Wednesday, May 07, 2003
Action by example - 7th May 2003, 11.17

There is an argument that other European countries are impressed by Britain's immeasurable increase in influence following teh deployment of a supporting force in the Iraqi war. Geoffrey Wawro in the national Review takes up the cudgels on the part of Italy:

Talk of needles, tokens, and asymmetry turned my thoughts to the British in the Gulf and around Basra — to the way a single naval and amphibious task group and an armored division had given crucial support to the American war effort, securing Iraq's second city and principal oil fields against stiff opposition. If the Italians continue to evolve in this direction, I reflected, we can truly move the world.

If you look at Poland's role within the Iraq war, their "reward" now appears to bring them more headaches than resolutions. After the assignment of a geographical area for peacekeeping duties within Iraq, the Poles publicly made noises about burden-sharing with the Germans and other European partners. Such statements are not usually made without private assurances that their allies would be forthcoming with a positive answer. Germany's rebuke to Poland this evening and its restatement of the policy that German soldiers would only enter Iraq under a NATO or UN mandate must count as a diplomatic faux pas. The Germans have stated that they were not consulted but, as this was a planned meeting between the Poles, Germans, and Danes about their established shared military structures, the justification appears unconvincing.

This would not be the first time the German government has used foreign policy and embarrassed a close ally in order to publicly shore up its domestic popularity.


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