US troops. It allowed for them remaining in the country till 2011, but changed the status on several issues, Iraq regains sovereignty of its airspace, gains sovereignty over US contractor who commit crimes and of US forces who commit crimes if they are both off-duty and off base. The US forces must be withdrawn from Iraqi cities by July 31, 2009 and the whole agreement is subject to a referendum of the Iraqi people which will be held prior to June 30, 2009. If the referendum fails to approve the agreement the Iraqi Government will give the US till July 31, 2010 to withdraw completely.

On December 18, 2008 the Iraqi Government published the law covering the status of the non-US foreign forces from the end of the UN mandate on December 31, 2008 through to their withdrawal on July 31, 2009. The Iraqi parliament voted on Saturday December 20, after the second reading of this law, and decided to reject it and send it back to the Cabinet. The Majority of Iraqi MPs thought this must be made into a binding international agreement rather than presenting it as local Iraqi law.[10] A compromise was reached and the law passed on December 23, 2008, with the Iraqi Government agreeing to then sign bilateral agreements with the relevant countries.[11]

List of nations in the coalition

Troop deployment in Iraq 2003-present

 United States

As of December 2009, there were around 112,000 [1] Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force, and Marine Corps personnel deployed to Iraq.

In the cities, U.S. forces operate in support of Iraqi forces, and outside the cities U.S. forces operate in partnership with Iraqi forces. Support includes, for example, aerial surveillance, tactical advice, logistics, and intelligence, while partnership includes actual combat, for example patrolling, mine clearing, and serving arrest warrants. Additionally, a major line of operations is the logistical work of transporting millions of pieces of equipment back to the United States.

As of September 2009, there were 11 brigade combat teams deployed to Iraq, three of which were so-called advice and assist brigades (AAB).[12] AABs are built around combat brigades, but have received special training in host-nation security force assistance and stability operations. They are also augumented with some specialty competencies, and therefore normally have a higher percentage of senior non-commisioned officers and field grade officers. By August 2010, all U.S. combat operations in Iraq will cease, and by then it is planned that all combat brigades will be AABs.

Legal assessment of the operations

In January 2010, in The Netherlands the final report was published of the 10 months inquiry by the Davids Commission which was tasked with investigating the decision-making by the Dutch government in 2003 on the political support for the war in Iraq.

The operation of the multi-national force in 2003 was supported by the Dutch government following intelligence from Britain and the US. The inquiry by the Dutch commission was the first ever independent legal assessment of the invasion decision. The Dutch commissioners included the former president of the Hoge Raad (Dutch supreme court), a former judge of the European Court of Justice, and two legal academics. Balkenende had so far resisted calls for a formal parliamentary inquiry into the decision to back the war.

According to the report, the Dutch cabinet had failed to fully inform the Tweede Kamer (Lower House) of the parliament about its support that the military action of the allies against Iraq "had no sound mandate under international law" and that the United Kingdom was instrumental in influencing the Dutch decision to back the war [13].

It also emerged that the British government had refused to disclose a key document requested by the Dutch panel, a letter to Balkenende from Tony Blair in which was asked for the support. This letter was said to be handed over in a "breach of diplomatic protocol" and on the basis that it was for Balkenende's eyes only.

The letter was not sent as a note verbale as is the normal procedure – instead it was a personal message from Blair to Balkenende, and had to be returned and not stored in the Dutch archives.

The details of the Dutch inquiry's findings and the refusal of the British government to disclose the letter were likely to increase international scrutiny on the Chilcot inquiry.

Balkenende reacted that he had fully informed of the lower house of parliament with regard to support for the invasion and that the repeated refusal by Saddam Hussain to respect UN resolutions and to co-operate with UN weapons inspectors had justified the invasion [14] [15] [16].

