Monday, September 01, 2003

So far, the authority's limited presence in the south has not been a show-stopper because the Marines moved to fill the nation-building gap. But a look at the multinational force taking over from the Marines shows that this is not a homogenous division — it will have a Polish headquarters and brigade, a Spanish brigade and a Ukrainian brigade.

The Polish-led divisional headquarters will be based at Camp Babylon in Hillil. The Spanish will be based in Diwaniyah and the Ukrainians in Kut. There will also be smaller contributions from a host of nations, including forces from Eastern Europe, Asia and Central America. Even Mongolia is sending a small contingent...

The symbolism of having forces from a wide array of nations is impressive, but stitching all those odds and ends together to make an efficient division will not be a simple task. These are forces that are not accustomed to working together, have little or no experience in this region and varying degrees of experience in civil affairs.

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