Iraq: June 4, 2003

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The coalition has 150,000 troops in Iraq, and the US is trying to get other nations to provide peacekeeping forces so that American soldiers can be withdrawn. So far, Poland will send 2,000 troops, Bulgaria 500 and Ukraine 2,000.

Thousands of American military police and civil affairs troops have arrived in Iraq and are working to establish a functioning government. A major problem is a lack of preparation for the peacekeeping phase of the operation. The US has specialist troops who can handle this (mainly from SOCOM, the Special Operations Command), but is it not customary for senior staffs to include SOCOM in post war plans. This may be changing after the post war experience in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In the last five weeks, 24 American troops have been killed in combat or accidents.

 

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