States no longer participating in ground operations

2009 withdrawals

  •  Australia - The Australian military presence in Iraq ended on July 28, per an agreement with the Iraqi government.[17] Australia sent 2,000 troops to support US and British forces in the 2003 Iraq invasion.
    • The largest contribution was previously the Overwatch Battle Group (West), a force of 515 soldiers based at Camp Terendak in Talil (Southern Iraq), which terminated operations on June 2, 2008 along with the attached Australian Army training team (composed of 60–95 personnel).[18][19] The battle group was previously known as the Al Muthanna Task Group, which had about 450 troops and was deployed on February 22, 2005 to reinforce Task Force Eagle, a British Army Battlegroup, which had recently replaced outgoing Dutch forces in Al Muthana Province.[19][20]
    • There have been several injuries but no deaths of Australian troops in Iraq attributed to hostile action, however, a SASR commando was killed in a vehicle accident in Kuwait, and a soldier named Jacob Kovco, assigned to the Baghdad SECDET, died from an accidental discharge of his pistol.[21] (See also: Australian contribution to the 2003 invasion of Iraq)
  •  United Kingdom - 3,700 troops were in Southern Iraq, leading the Multi-National Division (South East) which includes troops from several other countries. The deployment includes infantry, mechanized infantry and armored units as well as water-borne patrol personnel and a range of aircraft. The UK has lost 176 soldiers in Iraq as of November, 2008: 136 in roadside bombings, firefights, and rocket attacks. Out of the remaining 40, the cause of death included accidents, 'friendly fire' incidents, illnesses, and suicide. See Operation Telic for further information.
    • After the invasion (which involved 46,000 British troops[22]), approximately 8,500 troops were stationed in the south of the country, but 1,300 were withdrawn in early 2006.[23] Former Prime Minister Tony Blair had considered an expansion of up to 2,000 troops during 2004 to replace those of Spain and other departing nations, however, military commanders and former diplomats criticizing U.S. military tactics put that into question and the idea was eventually shelved.
    • On February 20, 2007, the British government declared that British soldiers would begin a timetabled withdrawal from Iraq, and an additional 1,600 personnel had returned by the end of the month.[24] On October 8, 2007, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced that the British contingent would be reduced further, from 5,500 to 4,500, by the end of the year, and cut to 2,500 in Spring 2008. He added that 500 troops would be sent to bases in the Persian Gulf region to fulfill a supporting role.[25] However, in early April 2008 the decision was made to postpone any further withdrawals, and to maintain the roughly 4000-strong contingent for the time being.[26]
    • On September 2, 2007, British forces withdrew from their last base in Basra, re-locating to the international airport. Although they nominally handed over control to Iraqi forces,[27] a ceasefire deal had quietly been struck between the Mahdi Army and British commanders, stipulating a British withdrawal from the city in return for the cessation of mortar and rocket attacks on British bases.[28] The development came amid outspoken misgivings regarding their presence from both the Bush Administration and the British military leadership, with the former complaining that British troops were not countering the Mahdi Army's gradual takeover of Basra, and the latter condemning British patrols as 'suicide missions'. On December 16, 2007, British forces handed over official control of Basra province to the Iraqi authorities. However, the changeover was little more than symbolic as the British had very little control over the province.[29]
    • On July 22, 2008, it was announced that Britain would maintain its troop levels in Iraq through the end of 2008, but would make significant reductions in the early 2009.[30] There was media speculation in the UK of a total withdrawal during 2010, before the predicted July 2010 UK election. PM Gordon Brown talked about a "fundamental change of mission" in early 2009, when British forces will hand over installations and jurisdiction to the Iraqi authorities.
