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General Casey speaking to reporters in Baghdad in June 2006 (epa) February 8, 2007 -- The U.S. Senate today confirmed General George Casey as the next army chief of staff, despite reservations by several lawmakers over his direction of the Iraq war.


Casey had been top U.S. commander in Iraq since July 2004. U.S. President George W. Bush replaced him with Army General David Petraeus as part of an overhaul of his Iraq policies and his team of top officials in the Middle East.


The Senate a day earlier confirmed navy Admiral William Fallon to replace army General John Abizaid as head of U.S. Central Command, which oversees operations throughout the Middle East.


Their approval comes as Democrats -- and some Republicans -- have launched their opposition to Bush's decision to send 21,500 more U.S. troops to Iraq.


House Democratic leaders are planning a vote next week on a resolution stating opposition to the buildup.


(AP)

The International Coalition In Iraq
Georgian soldiers marking Georgian Independence Day in Baghdad on June 6 (epa)

COALITION MEMBERS: In addition to the United States, 28 countries are Multi-National Force-Iraq (MNF-I) contributors as of May 31, 2006: Albania, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Georgia, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, South Korea, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. Fiji is participating as part of the UN mission in Iraq. Hungary, Iceland, Slovenia, and Turkey are NATO countries supporting Iraqi stability operations but are not part of MNF-I.

NON-U.S. MILITARY PERSONNEL IN IRAQ: United Kingdom, 8,000 as of May 26, 2006; South Korea, 3,237 as of May 9, 2006; Italy, 2,900 as of April 27, 2006; Poland, 900 as of May 30, 2006; Australia, 900 as of March 28, 2006; Georgia, 900 as of March 24, 2006; Romania, 860 as of April 27, 2006; Japan, 600 as of May 30, 2006; Denmark, 530 as of May 23, 2006; All others, 1,140.

(Source: The Washington-based Brooking Institution’s Iraq Index of June 15, 2006)


THE COMPLETE STORY: RFE/RL's complete coverage of events in Iraq and that country's ongoing transition.

RADIO FREE IRAQ: To visit the Arab-language website of RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq, click here.

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