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The War in Iraq

The decision to go to war against Iraq in 2003 was, in my opinion, a good one. Saddam had weapons of mass destruction (WMD); he’d used them in his war against Iran in the 1980s and against his own people, the Kurds, in the 90s. Why would anyone think he’d suddenly gotten rid of them for no reason. Or, if he had gotten rid of them, why would he not have welcomed the UN or anyone to see the proof and gain world acclaim?

While there are many factions of Islam—and many factions of Radical Islam, and it’s the radical ones (I call them Islamists) who like to kill all who oppose them, something else is true, too. That is the enemy of my enemy is my friend—at least until the war is over. So the various Islamist groups did and do cooperate to destroy their two, clearly named targets, the US and Israel.

I do agree that once we captured Saddam and defeated his army—an excellently executed operation, we blew it. To discuss what we did wrong would take pages and pages.

However, we, the US, were not the ones who went to war against Iraq. Nope, that was a UN decision. Yes, we carried the bulk of the effort. Here’s the troop deployments to Iraq 2003-2011, by country. I have no idea how much help the small troop commitments were to the effort—I’m sure it took some effort on our part just to coordinate and support their presence. Anyway, I didn’t realize the number of nations involved.

Less than 200,000 troops
NATO: A contingent of around 150 advisers under the separate command NATO
Training Mission – Iraq-(withdrawn 12/11)
United States: 150,000 invasion 165,000 peak-(withdrawn 12/11)
United Kingdom: 46,000 invasion (withdrawn 5/11)
Australia: 2,000 invasion (withdrawn 7/09)
Romania: 730 peak (deployed 7/03-withdrawn 7/09)
El Salvador: 380 peak (deployed 8/03-withdrawn 1/09)
Estonia: 40 troops (deployed 6/05-withdrawn 1/09)
Bulgaria: 485 peak (deployed 5/03-withdrawn 12/08)
Moldova: 24 peak (deployed 9/03-withdrawn 12/08)
Albania: 240 troops (deployed 4/03-withdrawn 12/08)
Ukraine: 1,650 peak (deployed 8/03-withdrawn 12/08)
Denmark: 545 peak (deployed 4/03-withdrawn 12/08)
Czech Republic: 300 peak (deployed 12/03-withdrawn 12/08)
South Korea: 3,600 peak (deployed 5/03-withdrawn 12/08)
Japan: 600 troops (deployed 1/04-withdrawn 12/08)
Tonga: 55 troops (deployed 7/04-withdrawn 12/08)
Azerbaijan: 250 peak (deployed 8/03-withdrawn 12/08)
Singapore: 175 offshore (deployed 12/03-withdrawn 12/08)
Bosnia and Herzegovina: 85 peak (deployed 6/05-withdrawn 11/08)
Macedonia: 77 peak (deployed 7/03-withdrawn 11/08)
Latvia: 136 peak (deployed 5/03-withdrawn 11/08)
Poland: 200 invasion—2,500 peak (withdrawn 10/08)
Kazakhstan: 29 troops (deployed 9/03-withdrawn 10/08)
Armenia: 46 troops (deployed 1/05-withdrawn 10/08)
Mongolia: 180 peak (deployed 8/03-withdrawn 09/08)
Georgia: 2,000 peak (deployed 8/03-withdrawn 8/08)
Slovakia: 110 peak (deployed 8/03-withdrawn 12/07)
Lithuania: 120 peak (deployed 6/03-withdrawn 08/07)
Italy: 3,200 peak (deployed 7/03-withdrawn 11/06)
Norway: 150 troops (deployed 7/03-withdrawn 8/06)
Hungary: 300 troops (deployed 8/03-withdrawn 3/05)
Netherlands: 1,345 troops (deployed 7/03-withdrawn 3/05)
Portugal: 128 troops (deployed 11/03-withdrawn 2/05)
New Zealand: 61 troops (deployed 9/03-withdrawn 9/04)
Thailand: 423 troops (deployed 8/03-withdrawn 8/04)
Philippines: 51 troops (deployed 7/03-withdrawn 7/04)
Honduras: 368 troops (deployed 8/03-withdrawn 5/04)
Dominican Republic: 302 troops (deployed 8/03-withdrawn 5/04)
Spain: 1,300 troops (deployed 4/03-withdrawn 4/04)
Nicaragua: 230 troops (deployed 9/03-withdrawn 2/04)
Iceland: 2 troops (deployed 5/03-withdrawal date unknown)

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