    • On October 13, 2008, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki declared that British combat troops were no longer needed in Iraq and that they should leave as soon as possible, however, he said that some soldiers are still needed to train Iraqi forces. He criticized the handover of Basra province in December 2007 as 'premature', leading to a 'disaster' as gangs and Mahdi militamen overran the city, and that the situation was only corrected the following year when the Iraqi military intervened.[28]
    • On December 9, 2008, it was announced that Britain would begin withdrawing its troops in March 2009, leaving around 400 troops by June whose task will be training the Iraqi Navy and officers of the Iraqi Army. The departing British troops will be replaced by an American brigade, which will guard US supply convoys and the border with Iran, as well as participating in the training of Iraqi forces.[31][32]
    • On December 15, in Baghdad and then on December 16, in the House of Commons, Prime Minister Gordon Brown, announced that in accordance with a new Iraqi Law all British Combat Troops would cease operations prior to May 31, 2009, and be withdrawn in total at the latest over the following 2 months. There would then be less than 400 troops supporting training of Iraqi Armed Forces particularly the Iraqi Navy,[33] <Brown and his Iraqi counterpart, Nuri al-Maliki, said the government in Baghdad approved a draft law providing for the withdrawal of troops from the U.K., Australia, Romania, Estonia, and El Salvador no later than July 31, 2009.>[34][35]
    • On April 30, 2009, Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced the end of British combat operations in Iraq. The bulk of the British 3,700 troops stationed there will be withdrawn by the end of May, with approximately 400 staying behind to train Iraqi naval forces.[36]
    • On July 28, 2009 all of the remaining British troops had left Iraq and were all redeployed to Kuwait after the Iraqi government rejected their request to stay in Iraq and to extend their mission.[37]
  •  Romania - Romania had originally had 730 soldiers (400 infantry, 100 military police, 150 de-miners, 50 intelligence officers, and 30 medics[38]) deployed in Iraq. At its peak, it operated in three different zones (South-East, Central, and Baghdad). They performed a wide range of missions - prisoner interrogation at Camp Cropper and Camp Bucca in the American sector, reconnaissance and surveillance missions (Often involving Romanian Air Force RQ-7 Shadow UAVs) in the Polish sector, and training, peacekeeping missions, and base protection missions in the British sector. Romania also temporarily deployed a force of 130 soldiers to support UNAMI, a Coalition force in Iraq working under the authority of the United Nations. The force was deployed in March 2005, and withdrawn after six months. Romania reduced it, first to 501 by November 2008, and by early 2009, Romania had reduced its contingent to 350. They were stationed in Nasiriyah and Al-Kut.[39] In an agreement signed with Iraqi Defense Minister Abdul Qader al-Ubeidi and the Romanian ambassador, Romania promised to withdraw its troops on July 31, 2009. It had been previously announced on November 6, 2008 that Romania would withdraw its then 501-strong contingent by the end of the year and leave a small group of advisers to assist the Iraqi authorities.[40] In 2008, the president announced that the troops would stay until 2011. However, under the terms of the SOFA agreement between the United States and Iraq, all non-US forces must leave Iraq prior to July 31, 2009. As a result, Romania decided to withdraw. Romania formally terminated its mission in Iraq on June 4, 2009, and pulled out its troops. On July 23 the last Romanian soldiers left Iraq.[41] Three Romanian soldiers had been killed during their mission, and at least eight were wounded.
  •  Estonia - Estonia has decided not to send a fresh troop contingent to Iraq, ending the involvement of units of up to 40 soldiers in the mission in Iraq since June 2003, Estonia's defence ministry announced in January.[42] The mission officially ended on February 7.[43] Their task was to conduct raids and combat patrols. Two soldiers were killed in Iraq in separate insurgent attacks. 18 soldiers were wounded.[44]
  •  El Salvador The last Salvadoran troops left Iraq on January 22.[45] Salvadoran troops were involved in guarding convoys. El Salvador lost five soldiers in Iraq, four in hostile incidents and one in an accident.[46] 20 soldiers were wounded.[47]

