As per expectations, initial reaction to the first attempt to get more international aid in Iraq was not good. Germany is being negative, and Russia is making it clear that they need UN involvement. From one angle, it looks like Russia is making concessions, but note that Russia is implacable about UN approval. They’re letting us know that we can get what we want… if we do it their way. Chirac, unsurprisingly, is on board with Germany and Russia.
On the other hand, Thailand just sent 21 soldiers. So that’s something. And it’s just the initial deployment — they’ll be up to a full 443 soldiers at some point.
OK, so that’s not really so great. The UK may add 5,000 troops to their deployment, which is far more significant. On the other hand, the Congressional Budget Office says we can’t maintain the current 180,000 troops in Iraq past March of next year. We’ll have to drop the numbers to 64,000 men maximum at that point.
Gonna be a bit of a shortfall.