Spain's action is inconsistent and detrimental
At the beginning of the war in Iraq, a select number of countries deployed troops and undertook a strong commitment. As one of those countries, Spain is neglecting its obligation, acting irresponsibly and detrimentally to the Iraq effort.
Spain's removal of troops from Iraq is due largely to the shift in public opinion in Spain, instigated by recent terrorist attacks in the country. Soon after the attack on commuter trains in Madrid on March 11, which claimed 190 lives, the Spanish government underwent a switch from a conservative majority to a socialist one. The conversion is understandable and, most likely, inevitable. But in any switch of administration, the new government must be careful when changing the policies of its predecessor. If it isn't, then it runs the risk of worsening the problems being addressed by those old policies.
Iraq is currently very vulnerable. As a result of the war, the Iraqis are very much stuck in the middle of an unsteady transition. Lacking leadership in any form, Iraq is unarguably in its most defenseless stage.
The need for a military presence in Iraq is spurred by the same reason that led to a decrease of support for the old government in Spain: terrorist resistance. Obviously, the resistance forces in Iraq hate the new Iraqi government as much as they do the U.S., maybe more. This being so, the sole purpose of countries like Spain is to protect the new government. Without help, Iraq will soon return to the same condition it was in before the war.
As an argument against Spain's withdrawal, one has to look no further than Honduras, where longtime U.S. involvement was abruptly cut off in the early 1990s. No longer considering Honduras to be a significant political interest, the U.S. nullified its military influence in Honduras and, in doing so, greatly destabilized the country. The current situation in Honduras is one of political and economic instability and forewarns perfectly of what will happen in Iraq if troops are similarly removed.
Spain's decision to remove troops is a clear and disturbing indication of their reluctance to properly conclude a task that they willingly undertook. An abandonment of responsibility is never an option. Spain has to recognize that their commitments are not superficial and that the best way to solve the problem of Iraq is not to desert it.
Kedamai Fisseha. Kedamai Fisseha sorely misses the computer lab where Silver Chips was born and is daily reborn. He is currently living and writing from London, England where he is glad for the chance to continue his participation in the organization. More »