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Europe

Allies Disagree On War's Next Phase

In the 1991 Gulf War, the world stood united against Iraqi aggression. But today, America's European allies are wary about expanding the "war on terror" by targeting Iraq, Iran or North Korea.

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Still eye to eye?

When Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, the world was united in protest. Britain's Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher immediately urged U.S. President George Bush to stand up to Saddam Hussein's aggression.

In the following months, Britain and the U.S. assembled the broadest and most powerful military coalition ever. The two countries formed the core of the international alliance to confront the Iraqi dictator and provided most of the forces for Operation Desert Storm.

Other European countries pledged support and shared the burdens. France, for instance, signalled immediately that it would be necessary to fight Saddam Hussein. Only a few days after Iraq invaded Kuwait, French soldiers were on their way to the region.

Germany meanwhile provided financial and logistic support for Operation Desert Storm, since its military forces at the time were prohibited from taking part in action outside NATO territory.

A new world in 2002

Eleven years on, the world looks very different. When U.S. President George W. Bush named Iraq as one prong in an "axis of evil" in his State of the Union address last week, his country's European allies winced.

The scripted remark suggested that Bush wants to move the "war on terror" into a second phase.

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