| Ander Nieuws week 36 / nieuwe oorlog 2009 |
Iraq's coalition of one changes its name

Agence France Presse
August 16, 2009
Multi-National Forces-Iraq, the name of the military command of the US-led coalition that invaded Iraq in 2003, will be changed next year as no other countries have troops stationed in the country, a US military spokesman said Sunday.
After the departure of British, Romanian and Australian troops last month, the remaining 130,000-odd American troops are now the only foreign force in MNF-I.
As a result, the command will be called United States Forces-Iraq (USF-I) from the start of next year, the spokesman said.
"The change from MNF-I to USF-I demonstrates the United States' commitment to our bilateral relationship with the government of Iraq and takes effect January 1, 2010," Major Jose Lopez said in an e-mail.
At the start of the March 2003 invasion, the so-called "coalition of the willing" included nearly 40 countries aside from the United States, including Britain, Australia and Poland.
It drew criticism, however, because many of the countries in the coalition contributed only a handful of troops with several pulling out or dramatically reducing their military commitments shortly after the invasion.
The US military also announced on Saturday it was reducing the number of combat brigades stationed in Iraq to 12 from 13.
It said the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division would not be replaced when it returns to the United States later this month.
A US military spokesman declined to specify the total number of American soldiers who would be left in Iraq after the brigade's departure.
As part of a security deal signed between Baghdad and Washington in November, US troops withdrew from Iraq's cities at the end of June and must leave the country entirely by the end of 2011.
Copyright AFP 2009
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| Ander Nieuws week 36 / nieuwe oorlog 2009 |