2008 withdrawals

  •  Albania - On December 17, the departure of all 240 Albanian troops, under U.S. command, was announced.[48] Half of the troops were stationed at Mosul airport, where they manned guard towers and conducted internal and external patrols.[49] Albania increased its deployment from 120 to 240 in September 2008, with the new troops serving in a different, unspecified part of Iraq.[50] Albania was one of the first countries participating in the invasion as they sent 70 troops to Iraq in April 2003.[51] Five soldiers were wounded during the deployment.[52][53][54]
  •  Bulgaria - On December 17, 2008, Bulgaria's last 155 troops stationed in Iraq returned home.[55] From March 2006 to late 2008, this unit had guarded the headquarters of the MEK at Camp Ashraf, 100 km west of the Iranian border.[56] This facility is home to 4,000 MEK militants and their weapon stocks.[57] Bulgaria withdrew its original contribution of about 485 soldiers in 2005; the unit's objective had been guarding the city centre of Diwaniyah. 13 soldiers were killed during this deployment. At least 5 Bulgarian contractors were also killed by insurgents.
  •  Moldova - On October 15, 2008, it was announced that Moldova would withdraw its 20-member unit from Iraq before the end of the year.[58] On December 17, the U.S. military announced the withdrawal of the Moldovan contingent.[59]
  •  Ukraine An independent contingent, consisting of 1,650 troops from the 5th Mechanized Brigade, was deployed to Kut (South Central Iraq) in late 2003. In May 2005, the brigade was replaced with the 81st Tactical Group, numbering around 900 troops.[60] The deployment was then reduced continuously until the remaining 44 troops were pulled out on December 22, 2005.[61] This fulfilled a long-planned withdrawal pledged by newly-elected President Viktor Yushchenko. A training team of around 40 troops remained in Diwaniyah until December 9, 2008.[62] Ukraine suffered 18 fatalities: twelve in attacks, three in accidents, two in suicides and one as a result of a heart attack, while 33 were wounded or injured.[63] Early in 2004, three Ukrainian engineers were taken hostage in Iraq but were freed shortly after.
  •  Czech Republic - On December 4, a ceremony was held marking the end of the Czech mission.[64] On October 1, 2008, it was announced that the remaining 17 Taji-based Czech troops, who were training Iraqi troops in the use of armoured vehicles, would be withdrawn in December, leaving 5 troops supporting the NATO Training Mission (NTM-I).[65] The original Czech contingent consisted of 300 troops and 3 civilians running a field hospital, operating under British command Multi-National Division (South-East) (Iraq). After 2006, the goal changed from training Iraqi police to providing Force Protection to Contingency Operation Base (Basrah Air Station) at the vehicle checkpoints. Two thirds of these soldiers were pulled out by late 2007, and 80 out of the remaining 100 were withdrawn in summer 2008[66] One Czech soldier died in May 2003 from injuries sustained in a vehicle accident in Iraq.
  •  South Korea - A farewell ceremony for the remainder of the Irbil-based South Korean contingent was held on December 1, 2008, with its withdrawal from Iraq scheduled for December 5.[67][68] Total of 20,308 troops had deployed. See Zaytun Division for further information.
  •  Bosnia and Herzegovina deployed a total of 85 soldiers. This included a unit of 36 troops involved in ordnance disposal in Diwaniyah. In August 2008, Bosnia and Herzegovina sent an additional 49 soldiers to help guard the US Camp Victory in Baghdad.[69] A farewell ceremony for the Bosnian troops was held on November 29, 2008.[70]
  •  Tonga - 55 Royal Marines were deployed in late 2007, guarding the command headquarters at Camp Victory in Baghdad.[71][72] The Tongan unit concluded its mission on December 5.[73] A separate contingent of 45 Royal Marines had previously operated in Iraq from early July 2004 to mid-December 2004, augmenting the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force by guarding Camp Blue Diamond in Anbar Province.[68]
  •  Macedonia - 77 soldiers under U.S. command in Taji conducted a wide range of missions including patrols, raids, training, and manning checkpoints.[74] In 2007, it was announced that Macedonia would increase its contingent from 44 to 80 the following year.[75] A farewell ceremony for the Macedonian troops was held on November 26, 2008,[68][70] with the withdrawal of the contingent scheduled for the second half of December.[76]
  •  Azerbaijan - The Azerbaijanis formally terminated their operations and handed over their mission to the Iraqis on December 4, 2008.[77] They had been stationed in the vicinity of Haditha Dam in western Iraq, providing security for a nearby US Marine camp and patrolling the dam complex. The original contingent numbered 150 troops, increasing to 250 after an additional 100 were sent on December 29, 2004, before decreasing to 88 by September 2007.[78] One soldier, Rafael Seyidbala Agayev, died during the mission due to an unspecified cause.[79]
  •  Latvia - The last three Latvian soldiers concluded their mission on November 8, 2008.[80] Latvian troops were initially deployed to Kirkuk (under U.S. command) for a year, then transferred to Camp Charlie in Al Hillah, followed by Camp Delta in Al Kut. Finally, the Latvians were stationed at Camp Echo in Ad Diwaniyah where they conducted external security patrols. During their final posting, three Latvian soldiers were killed in action. On June 18, 2007, all but 7 of Latvia's 125 troops left Iraq. Four of the remainder left within two weeks, leaving three officers who participated in intelligence analysis and operational planning from July 2007 onwards.
