by Rupert Cornwell and Phil Reeves
The American-led coalition's failure to secure additional outside
help in policing Iraq during a worsening security crisis was exposed
yesterday when Japan backed away from sending troops.
The death toll in Wednesday's suicide bombing at an Italian base in
Nasiriyah rose to 31, adding impetus to the efforts of George Bush
and his administration to extract the United States from the
Washington is more anxious than ever to hand power to Iraqis -
without Iraq collapsing into chaos in the process. . . .
Japan reacted to Wednesday's carnage by indicating that it would
postpone plans to send 1,000 troops by the end of the year because
of the instability. The announcement made it the latest important
potential contributor of troops to refuse to send forces. India,
Pakistan, and, most importantly Turkey - which would have been the
first main involvement of a Muslim nation - have also declined.
Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan are the only Muslim countries in the
34-nation coalition, providing 175 troops between them. The United
Nations and the Red Cross have also withdrawn from Iraq in recent
weeks. . . .
David Morgan, "U.S. War Dead in Iraq
Exceed Early Vietnam Years," Reuters, November 13, 2003
[The White House said Friday that U.S. troops would remain in Iraq
until Saddam Hussein is killed or captured.--John King, "Bush vows to press hunt for Saddam," CNN, November
Phil Reeves, "US resumes airstrikes to fight guerrillas but Humvee
attack shows Iraqi defiance," CNN, November 15, 2003