Host: American Enterprise Institute. When coalition forces overthrew Saddam Hussein in 2003, Polish special forces seized the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr to enable immediate delivery of humanitarian aid to the rest of the country. Since then, Poland has expanded its commitment in Iraq: at one point, it maintained 2,500 in-country soldiers, more than any nation except the United Kingdom or the United States. Most recently, the Polish brigade provided key support to November’s Operation Lion Pounce, which reduced the influence of the Sadrist Jaysh al Mahdi and the Iranian-backed Special Groups in Diwaniyah.
This assistance will come to an end with the Polish forces’ October 2008 withdrawal, announced by new Polish prime minister Donald Tusk in December 2007. Having recently returned from a visit to Iraq, the Polish ambassador to Iraq, Lt. Gen. Edward Pietrzyk, will address the impending finale of Poland’s military presence in Iraq and his observations of the situation on the ground. How have the Polish forces contributed materially to the mission in Iraq over the past five years? How can Polish-American cooperation in Iraq inform future multilateral counterinsurgency operations?
Following his address, Ambassador Pietrzyk will join Captain Ann Gildroy, who served in Diwaniyah alongside Polish forces, and AEI’s Frederick W. Kagan to discuss these and other questions. AEI’s Gary J. Schmitt will moderate.
Added by insideronline on May 11, 2008