  •  Mongolia - All 100 troops were withdrawn on September 25, 2008.[81] The Mongolians, who originally numbered 180, had operated under Polish command and were tasked with guarding the main Polish base, Camp Echo. Prior to that posting, they had been protecting a logistics base dubbed 'Camp Charlie' in Hillah.[82]
  •  Kazakhstan - 29 ordnance disposal experts were deployed to Kut, under Polish command. The contingent was withdrawn from Iraq on October 21, 2008, thereby concluding a five-year mission.[83] One soldier was killed in 2005 along with eight Ukrainians when a pile of booby-trapped munitions was detonated by insurgents.
  •  Armenia deployed a total of 46 personnel divided into three units: a logistics platoon providing vehicles and drivers for supply convoys which run from Kuwait into the Polish sector of Iraq, an ordnance disposal engineer team attached to the Salvadoran contingent, and a medical unit at Camp Echo. On December 5, 2005, the Armenian government declared its intention to stay in Iraq for another year,[84] and did the same on December 6, 2006.[85] However, in October 2008, Armenia ended its military presence in Iraq, citing improved security and the ongoing withdrawal of a much larger Polish army contingent that has supervised Armenian troops deployed in the country.[86]
  •  Georgia - Following the outbreak of war between Georgia and Russia on August 8, 2008, Mikheil Saakashvili said that Georgia was pulling its entire 2,000-strong contingent of troops from Iraq.[87] During 10 and 11 August the US Air Force airlifted the whole contingent out of Iraq.[88] The troops, all of whom had been trained by American instructors, were based east of Baghdad, close to the border with Iran.[89] Politicians had already stated that the contingent would be reduced to 300 in summer 2008.[90] Georgia's contingent originally consisted of 300 special forces troops under U.S. command in Baqouba, who guarded two bridges and three American Forward Operating Bases. 550 more troops were deployed in June 2005, ostensibly to serve as UNAMI guards, although they were placed under U.S. command on a dangerous 'Middle Ring Security' mission in the Green Zone.[91] On March 9, 2007, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili announced his plans to increase total Georgian troop strength in Iraq to 2000, by sending an extra 1,200 troops and moving those already in Iraq to join the new unit.[92] As of July 2008, five Georgian soldiers had died in Iraq (one in a vehicle accident, one committed suicide, while three were killed in combat) and 19 were wounded.[93]
  •  Lithuania - The remaining 33 members of the Lithuanian contingent arrived home on August 1, 2008.[94] Lithuania originally deployed 120 troops to Iraq, approximately 50 under Polish command near Hillah (designation: LITDET), where they guarded Camp Echo; and an equal number under Danish command near Basra (designation: LITCON), where they conducted joint patrols with the Danish troops. The remainder served at various command centers throughout the country. The unit in the Polish sector was withdrawn during the course of 2006. Nine Lithuanian soldiers remain in Iraq under NTM-I.
  •  Poland - Following Polish involvement in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, 2,500 troops were deployed to the south of the country. Poland led the Multinational Division Central-South. The contingent was reduced in size from 2,500 to 1,500 in 2005. In January 2006, Polish troops handed over control of Babil province to U.S. troops and decided to remain on bases in Kut and Diwaniyah for the remainder of their mandate.[95] Two months later, the number of troops was reduced to 900. These soldiers were pulled out in October 2008,[96] following a dispute between President Lech Kaczyński and newly-elected Prime Minister Donald Tusk over how long they should remain in the country.[97] Twenty-two Polish soldiers were killed in Iraq, along with three security personnel and two journalists, one of which was Waldemar Milewicz, a famous Polish war correspondent.
  •  Singapore - Singapore's withdrawal was acknowledged by MNF-I in recognition of the nineteen countries withdrawing in late 2008 by MNF-I spokesman Maj. Gen. David Perkins on December 23.[98] Like many countries Singapore had deployed naval assets to the Persian Gulf but there were no ground troops as part of MNF-I. 161 Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) personnel onboard RSS Endurance returned on January 31, 2004 after a two-month deployment.[99] A Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) C-130 transport aircraft with a crew of 31 returned on April 4, 2004 after a two-month deployment.[100] A RSAF KC-135 tanker aircraft with a crew of 33 returned on September 11, 2004 after a three-month deployment.[101] Another RSN amphibious transport dock, RSS Resolution, returned on March 19, 2005 with 180 personnel after a three-month deployment,[102] while another RSAF KC-135 returned on September 17, 2005 with 35 personnel after a three-month deployment.[103] In the RSN's final mission, the amphibious transport dock RSS Resolution returned on May 27, 2006 after a three-month deployment.[104]

