Bu-lat-lat (boo-lat-lat) verb: to search, probe, investigate, inquire; to unearth facts
Volume 2, Number 37 October 20 - 26, 2002 Quezon City, Philippines
Plan for Iraq
DAVID E. SANGER and ERIC SCHMITT
plan also calls for war-crime trials of Iraqi leaders and a transition to an
elected civilian government that could take months or years
the initial phase, Iraq would be governed by an American military commander —
perhaps Gen. Tommy R. Franks, commander of United States forces in the Persian
Gulf, or one of his subordinates — who would assume the role that Gen. Douglas
MacArthur served in Japan after its surrender in 1945.
senior official said the administration was "coalescing around" the
concept after discussions of options with President Bush and his top aides. But
this official and others cautioned that there had not yet been any formal
approval of the plan and that it was not clear whether allies had been consulted
detailed thinking about an American occupation emerges as the administration
negotiates a compromise at the United Nations that officials say may fall short
of an explicit authorization to use force but still allow the United States to
claim it has all the authority it needs to force Iraq to disarm.
contemplating an occupation, the administration is scaling back the initial role
for Iraqi opposition forces in a post-Hussein government. Until now it had been
assumed that Iraqi dissidents both inside and outside the country would form a
government, but it was never clear when they would take full control.
marked the first time the administration has discussed what could be a lengthy
occupation by coalition forces, led by the United States.
say they want to avoid the chaos and in-fighting that have plagued Afghanistan
since the defeat of the Taliban. Mr. Bush's aides say they also want full
control over Iraq while American-led forces carry out their principal mission:
finding and destroying weapons of mass destruction.
description of the emerging American plan and the possibility of war-crime
trials of Iraqi leaders could be part of an administration effort to warn Iraq's
generals of an unpleasant future if they continue to support Mr. Hussein.
what would happen if American pressure prompted a coup against Mr. Hussein, a
senior official said, "That would be nice." But the official suggested
that the American military might enter and secure the country anyway, not only
to eliminate weapons of mass destruction but also to ensure against anarchy.
the compromise now under discussion with France, Russia and China, according to
officials familiar with the talks, the United Nations Security Council would
approve a resolution requiring the disarmament of Iraq and specifying
"consequences" that Iraq would suffer for defiance.
would stop well short of the explicit authorization to enforce the resolution
that Mr. Bush has sought. But the diplomatic strategy, now being discussed in
Washington, Paris and Moscow, would allow Mr. Bush to claim that the resolution
gives the United States all the authority he believes he needs to force Baghdad
Security Council members could offer their own, less muscular interpretations,
and they would be free to draft a second resolution, authorizing the use of
force, if Iraq frustrated the inspection process. The United States would regard
that second resolution as unnecessary, senior officials say.
would read this resolution their own way," one senior official said.
revelation of the occupation plan marks the first time the administration has
described in detail how it would administer Iraq in the days and weeks after an
invasion, and how it would keep the country unified while searching for weapons.
would put an American officer in charge of Iraq for a year or more while the
United States and its allies searched for weapons and maintained Iraq's oil
as long as the coalition partners administered Iraq, they would essentially
control the second largest proven reserves of oil in the world, nearly 11
percent of the total. A senior administration official said the United Nations
oil-for-food program would be expanded to help finance stabilization and
officials said they were moving away from the model used in Afghanistan:
establishing a provisional government right away that would be run by Iraqis.
Some top Pentagon officials support this approach, but the State Department, the
Central Intelligence Agency and, ultimately, the White House, were cool to it.
just not sure what influence groups on the outside would have on the
inside," an administration official said. "There would also be
differences among Iraqis, and we don't want chaos and anarchy in the early
officials said, the administration is studying the military occupations of Japan
and Germany. But they stressed a commitment to keeping Iraq unified, as Japan
was, and avoiding the kind partition that Germany underwent when Soviet troops
stayed in the eastern sector, which set the stage for the cold war. The military
government in Germany stayed in power for four years; in Japan it lasted six and
a half years.
a speech on Saturday, Zalmay Khalilzad, the special assistant to the president
for Near East, Southwest Asian and North African affairs, said, "The
coalition will assume — and the preferred option — responsibility for the
territorial defense and security of Iraq after liberation."
intent is not conquest and occupation of Iraq," Mr. Khalilzad said.
"But we do what needs to be done to achieve the disarmament mission and to
get Iraq ready for a democratic transition and then through democracy over
perhaps through a consultative council, would assist an American-led military
and, later, a civilian administration, a senior official said today. Only after
this transition would the American-led government hand power to Iraqis.
said that the Iraqi armed forces would be "downsized," and that senior
Baath Party officials who control government ministries would be removed.
"Much of the bureaucracy would carry on under new management," he
experts warned during Senate hearings last month that a prolonged American
military occupation of Iraq could inflame tensions in the Mideast and the Muslim
am viscerally opposed to a prolonged occupation of a Muslim country at the heart
of the Muslim world by Western nations who proclaim the right to re-educate that
country," said the former secetary of state, Henry A. Kissinger, who as a
young man served as a district administrator in the military government of
the White House considers its long-term plans for Iraq, Britain's prime
minister, Tony Blair, arrived in Moscow this evening for a day and a half of
talks with President Vladimir V. Putin. Aides said talks were focused on
resolving the dispute at the United Nations. Mr. Blair and Mr. Putin are to hold
formal discussions on Friday, followed by a news conference.
Blair has been a steadfast supporter of the administration's tough line on a new
resolution. But he has also indicated that Britain would consider France's
proposal to have a two-tiered approach, with the Security Council first adopting
a resolution to compel Iraq to cooperate with international weapons inspectors,
and then, if Iraq failed to comply, adopting a second resolution on military
force. Earlier this week, Russia indicated that it, too, was prepared to
consider the French position.
the administration is now saying that if there is a two-resolution approach, it
will insist that the first resolution provide Mr. Bush all the authority he
timing of all this is impossible to anticipate," one administration
official involved in the talks said. "The president doesn't want to have to
wait around for a second resolution if it is clear that the Iraqis are not
October 13, 2002 Bulatlat.com