With the “Old Europe” chickening out of a fight in Iraq, Secretary of State Colin Powell promises they will be replaced by 45 members of a new “Coalition of the Willing.” No one knows for sure what these countries are willing to do; 30 of them have been identified. Britain and Australia are the only ones of the named countries that have provided any major military presence in the gulf, with the U.S. accounting for 85 percent of the military effort.
So in place of France and Germany our partners in war include such stalwarts against terror as Albania (best known for running drugs and vicious gangs), Colombia (where we have plunged into a civil war), and recently resuscitated Bulgaria (see the list). Then there are Latvia and Lithuania and Macedonia and Uzbekistan. And of course El Salvador and Nicaragua, two countries we “liberated” in the 1980s. Oh, and we’re getting 200 troops from Poland and 70 from Albania. Romania is contributing 278 experts in removing land mines, and Iceland and Singapore are throwing in as yet unknown support. American planes can refuel in Croatia. Eritrea and Ethiopia each support the U.S. because each wants U.S. support in a boundary dispute—with each other.
“Who’s Who in the U.S.-Led Coalition Against Iraq? by James Ridgeway
Additional reporting: Phoebe St John, Joanna Khenkine, and Mosi Secret