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The Incredible Shrinking Coalition of the Willing

Now now, we shouldn’t be making fun of George W. Bush’s Coalition of the Willing that keeps on shrinking and shrinking. It was in the pool!

At its peak in 2004, the Coalition of the Willing consisted of 25,000 troops from 32 countries. Now it’s shrunk down to 11,000 troops from 26 countries. As Mark Russell once quipped, “and Bulgaria baked a casserole.

Britain has 5,000 troops in Iraq, but that number will be reduced to 2,500 this spring. Sixteen nations in the “coalition ” have fewer than 100 troops in Iraq. Latvia has 3; Slovakia 2; Singapore one.

The numbers don’t even tell the whole story. Most of the non-American troops in Iraq are in the southern part of the country — controlled by Shiites — which has had much less violence than Baghdad and the Sunni regions of western Iraq.

And a lot of the remaining foreign armies are playing a diminishing role. Kazakhstan has 29 soldiers in Iraq, but none of them have even left their base in nearly 3 years. Their main mission is to dispose of explosives. But when the first — and last — Kazakh soldier was killed by an explosive 3 years ago, the Kazakh government ordered their soldiers to remain on the base.

How about that — the dictator of a “primitive ” country is trying to keep his soldiers out of harm’s way. Get a clue, Dumbya.

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