America and the new allies

Bush’s new Iraq plan isolates key historical European allies.

Instead of galvanizing global support for his plan to send more than 20,000 additional combat troops to Iraq, American President George Bush seems to have further isolated key ally states with his decision to increase military intervention in the region.

Leaders from Russia, Turkey, Norway, Denmark and France have immediately issued statements publicly criticizing the new strategy, stressing that more troops will result in more bloodshed without radically changing the peace and security situation in the region.

Even the British government, America’s strongest ally in the war, was quick to distance itself from Bush’s new plan. Although they commended the American dedication to the deteriorating security situation in Iraq, British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett made it very clear that the English would not be matching the U.S. commitment with troops of their own. Adding further fuel to the fire, British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported that 3,000 British soldiers will actually be withdrawn from the region in May.

These European leaders are stressing that the solution in Iraq should focus on the participation of the various aspects of Iraqi society such as civilian, political and religious, instead of the increase of military presence and involvement. Most importantly, Bush rejects diplomatic tactics such as dialogue with Iran and Syria, which an increasing number of world leaders are stating is essential.

Even though the European reaction to Bush’s plan has been strikingly negative, the leaders of South Korea, Australia and Japan continue to pledge support to the U.S. war effort. However, this support does not hold the power and strength of America’s historical European allies.

It is time for Bush to stop living in his own world and rethink his flawed strategies and policies for the disaster that has become Iraq. As we involve ourselves even further militarily in Iraq, key historical allies are increasingly running the other way. If we fail to make a change fast, we will fall alone.