2007 withdrawals

Provincial security transition assessment as of august 2007
  •  Denmark - By December 21, 2007, Denmark's main contribution to the Multinational Force in Iraq, a 55-member air force contingent based in Basra, had been completely withdrawn.[105][106] Their task had been to operate a unit of four helicopters in support of British and Iraqi forces until December,[107] following the withdrawal of the original contingent in July 2007.[107] The so-called Dancon/Irak mission consisted of 430 troops operating under UK command (South-East Iraq), and included military police involved in the training of local security forces as well as infantry. They were based south of Basra at "Camp Danevang".
    • A number of troops remain in Baghdad, Iraq, where they train Iraqi forces under the NATO Training Mission - Iraq, but NTM-I is not part of the Multinational Force.[108] Under the Iraqi Law agreed December 16, 2008 the NATO Training Mission seems to be treated as the remaining non-US foreign contingents and will be withdrawn during 2009.
    • A separate unit of 35 troops temporarily served under UNAMI.
    • On February 21, 2007, Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen had announced that the withdrawal of Danish 'combat' troops in Iraq would be completed by August 2007,[109] however, on July 26, 2007, it was reported that 250 of the Danish troops had already withdrawn, at least two weeks ahead of schedule.[110] The Danish government repeatedly guaranteed that its forces would remain as long as the Iraqi government requested. On April 28, 2007, the Danish military reported that it was in the process of temporarily deploying an unspecified number of special forces to "resolve a special problem".[111] Denmark has lost seven soldiers in Iraq; one to friendly fire, one in a vehicle accident, and five to hostile incidents, while several more have been wounded. In early 2006, the Iraqi insurgency released a statement calling for more attacks on the Danish army in the retaliation to the Danish cartoon controversy.[112]
  •  Slovakia - On January 27, 2007, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico announced that all but 11 of the 110 Slovak troops (primarily engaged in destroying ordnance) operating under the US-led Coalition had been transferred from Diwaniya in Iraq to Kuwait. They arrived home the following month. The remaining troops were sent to perform liaison duties at the Multinational Forces HQ in Baghdad: nine were withdrawn in stages,[113] while the last two returned by the end of the year.[114] Four Slovak soldiers were killed by mortars and roadside bombs during their deployment in Iraq.

2006 withdrawals

  •  Italy - On September 21, 2006, Italian forces handed over Dhi Qar province in southern Iraq to newly-trained Iraqi security forces, thus ending their military mission. About a month earlier, on August 23, the Italian contingent stood at 1,600 troops. The 'Garibaldi Brigade' served its final four month tour of duty between May and September 2006, and included mechanized infantry, helicopters and Carabinieri in South Central Iraq, based around Nasiriyah. The original contingent consisted of about 3,200 troops, but on July 9, 2005, former PM Berlusconi announced that Italian soldiers would gradually be withdrawn in groups of 300. New Prime Minister Romano Prodi had pledged to withdraw the troops in his first speech to the senate and called the war "a grave mistake that has complicated rather than solved the problem of security".[115][116] Shortly after, on May 26, 2006, Italian foreign minister Massimo D'Alema announced that the Italian forces would be reduced from 1,800 to 1,600 by June. On June 8, he said Italy's military presence in Iraq would end before 2007.[117] The Military of Italy lost 33 soldiers in Iraq.
  •  Norway - 140 of 150 troops (engineers and mine clearers) withdrawn on June 30, 2004 citing growing domestic opposition and the need for the troops elsewhere; the 10 remaining liaison officers had been withdrawn by August 2006. The Bondevik II government insists the troops were never part of the invasion force, citing a UN humanitarian mandate. This does not seem to have come to the attention of the international community, as Al-Qaeda has included Norway in videotaped threats on at least two occasions, and U.S. organizations have included Norway on their lists of participating nations.
  •  Japan - In early January 2004, 600 Japanese soldiers were deployed in Samawah, Iraq in what was called the Japanese Iraq Reconstruction and Support Group. Most Japanese soldiers were there for humanitarian work and reconstruction, not combat, and were prohibited from opening fire on Iraqi insurgents unless fired on first. Japanese Special Forces soldiers and Australian soldiers provided security. Private Security contractors from Japan were also operating in Iraq. One contractor, Akihiko Saito, was killed in an ambush in 2005. Iraqi insurgents also threatened attacks against Japanese soil unless all Japanese forces were withdrawn from Iraq. Incidents like these furthered public demand in Japan that Japan withdraw from Iraq. Insurgents launched several mortar attacks on Japanese positions, but these caused no casualties. In July 2006, all Japanese soldiers were withdrawn from Iraq. There were no Japanese military casualties during the Operation.

