Iraq War Planning 1991-2003
|Lawrence A. Franklin||
|and Iraq Needs a Revolution, David Wurmser, Wall Street Journal article (from a neocon perspective)|
|What To Do Now About Iraq, Center for Security Policy, Nov 29, 2001|
|Neocon Iraq War planning as of 2001. and see timeline
for neocon war planning since 1991.
Open Letter to the President, source. NewsMax
|What to Do Now About Iraq Center
for Security Policy, Wednesday, Nov. 29, 200,CSP Decision Brief, No. 01-D
WASHINGTON – A growing focus of policy debate in Washington and
around the world is whether, and if so, when, President Bush will launch a
second phase of the war on terrorism – against Iraq. While there is a growing appreciation that Saddam Hussein must be
removed from power, there is considerable uncertainty about – and in
some quarters adamant opposition to – the United States launching
military operations for that purpose in the foreseeable future. Fortunately, there is much that the Bush administration could do, short
of open hostilities, to begin the necessary effort to liberate the people
of Iraq, as has recently been done for most of the people of Afghanistan.
A blueprint outlining such steps was provided to President Bush's
predecessor in February 1998 by the Committee for Peace and Security in
the Gulf. Since many of the authors of this plan are now senior members of the
Bush team – including Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Deputy
Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and Deputy Secretary of State Richard
Armitage – its early adoption and implementation should be accomplished
without further undue internal debate or delay
Committee for Peace and Security in the Gulf ......Open Letter to the President, 19 February 1998
Dear Mr. President,
Many of us were involved in organizing the Committee for Peace and Security in the Gulf in 1990 to support President Bush's policy of expelling Saddam Hussein from Kuwait. Seven years later, Saddam Hussein is still in power in Baghdad. And despite his defeat in the Gulf War, continuing sanctions, and the determined effort of UN inspectors to fetter out and destroy his weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein has been able to develop biological and chemical munitions. To underscore the threat posed by these deadly devices, the Secretaries of State and Defense have said that these weapons could be used against our own people. And you have said that this issue is about "the challenges of the 21st Century."
Iraq's position is unacceptable. While Iraq is not unique in possessing these weapons, it is the only country which has used them – not just against its enemies, but its own people as well. We must assume that Saddam is prepared to use them again. This poses a danger to our friends, our allies, and to our nation.
It is clear that this danger cannot be eliminated as long as our objective is simply "containment," and the means of achieving it are limited to sanctions and exhortations. As the crisis of recent weeks has demonstrated, these static policies are bound to erode, opening the way to Saddam's eventual return to a position of power and influence in the region. Only a determined program to change the regime in Baghdad will bring the Iraqi crisis to a satisfactory conclusion.
For years, the United States has tried to remove Saddam by encouraging coups and internal conspiracies. These attempts have all failed. Saddam is more wily, brutal and conspiratorial than any likely conspiracy the United States might mobilize against him. Saddam must be overpowered; he will not be brought down by a coup d'etat. But Saddam has an Achilles' heel: lacking popular support, he rules by terror. The same brutality which makes it unlikely that any coups or conspiracies can succeed, makes him hated by his own people and the rank and file of his military. Iraq today is ripe for a broad-based insurrection. We must exploit this opportunity.
Saddam's long record of treaty violations, deception, and violence shows that diplomacy and arms control will not constrain him. In the absence of a broader strategy, even extensive air strikes would be ineffective in dealing with Saddam and eliminating the threat his regime poses. We believe that the problem is not only the specifics of Saddam's actions, but the continued existence of the regime itself.
What is needed now is a comprehensive political and military strategy for bringing down Saddam and his regime. It will not be easy -- and the course of action we favor is not without its problems and perils. But we believe the vital national interests of our country require the United States to:
Recognize a provisional government of Iraq based on the principles and leaders of the Iraqi National Congress (INC) that is representative of all the peoples of Iraq.
Restore and enhance the safe haven in northern Iraq to allow the provisional government to extend its authority there and establish a zone in southern Iraq from which Saddam's ground forces would also be excluded.
Lift sanctions in liberated areas. Sanctions are instruments of war against Saddam's regime, but they should be quickly lifted on those who have freed themselves from it. Also, the oil resources and products of the liberated areas should help fund the provisional government's insurrection and humanitarian relief for the people of liberated Iraq.
