There was so much crap in the president's speech last night that analyzing requires a fairly aggressive form of crap triage to distinguish the merely bogus from the bogus and hilarious or the bogus and unconscionable. So let me focus in again on the president's reference
to the "the 36 nations who have troops on the ground in Iraq."
One way the president comes up with this number is to rope in something called the NATO Training Mission-Iraq (NTM-1).
As Spencer Ackerman notes
here, most of the countries involved in this initiative have agreed to let Iraqis come to their countries for training, not the other way around. So for instance, according to a recent Congressional Research Service report
, Spain "plans to train groups of 25 Iraqis in mine clearance at a center outside Madrid."
And who has boots on the ground in country? One example from the president's list of 36 is Iceland which has sent a single public information officer to serve in the NATO mission in Baghdad. More robustly, Italy has 8 officers on the NTM-I mission in Baghdad, Portugal is considering sending "up to 10."