Tuesday, 5 August 2003

Iraq will be divided into sectors

Just as post-WWII West Germany was divided into sectors adminstered by the US, England and France, so too will Iraq be divided into sectors, this time administered by the US, England, and Poland. "Why Poland?" one might ask. Part of the answer is obvious: other likely candidates actively opposed the war, and now they can't or won't join the rebuilding effort. This knocks off France, Germany and Russia. Why not Australia? They were an important part of the coalition. To be honest, I have no idea, I haven't seen any discussion of this.

However, Eastern Europe played a large role in Operation Iraqi Freedom, with Poland at the top of the list. While Poland did not send legions of mechanized infantry, they did send some very impressive special forces, just as they did during the 1991 Gulf War. A generation ago in America, "Polish Special Forces" would have been the punch line to an ethnic joke, now the phrase describes some of the best SF troops in the world. GROM, their acronym in Polish (it is also the Polish word for "thunder"), also captured a Bosnian War Criminal and served as military police in Haiti, in the process becoming the first foreign military unit to be awarded the US Army Commendation Medal. And Poland has consistently been America's best friend in continental Europe. I guess they remember who stood by them during the Cold War, and who didn't. Look for American and/or NATO bases located in Germany and other half-hearted allies to be closed while new bases are built and staffed in Poland, Romania and Bulgaria. Auf wiedersehen!