The "coalition of the willing" will grow smaller by one in the not so distant future. For those keeping score, the newly elected Prime Minister of Italy, Romano Prodi has announced that he will pull Italian troops from Iraq "as soon as possible."
Following his announcement to withdraw his nations troops from Iraq the Prime Minister gave his assessment of George Bush's "war
We consider the war and occupation in Iraq a grave mistake because it has not solved the problems of security, it has complicated them, and opened Pandora's box. Terrorism has found a new base and new excuses for internal and external terrorist action.
It is rather ironic that Mr. Prodi's conclusion about the invasion of Iraq has turned out to be the very thing that The Decider said his war was going to prevent. Remember what he said in November 2002?
Imagine a terrorist network with Iraq as an arsenal and as a training ground, so that a Saddam Hussein could use his shadowy group of people to attack his enemy and leave no fingerprint behind. He's a threat.
Mr. Prodi's assessment of conditions in Iraq is supported by a CIA assessment of the conditions in Iraq written nearly a year ago. (The following might be of importance when considering Mr. Prodi's words.)
A new classified assessment by the Central Intelligence Agency says Iraq may prove to be an even more effective training ground for Islamic extremists than Afghanistan was in Al Qaeda’s early days, because it is serving as a real-world laboratory for urban combat.
When the Prime Minister said that the war and occupation of Iraq was a "grave mistake" he wasn't kidding.
*Other Coalition Countries:
El Salvador 2
(Note that of the countries listed, that Italy has suffered the third most casualties behind the UK and the US.)
Of course, I haven't even mentioned the number of "grave mistakes" that have led to Iraqi civilians, police and military deaths since The Decider decided to invade and occupy Iraq. Those statistics can be found here and here.