2005 withdrawals

  •  Portugal - had 128 military policemen under Italian command (South East Iraq). These troops were withdrawn on February 10, 2005, two days ahead of schedule.
  •  Netherlands - An independent contingent of 1,345 troops (including 650 Dutch Marines, three or four Chinook helicopters, a military police unit, a logistics team, a commando squad, a field hospital and Royal Netherlands Air Force AH-64 attack helicopters) was deployed to Iraq in 2003, based in Samawah (Southern Iraq). On June 1, 2004, the Dutch government renewed their stay through 2005. The Algemeen Dagblad reported on October 21, 2004, that the Netherlands would pull its troops out of Iraq in March 2005, which it did, leaving half a dozen liaison officers until late 2005. The Netherlands lost 2 soldiers in separate attacks.

2004 withdrawals

  •  Nicaragua - 230 troops left in February 2004, no replacement, attributed to financial reasons. While in Iraq, the troops were under Spanish command.
  •  Honduras - 368 troops withdrawn by the end of May 2004 along with Spain's contingent, citing that the troops were sent there for reconstruction, not combat. While in Iraq, the troops were part of the Spanish led Plus Ultra Brigade in South East Iraq.
  •  Dominican Republic - 302 troops withdrawn by the end of May 2004, shortly after Spain and Honduras withdrew their contingents, citing growing domestic opposition and the fall from power of PRD candidate Hipolito Mejia and the election of center-left PLD candidate Leonel Fernandez to the presidency in 2004. The decision to withdraw came just two days after President Mejia promised to keep the troops in Iraq until the expiration of their mandate in August.[118] Dominican troops were under constant mortar attacks but suffered no casualties. While in Iraq, the troops were under Spanish command (South East Iraq).
  •  Philippines - 51 medics, engineers and other troops were withdrawn on July 14, 2004 in response to the kidnapping of a truck driver. When the hostage takers' demands were met (the withdrawal of Filipino troops from Iraq), the hostage was released.[119] While in Iraq, the troops were under Polish command (Central South Iraq). During that time, three Filipino soldiers were wounded in an insurgent attack, although none died.[120]
  •  Thailand - Withdrawal of the last 100 troops from Thailand's 423-strong humanitarian contingent was completed on September 10, 2004, in accordance with Thailand's mandate in Iraq, which expired in September. Thailand lost 2 soldiers in Iraq in an insurgent attack.
  •  Hungary - Hungary's contingent of 300 transportation troops had begun arriving home in Budapest from Iraq on December 22, 2004, reported by the AFP. All of Hungary's troops were reported by the Defence Ministry to have left Iraq by the end of that day. While in Iraq, one Hungarian soldier was killed in an insurgent attack.
  •  New Zealand - Two rotations of 61 military engineers, known as Task Force Rake, operated in Iraq from September 26, 2003 to September 25, 2004.[121][122] They were deployed to undertake humanitarian and reconstruction tasks consistent with UN Security Council Resolution 1483; they were not part of the invading force. While in Iraq the unit was under British command (South East Iraq) and was based in Basra.
  •  Iceland - Iceland had a total of three troops, including two Explosive Ordnance Disposal experts, a medical advisor, and some transport experts assigned to the Danish unit immediately after the occupation began; they have since been withdrawn.

