November 14, 2003
The Indpendent (UK)

Iraq: The Crumbling Coalition

by Rupert Cornwell and Phil Reeves

The American-led coalition's failure to secure additional outside help in policing Iraq during a worsening security crisis was exposed yesterday when Japan backed away from sending troops.

The death toll in Wednesday's suicide bombing at an Italian base in Nasiriyah rose to 31, adding impetus to the efforts of George Bush and his administration to extract the United States from the worsening conflict.

Washington is more anxious than ever to hand power to Iraqis - without Iraq collapsing into chaos in the process. . . .

Japan reacted to Wednesday's carnage by indicating that it would postpone plans to send 1,000 troops by the end of the year because of the instability. The announcement made it the latest important potential contributor of troops to refuse to send forces. India, Pakistan, and, most importantly Turkey - which would have been the first main involvement of a Muslim nation - have also declined.

Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan are the only Muslim countries in the 34-nation coalition, providing 175 troops between them. The United Nations and the Red Cross have also withdrawn from Iraq in recent weeks. . . .


David Morgan, "U.S. War Dead in Iraq Exceed Early Vietnam Years," Reuters, November 13, 2003

[The White House said Friday that U.S. troops would remain in Iraq until Saddam Hussein is killed or captured.--John King, "Bush vows to press hunt for Saddam," CNN, November 14, 2003]

Phil Reeves, "US resumes airstrikes to fight guerrillas but Humvee attack shows Iraqi defiance," CNN, November 15, 2003

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