Friday, December 12, 2008

A “War of the Willing” is waning

Through the short history of the war in Iraq, the Bush administration and US military has worked hard to convey to the American population the extent to which the war has been a multilateral effort. Reports show that, at one point, as many as 34 countries made contributions to the military effort.

There are now as few as 7 countries supporting the efforts with the recently announced discontinued support of Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Moldova, Estonia, Tonga, South Korea, Romania and the Czech Republic as of the end of 2008. Great Britain recently announced its plans to drastically reduce its troop levels to 400 by June of 2009. This could be brushed off as another loss, as the American forces can soak up the loss of only a couple hundred soldiers. Britains made up more than 15% of the original invasion’s force, and still have a stake of around 4000 troops in the country.

It is fair to admit that our country hasn’t done a great job of rallying the nations of the world behind our plunge into the “Middle East’s” front on terror, Iraq. Foreign and domestic criticism has been drawn during the Bush administration. One would suggest that it would be in the US interest to attract as much help as possible in the fight against terror. Unfortunately for our case, we are experiencing a modern day exodus of the willing.

To worsen the world’s view of our handling of the war in Iraq, Blackwater has decided that undermining the developing American-Iraqi relationship is a good idea. Six Americans working for Blackwater have recently been indicted in the killing of 17 innocent Iraqi citizens. Blackwater’s refusal to be tried in Iraqi courts has led to a security pact going into affect on January 1, allowing Iraq to prosecute private contractors. But the deed has already been done. And this was not the first occurrence of the like. With the number of privately contracted troops now outnumbering Alliance troops in the country, the frequency is sure to increase.

Why would democracies of the world want to sacrifice their youth, if the US can pay top dollar to private contractors flying high above the law? No wonder the Iraqi government still struggles to make strong gains towards autonomy from the US.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What is it that you think mercenaries like Blackwater do? I am not going to defend their actions, but for you to point them out as if they are part of the "coalition" is dead wrong. They do not fight for Iraq, and they are not paid to do so. To speculate that they do is ignorance. They fight for the US State Department and other non-DoD elements in Iraq. For one reason or another, State does not want to rely on US forces for their personal protection, so they hire mercenaries. Be careful how you classify Blackwater operatives, as they are not providing security to the Iraqis...why would they, they weren't paid to.