Release frozen Iraqi assets – which amount to $1.6 billion in the United States and Britain alone – to the control of the provisional government to fund its insurrection. This could be done gradually and so long as the provisional government continues to promote a democratic Iraq.
Facilitate broadcasts from U.S. transmitters immediately and establish a Radio Free Iraq.
Help expand liberated areas of Iraq by assisting the provisional government's offensive against Saddam Hussein's regime logistically and through other means.
Remove any vestiges of Saddam's claim to "legitimacy" by, among other things, bringing a war crimes indictment against the dictator and his lieutenants and challenging Saddam's credentials to fill the Iraqi seat at the United Nations.
Launch a systematic air campaign against the pillars of his power -- the Republican Guard divisions which prop him up and the military infrastructure that sustains him.
Position U.S. ground force equipment in the region so that, as a last resort, we have the capacity to protect and assist the anti-Saddam forces in the northern and southern parts of Iraq.
Once you make it unambiguously clear that we are serious about eliminating the threat posed by Saddam, and are not just engaged in tactical bombing attacks unrelated to a larger strategy designed to topple the regime, we believe that such countries as Kuwait, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, whose cooperation would be important for the implementation of this strategy, will give us the political and logistical support to succeed.
In the present climate in Washington, some may misunderstand and misinterpret strong American action against Iraq as having ulterior political motives. We believe, on the contrary, that strong American action against Saddam is overwhelmingly in the national interest, that it must be supported, and that it must succeed. Saddam must not become the beneficiary of an American domestic political controversy.
We are confident that were you to launch an initiative along these lines, the Congress and the country would see it as a timely and justifiable response to Iraq's continued intransigence. We urge you to provide the leadership necessary to save ourselves and the world from the scourge of Saddam and the weapons of mass destruction that he refuses to relinquish.
Hon. Stephen Solarz, Former Member, Foreign Affairs Committee, U.S. House of Representatives
Hon. Richard Perle, Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute; Former Assistant Secretary of Defense
Hon. Elliot Abrams, President, Ethics & Public Policy Center; Former Assistant Secretary of State
Richard V. Allen, Former National Security Advisor
Hon. Richard Armitage, President, Armitage Associates, L.C.; Former Assistant Secretary of Defense
Jeffrey T. Bergner, President, Bergner, Bockorny, Clough & Brain; Former Staff Director, Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Hon. John Bolton, Senior Vice President, American Enterprise Institute; Former Assistant Secretary of State
Stephen Bryen, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense
Hon. Richard Burt, Chairman, IEP Advisors, Inc.; Former U.S. Ambassador to Germany; Former Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs
Hon. Frank Carlucci, Former Secretary of Defense
Hon. Judge William Clark, Former National Security Advisor
Paula J. Dobriansky, Vice President, Director of Washington Office, Council on Foreign Relations; Former Member, National Security Council
Doug Feith, Managing Attorney, Feith & Zell P.C.; Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Negotiations Policy
Frank Gaffney, Director, Center for Security Policy; Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Forces
Jeffrey Gedmin, Executive Director, New Atlantic Initiative; Research Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
Hon. Fred C. Ikle, Former Undersecretary of Defense
Robert Kagan, Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Zalmay M. Khalilzad, Director, Strategy and Doctrine, RAND Corporation
Sven F. Kraemer, Former Director of Arms Control, National Security Council
William Kristol, Editor, The Weekly Standard
Michael Ledeen, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute; Former Special Advisor to the Secretary of State
Bernard Lewis, Professor Emeritus of Middle Eastern and Ottoman Studies, Princeton University
R. Admiral Frederick L. Lewis, U.S. Navy, Retired
Maj. Gen. Jarvis Lynch, U.S. Marine Corps, Retired
Hon. Robert C. McFarlane, Former National Security Advisor
Joshua Muravchik, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute
Robert A. Pastor, Former Special Assistant to President Carter for Inter-American Affairs
Martin Peretz, Editor-in-Chief, The New Republic
Roger Robinson, Former Senior Director of International Economic Affairs, National Security Council
Peter Rodman, Director of National Security Programs, Nixon Center for Peace and Freedom; Former Director, Policy Planning Staff, U.S. Department of State
Hon. Peter Rosenblatt, Former Ambassador to the Trust Territories of the Pacific
Hon. Donald Rumsfeld, Former Secretary of Defense