YouTube channel

In early March 2007, MNF-I announced[123] that the coalition had launched an official YouTube channel.[124] The channel's videos have over a million views.[125]

The stated purpose of the YouTube channel is to "document action as it appeared to personnel on the ground and in the air as it was shot." The clips posted to the site are edited for "time, security reasons, and/or overly disturbing or offensive images."

Incentives given by the U.S. to coalition members

Many nations received monetary and other incentives from the United States in return for sending troops to or otherwise supporting the Iraq war.[126][127] Below is a partial list of some of the incentives offered to coalition members:

  • Turkey - Turkey was offered approximately $8.5 billion in loans in exchange for sending 10,000 peacekeeping troops in 2003. Even though the US did say the loans and the sending of troops to Iraq were not directly linked, it also said the loans are contingent upon "cooperation" on Iraq.[128]
  • United Kingdom: As of 2006, the Independent reported that British companies have received at least £1.1bn contracts for reconstruction work in postwar Iraq.[129]

In addition to direct incentives, critics of the war have argued that the involvement of other members of the coalition was in response for indirect benefits, such as support for NATO membership or other military and financial aid. Almost all of the Eastern European nations involved in the Coalition have either recently joined or are in the process of joining the US-led NATO alliance (namely Bulgaria, Georgia, Albania, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Romania and Slovakia), the exceptions being Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, which joined NATO in 1999. Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet, for example, said on April 21 that Estonian troops had to remain in Iraq due to his country's "important partnership" with the United States.[130]

At least one country, Georgia, is believed to have sent soldiers to Iraq as an act of repayment for the American training of security forces that could potentially be deployed to the break-away regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.[131] Indeed, Georgian troops that were sent to Iraq have all undergone these training programs.[132]

Deaths

As of October 2009, 4,667 Coalition soldiers have been killed in Iraq. This list (including withdrawn nations) breaks down the deaths by country[133]

See also

References

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  105. ^ Press TV - Denmark to pull air force out of Iraq
  106. ^ The defence minister says the current budget allocations to the military are not enough to support its continued participation in Afghanistan and Iraq
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  108. ^ Hjem - DIIS (Danish)
  109. ^ Guardian.co.uk
  110. ^ FOCUS Information Agency
  111. ^ Denmark sends special forces to Iraq - International Herald Tribune
  112. ^ DefenseNews.com - Denmark: We’re Staying the Course in Iraq - 12/05/05 13:24
  113. ^ Slovakia to withdraw its last 2 soldiers in Iraq - International Herald Tribune
  114. ^ (Chinese) Slovakia leaves Iraq, sends more troops to Kosovo, Afghanistan_English_Xinhua
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  116. ^ Al Jazeera English - Archive - Italian Leader Seeks Iraq Troop Pullout
  117. ^ [5]
  118. ^ Fox News
  119. ^ CBS News
  120. ^ Sunstar Global
  121. ^ Scoop: FAQs Re Light Engineer Group To Iraq
  122. ^ NZ Army - Welcome
  123. ^ "Coalition operations on YouTube". Multi-National Force - Iraq. March 17, 2007. http://www.mnf-iraq.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=10672&Itemid=128.  
  124. ^ YouTube - MNFIRAQ's Channel
  125. ^ "US military takes Iraq war to YouTube". BBC News. May 11, 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6639401.stm.  
  126. ^ US Pays Back Nations That Supported War - UN Security Council - Global Policy Forum
  127. ^ The Boston Globe, October 10, 2003.
  128. ^ "Turks pitch in: new troops to Iraq"
  129. ^ The War Dividend: The British companies making a fortune out of conflict-riven Iraq - Middle East, World - Independent.co.uk
  130. ^ DefenseNews.com - Estonia Should Keep Troops in Iraq in 2007: Official - 04/21/06 12:06
  131. ^ US quietly puts down roots in Georgia | csmonitor.com
  132. ^ U.S. Army Europe to train more Georgian troops, Stars and Stripes European edition, June 27, 2006
  133. ^ iCasualties: Operation Iraqi Freedom

External links


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