It's not clear to me from the couple of sources I've seen whether this is to be a full or partial pull-out, or perhaps a gradual progression from one to the other. For now it seems to be talk of a 'reduction' of troops, but perhaps a full removal is also in the cards.
I'm not sure whether this has been in the works for a while (the war being of course very unpopular in Italy, as elsewhere.) But the timing makes it look as though last week's accidental shooting is going to be unfortunately costly for the (shrinking) coalition.
RobK From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2004, 3944 posts, RR: 18
Reply 7, posted (8 years 12 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1128 times:
I recently applied to go out to Iraq to work (based Kuwait) as a friend of mine is out there. Up until recently the recruiters (IAPWWS) were screaming for folks but only a few days ago I received an email back saying that they weren't recruiting anymore and in fact were starting to pull workers out.
ClipperHawaii From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 2033 posts, RR: 12
Reply 12, posted (8 years 12 months 23 hours ago) and read 1098 times:
At least Berlusconi had the guts to put troops in Iraq and thus fight for what he believed was right. People in the U.S. admire that kind of political courage. Can't say that for Germany's or France's bench warmers.
Mir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 20927 posts, RR: 56
Reply 13, posted (8 years 12 months 22 hours ago) and read 1086 times:
Quoting ClipperHawaii (Reply 12): At least Berlusconi had the guts to put troops in Iraq and thus fight for what he believed was right. People in the U.S. admire that kind of political courage. Can't say that for Germany's or France's bench warmers.
Didn't France and Germany decide to not fight for what they thought was not right? There's a similar sort of political courage there, IMHO.
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
Sabenapilot From Belgium, joined Feb 2000, 2714 posts, RR: 48
Reply 14, posted (8 years 12 months 21 hours ago) and read 1079 times:
According to the BBC, Italy is planning a complete withdrawal from Iraq, not a partial one, but will take into account the ability of the Iraqi (or other nation's) forces to replace them, just like the Spanish troops have done when pulling out last year.
The Italian PM, Mr Berlusconi, has been one of US President George W. Bush's staunchest allies in the US-led war in Iraq. Italy has 3,000 troops in Iraq - the fourth largest foreign contingent.
But, now he said, after speaking to UK Prime Minister Tony Blair he concluded that public opinion in both countries favoured a troop withdrawal. Lately domestic opposition to Italy's involvement in Iraq intensified even further after the killing of an Italian agent by US troops in Baghdad earlier this month.
Mr Berlusconi has said the US must accept responsibility for the shooting of secret service agent Nicola Calipari by US troops in Baghdad on 4 March.
When the Italians will be gone by autumn, the US lead 'coalition of the willing' will be composed of:
-) countries which traditionally feel strongly related to the US: the UK and Australia
-) countries which are heavily depending on the US for their own national security: South Korea, Japan
-) eastern European countries showing their new alliance with the US to their frightening next door neighbour Russia: Poland, Ukraine, Georgia, Romania, Bulgaria
I suggest it is time to rename 'the coalition of the willing' into 'the coalition of the opportunists'.
Simo82 From Italy, joined Feb 2005, 181 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (8 years 12 months 20 hours ago) and read 1062 times:
All this is just political propaganda, next month we will have regional elections and Berlusconi knows that most of the Italians want a complete withdraw from Iraq...he is just giving them a reason to vote for him. I wouldn't trust him! He often says one thing an the next day says the opposite!
CURLYHEADBOY From Italy, joined Feb 2005, 940 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (8 years 12 months 19 hours ago) and read 1058 times:
Quoting Simo82 (Reply 16): All this is just political propaganda, next month we will have regional elections and Berlusconi knows that most of the Italians want a complete withdraw from Iraq...he is just giving them a reason to vote for him. I wouldn't trust him! He often says one thing an the next day says the opposite!
Oh, you beat me on this!
If God had wanted men to fly he would have given them more money...
OveLix From Greece, joined Aug 1999, 639 posts, RR: 4
Reply 18, posted (8 years 12 months 13 hours ago) and read 1023 times:
Quoting L-188 (Reply 10): Since the US forces don't shoot unless they are shot at or the target is an immediate threat, the answer is no.
Yeah, right. Yesterday they shot an Iraqi General who was just walking. In the eyes of the US soldiers of course he was carrying a 50mm machine gun on an armoured tank so they killed him. Damn! They were wrong. He was just walking home.