US-led coalition against Iraq (2003)

Group of nations which have offered various degrees of support for the US-led 2003 invasion of Iraq. The US government refers to them as « the coalition of the willing » although this group includes countries which only offered political support.

On the eve of the invasion, the White House count of those countries numbered 49, though a review of public statements made by their governments themselves finds only 39 members in this group.

Some countries gave only political support to the US action while others gave various degree of military support : airspace, fueling stations, bases, logistical support, non-combattant troops or combat units.

Some nations originally said to be on the US list disavowed publicly their membership. Adding to the confusion, the US administration claimed to have the support of 15 nations that wished to remain anonymous out of which the only one known is Israel. They have been sardonically called « the coalition of the unwilling to be named. »

A list of countries among the willing at the time of the invasion includes 39 countries: Afghanistan, Albania, Australia, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lithuania, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Palau, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, the « Republic of China » (Taiwan), Turkey, Uganda, the United Kingdom, the United States and Uzbekistan.

Political support :

The signatories to a public letter of support for U.S. policy in Iraq before the invasion were: Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Palau, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

The letter did not include some prominent NATO members (France, Germany and Canada) or two other permanent Security Council members (Russia and the People’s Republic of China).

Military support with fighting forces :

The only fighting forces in the 2003 invasion of Iraq were from the United States (150,000), United Kingdom (40,000), Australia (2,000), and Poland (184). Ten other countries have offered small numbers of noncombat forces, mostly either medical teams and specialists in decontamination. Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain were the only European Union members among those.

Military support without combat troops :

Qatar – hosted U.S. Central Command regional headquarter
Kuwait – hosted invasion forces
Bahrain – hosted invasion forces