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Two items from this morning's AP wire demonstrate the rampant unilateralism of the Bush administration. First, South Korea has increased its troop commitment to the security forces in Iraq:
South Korea will send 3,000 soldiers to northern Iraq beginning in early August to assist the U.S.-led coalition, the Defense Ministry said Friday. Once the deployment is complete, South Korea will be the largest coalition partner after the United States and Britain.
South Korea plans to send 900 troops to Kurdish-controlled Irbil in early August, followed by about 1,100 troops between late August and early September, Defense Ministry spokesman Nam Dai-yeon said. Another 1,000 soldiers will travel to Iraq later.
South Korea already has 600 military medics and engineers in the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah. They are expected to head to northern Iraq beginning in mid-July to prepare facilities ahead of the arrival of the main force, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported.
On the heels of this, Japan has also bolstered its troop commitment to the CPA despite some domestic resistance:
Japan's cabinet on Friday approved a plan for troops to join a multinational force in Iraq, despite criticism from the opposition that the government had rushed the move, which they argued violated the pacifist constitution.
The top government spokesman said Japanese troops would stick to their current reconstruction and humanitarian activities and would not engage in combat even after joining the multinational force, whose main aim is to keep the peace in Iraq.
Far from "relying on military might and righteousness, insensitive to the concerns of traditional friends and allies," as the Weenie Caucus declared earlier, George Bush has built a careful and committed alliance. Instead of it weakening, two members thought to be politically vulnerable have now strengthened their commitment instead of retreating. In that manner, the coalition partners we have are far preferable to other nations with histories of retreat in the face of enemy fire; the last lesson we want to teach the terrorists is that Western nations run at the first report of gunfire. Srebrenica and Mogadishu did enough damage to Western military prestige, and it may take years to unteach that lesson.Sphere It View blog reactions
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