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mburbank mburbank is offline
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U.S. to Seek U.N. Help on Force in Iraq

By SCOTT LINDLAW, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration is quietly consulting with other countries on a new Security Council resolution that would give the United Nations a leading role in building an Iraqi government and transform the military presence in Iraq to a multinational force.

President Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell met on the issue Tuesday and agreed to move forward with a new U.N. resolution in an effort to attract more foreign contributions to postwar Iraq, three senior administration officials said on condition of anonymity.

Powell and his aides will begin talking about the new resolution in coming days with key members of the Security Council whose support is critical: close ally Britain, as well as France and Russia, two countries that opposed the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

The United States hopes that expanding the U.N. role in postwar Iraq will attract badly needed troop contributions from more countries to help stabilize Iraq and to gain money to help rebuild the country.

Last week, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said the Bush administration was open to the creation of a U.N.-endorsed multinational force — but with an American commander — in an attempt to persuade reluctant nations to send troops to boost security in Iraq.

But one official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said then the administration would not consider putting the operation under U.N. control. It was unclear Tuesday night how much authority the administration would be willing to hand over to the United Nations.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan (news - web sites) has ruled out a U.N. peacekeeping force in Iraq, but he has sought to turn the military operation into a U.N.-authorized multinational force.

Five months after the United States was forced by lack of support to drop a U.N. resolution seeking authority to attack Iraq, administration officials say they do not want a repeat of that battle. They say they expect the United States to engage in quiet, behind-the-scenes negotiations on the text of the resolution, to ensure it would be agreeable to the veto-wielding permanent members and the rest of the Security Council, and to project a unanimous, internationally backed stand on what happens next in Iraq.

The effort to secure international assistance is "a tacit admission that we don't have the forces there to get the job done," Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Wednesday on ABC's "Good Morning America." "If we don't turn things around in the next few months we are facing a very serious long-term, problem."

Diplomats say placing reconstruction under U.N. auspices would make it easier to garner contributions from nations that opposed the war, notably France and Germany. Belgium also said last week that it may be willing to donate money if the United Nations was "playing a central role" in reconstruction.

France's U.N. ambassador, Jean-Marc de La Sabliere, whose country wields a Security Council veto and which led the opposition to the war against Iraq, said the international community needs to move quickly to establish an internationally recognized Iraqi government. France and Russia have called for a timetable for a constitution, elections and the restoration of Iraq's sovereignty.

"We think now it's a matter of urgency, and the transfer of responsibility to the Iraqis is something now which is a priority," de La Sabliere said Tuesday at U.N. headquarters in New York. "On the whole subject, we have to move fast because the situation is deteriorating."

With soaring budget deficits at home, Bush is eager to win financial contributions from other nations. The U.S. military occupation of Iraq could cost anywhere from $8 billion to $29 billion annually, depending on how many American troops are needed there, according to the Congressional Budget Office (news - web sites).

Bush and Powell made their decision two weeks after U.N. headquarters in Baghdad was bombed, killing top envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello and 21 others, and injuring 164 people. On Friday, the United Nations ordered a drastic reduction of its remaining 400 international staff to a ceiling of 50 because of continuing security concerns.

Mexico's U.N. ambassador, Adolfo Aguilar Zinser, a Security Council member, said Tuesday the withdrawal has to be a temporary measure to reassess security conditions.

"The commitment of the United Nations has to be reinforced and reconceived," he said. "The authority in Iraq should be the U.N. as opposed to the occupying powers."

Bulgaria's U.N. ambassador, Stefan Tafrov, another council member whose country has already provided troops to the U.S.-led force, said a new resolution should provide "as central as possible" a role for the United Nations.

"What is clear is that all members of the Security Council and the international community at large need a stabilized Iraq. It's in the interest of everybody, the Iraqi people to begin with," he said.

The administration is optimistic it can attract peacekeeping troops for Iraq from at least India, Pakistan and Turkey by placing the operation under the U.N. flag.
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Phil the anorak Phil the anorak is offline
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Old Sep 3rd, 2003, 02:43 PM       
I don't know about an admission of failure other than failing to give any thought to the post war situation and overestimating the amount of happiness from the people of a muslim country to western democratic countries invading, sorry liberating them.

The crucial thing in the actual war was that there was no major full on battle to destroy their army which just melted away in front of the coalition assault in the main making it easy for a rapid transition to guerilla type warfare which is now going on.

It smacks of desperation however in seeking to extricate the troops from an increasingly hostile and complicated situation.
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kahljorn kahljorn is offline
Join Date: May 2000
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Old Sep 3rd, 2003, 05:10 PM       
I like how people seem to think war is any different now than 1000 years ago. You don't move into a Country, kill the leader then leave forever and the until world sings glory be. It's like playing AOE2, you gotta decimate those bitches and make them yours, or the wars a waste.
Especially when a country has resources, a resource you're running low on.

The only different between now in a thousand years ago is... nothing really, but I guess the politics and propeganda has a changed a bit. Before it was like, "WE'LL KILL THEM FOR THE GLORY OF ENGLAND" and now it's like, "They could hurt us because they have big guns, and you know how much we like peace. Lets go destroy their country".

Glory be.
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Zhukov Zhukov is offline
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Join Date: May 2003
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Old Sep 4th, 2003, 12:12 AM       
I think admitting that Australia and Spain would be valuable additions to the Coalition of the Willing was an addmision of weakness.

And also needing France, cause they all suck at war, right?
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