Iraq: July 6, 2003


The debate on whether to deploy troops to Iraq continues to rage within Indian political circles, although retired Indian Navy Rear Admiral Raja Menon recently published some compelling arguments on why Indian must become involved in setting Iraq's future on the right path. With India expending political and financial capital on being a regional leader, they would look "foolish, timid and indecisive if its contribution came to Iraq after everyone else had already arrived". 

India has a long relationship with Iraq, dating back to the days when the Ottomans were kicked out and the Commonwealth started running the show. Iraq as a state was a creation of the old Indian army between 1919 and 1922, when every Iraqi government department was built by the efforts of the British and the Indians who set them up. Until 1932, the Indian rupee was Iraq's official currency.

The Americans have already made it plain that the command structure in Iraq would be such that the Indian contingent would not be seen to be operating under the Americans. - Adam Geibel


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