Poland could withdraw Iraq troops

#1
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3713186.stm

Poland could withdraw all its troops from Iraq next year, President Aleksander Kwasniewski has said.
He said Poland could pull out at the end of 2005, but he stressed that no final decision had been taken.

Earlier, there was confusion when Poland's defence minister said troops should be home by next December, but other government figures demurred.

Warsaw, a staunch ally of the US in Iraq, sent 2,400 troops and commands a multinational force of 6,000.

After talks with French President Jacques Chirac in Paris, Mr Kwasniewski said the circumstances in Iraq would change from January, when elections are due.

'Examining options'

"That is the reason why we decided to speak with the Iraqis and with our coalition partners, the United States, about a reduction of the Polish forces from 1 January and maybe to finish our mission at the end of 2005," he said.
 
#2
This could open the floodgates to further fragmentation of the coalition, such as it is. But at least the Poles have stood up and been counted. They've taken casualties and soldiered on regardless. Difficult to blame them for wanting out with honour on a reasonable timescale. Any bets on how long we'll be there?
 
#3
PartTimePongo said:
After talks with French President Jacques Chirac in Paris, Mr Kwasniewski said the circumstances in Iraq would change from January, when elections are due.
Call me a cynic here, but perhaps the French are applying pressure on the Poles to pull out and so undermine the US and UK stance on Iraq :?
 
#4
[quote="dui-lai Call me a cynic here, but perhaps the French are applying pressure on the Poles to pull out and so undermine the US and UK stance on Iraq :?[/quote]

They're certainly old allies going back to Napoleonic times, but it's likelier the Poles would be influenced more by Washington than Paris. They need the investment greenbacks and they owe the US for backing their Nato membership. Who knows? You may be right that the French would try to exert pressure. The boys from the Quai d'Orsai would do anything to undermine Yank policy.
 
#5
Mind you, now the EU structural funds are rolling in, the incentive to do whatever the yanks say is considerably cut.
 

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