U.S. Will Continue to Seek Allied Division for Iraq
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
PRISTINA, Kosovo, Sept. 17, 2003 The United States will continue to seek international allies to provide troops to operations in Iraq, Joint Chiefs Chairman Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers said here today.
Myers spoke to press traveling with him to Kosovo. He said he has read news reports forecasting difficulty in raising another multinational division for duty in Iraq, even with a new U.N. Security Council resolution.
Myers said he doesn't know what prompted the spate of stories, and that he doesn't see what is different from a few days ago. The United States will continue to seek allies to help in Iraq, he asserted. The chairman has said in the past that another division -- between 10,000 and 15,000 troops -- would be helpful.
Myers said countries would have to make their own decisions about whether they will support the U.S. request. For some nations, a U.N. resolution may make it easier, he said, while for others it will make no difference.
"What you want is a country that has the experience and the capability to put a division out there with a headquarters structure and a brigade as a core," Myers said. "Then other nations could build around that core."
The Multinational Division Central-South now in Hillah, Iraq, has a division headquarters and a brigade provided by Poland. Spain also provided a brigade. Some 17 other countries contributed soldiers to the effort, including a Central American battalion made up of soldiers from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras and the Dominican Republic.
The chairman said he thought it would be helpful if a Muslim nation provided troops and leadership.
A new multinational division would be used in the northern part of the country, around the city of Mosul, Myers said. The 101st Airborne Division [http://www.campbell.army.mil/division.htm] is based in the relatively peaceful region. Even if the multinational division is delayed, it will not affect the 101st's departure date, he said.