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The Faces Of The Coalition

March 01, 1991

In the six months between Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, and the beginning of the war Jan. 17, a powerful multinational force gathered in the Gulf to drive Saddam Hussein's troops from Kuwait. The U.S.-led alliance is the largest such force assembled since the Korean War. More than 800,000 allied personnel helped vanquish Iraq's estimated 500,000 troops in southern Iraq and Kuwait.

Nearly 30 nations have joined the multinational coalition, ranging from Britain, with its 40,000-plus force, to Singapore, which has sent a 30-member medical team. The coalition includes a mix of liberal Western countries and staunchly Islamic states as well as a multitude of languages and cultures.

One of the world's poorest countries, Bangladesh, has contributed troops along with some of wealthiest, such as the coalition's host nation, Saudi Arabia. Geographically, forces have come from as far away as Argentina and New Zealand. In size, the contingents range from a few hundred troops to 500,000-plus from the United States.

Countries have contributed in a number of ways. Among the many participants:

Niger sent about 500 troops to guard shrines in Saudi Arabia

Belgium deployed two mine-hunters and a support ship

Norway provided a coast guard ship

Poland offered two rescue ships with a staff of 200

Romania sent a mobile field hospital team and chemical warfare experts

Argentina sent two ships

Bangladesh sent 2,000 troops.

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