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Registered: 01/21/02
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Allies Offer Few Troops and Little Cash for Iraq
    #2021821 - 10/19/03 02:58 AM (13 years, 7 days ago)

Allies offer Bush few troops and little cash to ease Iraq burden
By Julian Coman, Damien McElroy and David Wastell
(Filed: 19/10/2003)

The Bush administration has been forced to play down expectations for next week's crucial "donors' conference" in Madrid, when America will ask its friends to provide troops and money for Iraq.

Initial optimism in Washington following Thursday's United Nations vote to back coalition forces has all but evaporated as it becomes clear that the United States will continue to bear the military and financial burden.

Administration officials are privately predicting that little more than $10 billion (?6 billion) will be raised in Madrid, a sum dwarfed by the $87 billion reconstruction plan for Iraq and Afghanistan just approved by the US Congress.

As President Bush tours the Far East to thank countries for supporting his war on terrorism, Republican critics at home have broken ranks to question his diplomatic strategy. "The worst scenario is for the US to be left holding the bag," said Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina representative.

More than 130,000 US soldiers are already serving in Iraq; 101 have been killed since hostilities officially ended. Revelations from senior Pentagon officials that thousands more US Army reservists are likely to be sent to Iraq in the New Year have fuelled the criticism.

"I'm getting uneasy on how much we're calling on our Guard and Reserve units," said Trent Lott, a former Republican Senate majority leader. Mr Bush had hoped that the new UN resolution would prompt an influx of international troops, enabling him to bring soldiers home next year as he faces the voters.

The Pentagon considers that unlikely. "The feeling is that we are going to have to do this ourselves, however many votes there are at the UN," said one official.

Mr Bush did receive a cheque for $1.5 billion from the Japanese prime minister, Junichiro Koizumi, on Friday, but that was $11.5 billion less than Japan offered during the first Gulf war. Other allies have made clear that few soldiers and little money will be on the table in Madrid.

The White House plea for help from its friends has been further undermined by mounting evidence of haphazard management in Iraq itself, where American companies are criticised for failing to carry out contracts properly and local businessmen complain of failing to win contracts at all.

Sir Jeremy Greenstock, Britain's most senior official in Iraq, said that US civilian contractors were failing to secure missile sites and ammunition dumps. "I don't believe that having open borders, or ammunition dumps around the country open to the world, helps in damping down on violence in Iraqi territory," he said last week. "These gaps need to be plugged. I have asked the British end to start pressing the Americans on this."

At a "contracts fair" in the Baghdad Convention Centre last week more than 70 Iraqi businessmen hoped to win subcontracting deals from Halliburton, the American company formerly chaired by Dick Cheney, the American vice-president. Its subsidiary, Kellogg, Brown and Root, has won an estimated ?1.2 billion of reconstruction contracts in Iraq but only a handful of minor contracts were on offer, worth less than ?20,000.

"Iraqis have no chance to really benefit from this," said Imad Obeid of the El-Albari Construction Company. "After sanctions and isolation, foreign companies are much stronger and they are blowing us away. There should be some advantage for Iraqi companies to grow here. This is our money and it is going to foreigners."


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Registered: 08/06/02
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Re: Allies Offer Few Troops and Little Cash for Iraq [Re: Zahid]
    #2022083 - 10/19/03 06:23 AM (13 years, 7 days ago)

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Re: Allies Offer Few Troops and Little Cash for Iraq [Re: Zahid]
    #2022468 - 10/19/03 12:26 PM (13 years, 7 days ago)

Makes you wonder what on earth happened to the "coalition of the willing"  :lol:

Don't worry, B. Caapi

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Registered: 05/16/03
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Re: Allies Offer Few Troops and Little Cash for Iraq [Re: Zahid]
    #2022581 - 10/19/03 02:17 PM (13 years, 7 days ago)

It's a mess Bush & his mates have made and no exit plan in the job. I'm sure the tax payers US side are thrilled at forking yet more while now knowing they were misled.

Convert Metric and Imperial.

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