By Anne Kay
SPAIN has 2'500 soldiers spread around the world and now another 1'300 in Iraq, supposedly for humanitarian purposes. Previously the latter were based in Kuwait. These soldiers form part of the Plus Ultra Brigade governed by Poland and they are accompanied by some 200 soldiers from South American countries.
The Spanish Ministry of Defence has admitted that they will be open to certain risk although it is not thought to be the most dangerous operation they have carried out in the last few years. The ministry has guaranteed better continuous communications between the troops and their families. The question is whether Spain should be sending these troops to Iraq or not.
Considering that the Spanish government thought it correct to support the war, albeit only sending soldiers for humanitarian purposes, it can only be considered to be coherent to continue with their presence during the rebuilding of the country. As it happens, the United Nations are now taking an active part in this rebuilding and so had made a call for help from the member countries, and it is an accepted fact that the Spanish soldiers usually manage to get on well with the inhabitants of other countries, particularly as they do not have a reputation of coming from a dominant country. The Hispanic brigade will wear a distinctive uniform which should help to identify them as peaceful helpers. Spain has good relationships with the Arab countries and probably this historical link will help for a better contact with the people of Iraq.


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