U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher yesterday announced the 30 countries that have confirmed they will participate: "Albania, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Estonia, El Salvador, Georgia, Honduras, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mongolia, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, U.K. and Ukraine. Their participation in stabilization operations is already confirmed."
But there is skepticism among some military experts and analysts about the number of soldiers that many of these countries can offer. The largest contributor to the multinational division will be Poland with some 2,300 soldiers. Ukraine is posting 1,800 troops to Iraq, while Spain has pledged 1,300.
Bulgaria is sending about 500 troops into Iraq. Hungary has pledged several hundred. Romania and Latvia each are deploying about 150 soldiers, while Slovakia and Lithuania each are sending in 85. Kazakhstan has offered to send 25 soldiers.
Coalition forces now in Iraq include about 150,000 U.S. soldiers and some 11,000 British troops.
But according to Ian Kemp, editor of the London-based military affairs publication "Jane's Defence Weekly," many experts estimate that another 100,000 troops are needed to ensure stability across the country.