2003 January 09 Thursday
British Want To Delay Attack On Iraq Until Autumn

The British government wants to give the UN UNMOVIC and IAEA weapons inspectors more time to find the weapons labs and storage facilities of Iraq.

Britain is pressing for war against Iraq to be delayed for several months, possibly until the autumn, to give weapons inspectors more time to provide clear evidence of new violations by Saddam Hussein.

Ministers and senior officials believe that there is no clear legal case for military action despite the build-up of American and British forces in the Gulf.

Here's the biggest problem with going along with such a delay: It ties up US military assets. The US does not have enough military capacity to deal with other problems such as North Korea or Iran while the US military forces are tied up waiting until autumn. North Korea already feels emboldened by the extent to which US forces are tied down in other theatres of operation. If the Bush Administration goes along with the UK request for a delay then this is going to cost precious time in efforts to prevent WMD proliferation in other countries which have dangerous regimes. Those other regimes will become more dangerous during the period of delay.

There are other benefits from invading Iraq now and getting it over with not least of which is that Saddam Hussein still has on-going WMD development programs. An attack on Iraq now already brings with it the risk that Saddam's regime will respond with chemical and biological weapons. We don't want to wait for that threat to grow larger.

Another big benefit that will come from defeating Iraq sooner is the intelligence bonanza that will come from capturing Iraqi government offices with all their files and from capturing and interrogating high level figures in the Iraqi regime and Iraqi intelligence officers as well. Saddam Hussein's regime has had many contacts with a large variety of terrorist groups (not only Al Qaeda) and has lots of useful information about their activities and their operatives and resources. Iraq's officials and intelligence agents also will certainly have information about the WMD development efforts and terrorist support efforts of other regimes such as that in Libya and Iran. We need that information.

A delay may have diplomatic benefits. But the risk of terrorist attacks and WMD proliferation are both too great for diplomatic considerations to outweigh them. US needs to make faster real progress in preventing the proliferation of WMD and in taking apart terrorist groups.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2003 January 09 12:47 PM  Military War, Rumours Of War


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