Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

US Calls on Its Allies to Send 10,000 Extra Troops

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

US Calls on Its Allies to Send 10,000 Extra Troops

Article excerpt


AMERICA has appealed for an extra 10,000 troops from across the globe to go to Iraq to ease the burden on US and British forces.

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in Baghdad that he was hoping for "maybe another division" from other countries. The contributors could range from Turkey, India and Pakistan to Russia.

In London, there was growing belief that the Government will soon announce the despatch of several thousand extra British troops to meet the threat from terrorism and boost the effort to rebuild the country.

An announcement could come in the Commons as early as next week.

America, with towards 150,000 soldiers already stationed in Iraq, has signalled strongly that it will send no more. But both Britain and the US believe that aid from other countries - particularly from the East rather than the West - is urgently needed to counter the impression of a USBritish occupying force.

The hope was hindered, however, by a serious and continuing row in the United Nations which has, yet again, lined up America against Germany and France.

Germany's Chancellor Gerhard Schroder and President Jacques Chirac of France yesterday demanded a greater say for the UN in running the country before any approval could be given to a multinational force under a United Nations umbrella.

Mr Rumsfeld, on his surprise visit to Baghdad, acknowledged that US forces were having difficulty in controlling-the situation, not least terroristsinfiltrating across the border from neighbouring countries, such as Syria. And he said that he was looking at "ways of accelerating" the process of reviving Iraq's own army, disbanded at the end of the war.

Britain currently has just under 11,000 troops on the ground. A further 11,000 has already been contributed in small numbers from other countries including Australia, Spain, Holland, Italy, Denmark and Poland.

The Tories today called for extra British forces to be despatched.

Shadow defence secretary Bernard Jenkin said: "The Government has got to be prepared to face up to this. They have clearly got it wrong. …

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