With President George W. Bush’s recent call for a troop “surge” of upwards of 20,000 more Americans to help quell the violence that seems to be escalating in and around Baghdad on a daily basis and now the announcement by British Prime Minister Tony Blair that he’s pulling out an additional 1,700 or so troops, I thought it might be interesting to take a country by country look of just how “willing” the coalition members were in the beginning and where they stand as of now.
All of these numbers come courtesy of Wikipedia and are updated as of January of 2007. They can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S.-led_coalition_against_Iraq
So, who’s left?
United States of America
The original invasion force numbered about 250,000 troops. Today, that number stands at around 132,000. That’s not counting the additional 20,000 that are packing their shit in the next month or so.
The Brits supplied the invasion force with about 45,000 troops. Today, that number has dwindled to about 7,200. If Blair does indeed pull out an additional 1,700, well, you can do the math.
The South Koreans kicked in about 3,300 for the invasion itself. Today, that number is around 2,300.
The Poles amassed a whopping 194 brave souls to take part in the invasion. To their credit, at their peak of participation, they numbered at around 2,500. Today, they are down to approximately 900 troops.
I think the Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard recently got up in Barack Obama’s grill about his position on the war. For what it’s worth, Australia managed to muster 2,000 troops for the actual invasion. Today, the Aussies number about 1,300.
They missed the boat when the actual invasion took place but today, there are about 900 brave Romanians in and around Iraq
The Danes were probably too stoned on hash to make the invasion party itself but once the effects wore off 460 of them found their way to Iraq. That’s how many of them remain today.
The country, not the state here in America, rounded up 500 troops for the actual invasion. As of today, 300 or so remain.
Numbers are hard to come by for the invasion because no El Salvadorians took place in the invasion or if they did, they aren’t saying. Today, there are about 380 of them.
They too didn’t get a wake up call for the actual invasion but in their prime they numbered at around 300. Today, that number has fallen to around 100.
Stayed home and watched the invasion on television. Today, about 150 of them are helping make Iraq safe for democracy.
Claimed nobody told them about the invasion. This added to the severe inferiority complex many Latvians already have. They peaked at about 136 troops but have cut that back to around 120.
Missed connecting flight for the invasion. A huge influx of 131 troops has now been trimmed to 100.
Language barriers precluded the Albanians for showing up for the big dance but over the years have supplied a much needed 120 additional fighting men and women.
Black out dates concerning their frequent flyer miles prevented the mighty Lithuanian task force from taking part in the actual invasion. Undaunted, the rest of the world thought it safe to proceed without their 50 troops.
Claim their rented bus got a flat tire on their way to the invasion. Once the situation was corrected, the Armenians chipped in 46 people to the cause. (Not counting bus driver).
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Confusion over who was supposed to drive between the Bosnians and the Herzegovinains caused them to miss the gig entirely. When they got it all sorted out, they numbered 36 troops.
After consulting their day calendar they claim they had prior commitments on invasion day. Nevertheless, 41 brave Estonians are helping keep the streets of Baghdad safe and secure.
Problems with rental cars and credit cards kept the 33 rabid Macedonians from overrunning Iraq on invasion day.
Foul weather and related delays kept the Kazakhstinians from the big party. Once the weather cleared, they number in at about 29 much needed troops.
To their credit, the Moldovians contributed 24 highly trained and highly motivated troops to the actual invasion. Today, that number has been reduced by half.
The following are the counties who for reasons of their own did not take place in the actual invasion. They did at some point commit some troops but have since called them all back home.
The Italians finally got around to showing up in Iraq in July of 2003 with 1,800 troops. In November of 2006, the last of them headed for home.
Ukrainians first made their 1,650 troop presence felt in August of 2003. They were all home in time for Christmas of 2005.
1,345 Netherland troops called Iraq home from July of 2003 until March of 2005.
Nobody seems to know for sure when they actually got there but by the time April of 2004 rolled around everybody knew that they were gone.
The Land of the Rising Sun deployed 600 troops in January of 2004. They said sayonara in July of 2006.
Woke up one morning and found 462 of their fellow countrymen in Iraq. Called them home in April of 2006.
Took a quick look at the harsh Iraqi countryside and decided it wasn’t for them. Their 432 troops headed home in August of 2004.
Claiming dissatisfaction with Iraqi cuisine, The 368 Hondurans strapped on their backpacks and called it quits in May of 2004.
Claims by the 302 Dominicans that it was just “too fuckin’ cold” had them headed back to their island paradise in May of 2004.
After standing around scratching themselves and wondering just what the hell they were doing there in the first place, 300 brave Hungarians shipped out in March of 2005.
Woke up one morning and discovered they were involved in yet another CIA “black ops” kinda deal. None too pleased, their 230 troops departed Iraq in February of 2004.
Claims that there were other “pressing engagements” going on at home, all 192 Singapore troops called it quits in March of 2005.
Not wanting to miss yet another ski season, all 150 Norwegians left in October 2005.
Not wanting to state their reasons in a public forum, 128 Portuguese troops bagged it February of 2005.
Citing matters of their own national security, 103 Slovakians were summoned back home in January of 2007.
All it took was a year for the 61 Kiwis to head for home. They lasted from September of 2003 all the way through September of 2004.
Seriously, even though the Philippines have problems of their own, they are located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Unable to adapt to desert conditions, all 51 Filipino troops abandoned Iraq in July of 2004.
45 brave Tongan warriors descended upon Iraq. Upon surveying the situation, their tribal chief was heard to mutter in his native tongue "Mogo buku boo boo". When loosely translated this comes across as “You gotta be fuckin’ kidding!” (translation mine). They slipped out under the cover of darkness in December of 2004.
Reports that both Icelandic troops committed to the cause woke up hung over in Iraq after getting into a squabble over vodka and a hot tub somewhere in downtown Reykjavik are hard to confirm. Rumors are both men have been sworn to silence and haven’t been seen or heard from in either Iraq or their native land. The rest of the world awaits news of their fate.