The Italian press says Berlusconi's conditional decision to withdraw Italian troops from Iraq later this year is an election tactic just two weeks ahead of local elections in which some 40 million Italians can vote.
In Britain Tony Blair told the Commons: "Neither the Italian Government nor ourselves have set some deadline for withdrawal." In the US, Bush told reporters: "Our troops will come home when Iraq is capable of defending herself." Meanwhile Australian PM, John Howard has refused to rule out extra Australian troops to help cover any shortfall created by the withdrawal of Italian forces.
These four governments are acting in concert. They always have. It's all PR spin. Berlusconi is the only one talking about withdrawal, but gave himself an escape clause that any withdrawal was contingent on the "security situation in Iraq.
The troops are staying.