Polish army chief of staff supports extending military prese

November 24th, 2005  
Team Infidel

Topic: Polish army chief of staff supports extending military prese

WARSAW, Poland - (AP) The Polish army chief of staff spoke
Wednesday in favor of extending the nation's military presence in Iraq
beyond the January deadline, but only in a training and advisory role.
"The General Staff ... advises that the mission be continued, but
that it have a new character _ only training-advisory," Gen. Czeslaw Piatas
said. His spokesman, Col. Zdzislaw Gnatowski, confirmed his words, which had
been quoted by the PAP news agency.
Speaking after a meeting with NATO Military Committee chief Raymond
Henault, Piatas noted that the decision to extend the mission of Polish
troops was in the hands of politicians.
Poland's new conservative government, which formally took office
Nov. 10, has suggested some troops may stay beyond January, when the former
left-wing Cabinet had planned to pull them out. The decision is to be taken
in mid-December.
No information on the number of troops that may remain has been made
public, but Piatas suggested it would be fewer than 1,000.
Outgoing President Aleksander Kwasniewski also has suggested the
mission could be extended on request from Iraqi authorities and on
authorization from the U.N. Security Council. Both of those conditions have
been met.
Poland, a staunch Washington ally, committed combat troops to the
U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and commands a multinational force of some 4,000
troops, including some 1,500 Poles, in three central Iraqi provinces.