Gary Schmitt, Executive Director, Project for the New American Century; Former Executive Director, President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board
Max Singer, President, The Potomac Organization; Former President, The Hudson Institute
Hon. Helmut Sonnenfeldt, Guest Scholar, The Brookings Institution; Former Counsellor, U.S. Department of State
Hon. Caspar Weinberger, Former Secretary of Defense
Leon Wienseltier, Literary Editor, The New Republic
Hon. Paul Wolfowitz, Dean, Johns Hopkins SAIS; Former Undersecretary of Defense
David Wurmser, Director, Middle East Program, AEI; Research Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
Dov S. Zakheim, Former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense
|Iraq Needs a Revolution By David Wurmser Posted: Wednesday, November 12, 1997|
|Iraq Needs a Revolution By David Wurmser Posted:
Wednesday, November 12, 1997
ARTICLES Wall Street Journal Publication Date: November 12, 1997
Saddam Hussein is once again thumbing his nose at the West. He's threatening to shoot down American U-2 spy planes and to stop United Nations inspectors from scouring his country in the search for weapons of mass destruction. The U.S. response? Along with a bit of saber-rattling, Washington is asking the U.N. for yet more sanctions. Haven't we been down this path before? If U.S. policy makers had been paying attention, they would have realized that sanctions will never dislodge Saddam. Instead we need to go back to the policy we tried, but never stuck with: fomenting an Iraqi insurgency to depose the butcher of Baghdad.
Washington's abandonment of this policy is precisely why the sanctions failed. Many nations had agreed to sacrifice their economic interests in Iraq, in the expectation that U.S. efforts to remove Saddam were serious and would soon bear fruit. As the years passed, confidence in U.S. leadership waned as Washington surrendered the initiative in setting policy to an amorphous, rudderless international community. As a result, Iraq's neighbors, and even some European allies, have begun to lose interest in the effort. Both Russia and China have become more aggressive in pursuing their own agendas in the Middle East.
Sanctions aren't even enforceable without a credible American threat to use force -- a threat that is nonexistent as long as Washington defers to the U.N. Security Council, which since 1993 has failed to declare Saddam in "material breach" of the cease-fire agreements -- a declaration necessary to justify a military response. U.S. strikes last year against a few minor installations in the wake of Saddam's invasion of the U.N.-mandated Kurdish "safe haven" in northern Iraq met with broad international condemnation. By relentlessly maintaining the initiative against the U.S., Saddam is wearing down the will of the international community. He may well prevail in the long run.
The erosion of Saddam's containment highlights the importance of ousting his regime. But efforts to encourage a change in Baghdad have reached a dead end, largely because the U.S. has relied on a narrow clique of military officers to launch a coup rather than challenging the regime more broadly and aggressively.
Two coup attempts exemplify the U.S.'s failure. In late March 1991, shortly after the Gulf War, Iraqis were in open revolt. Fighting erupted in all but three of Iraq's provinces, and Saddam's army was left with two days' worth of ammunition. A desperate Saddam sent one of his highest-ranking officers as a "defector" with information that Iraq's senior military leaders were on the verge of a coup but hesitated as long as they faced the threat of a revolution. Accordingly, the U.S. signaled to Saddam that he could use his air power, grounded under the terms of the cease-fire, to crush the revolt. No coup followed.
In 1995 Hussein Kamel, Saddam's son-in-law, defected to Jordan. His defection gave U.S. policy makers the idea of tapping a group of former Iraqi officials to plot a coup. The U.S. moved in 1996 to support a group under the command of Gen. Ayad Alawi, himself a defector from Saddam's regime. But the movement, known as the Wifaq (Arabic for "trust"), was plagued from the start by double agents. Indeed, Saddam penetrated it far more effectively than it penetrated his inner circle. In July 1996 Saddam's security apparatus swept across Iraq and arrested hundreds of the Wifaq's agents. Saddam's security services then used CIA communications equipment, captured from the defectors, to contact the CIA station chief in Amman, Jordan, to crow over their victory.
Today, the sanctions regime is on the brink of crumbling, and efforts to oust Saddam via a coup have failed so many times that this is hardly a credible option. But the U.S. faces an opportunity in the state of Saddam's conventional forces. The money he has collected from smuggling and sanctions-busting exports of oil has been funneled to benefit his personal welfare and to build weapons of mass destruction. In contrast, his conventional army still languishes, posing a far smaller threat than it did on the eve of war in 1990. The army is not only weak but demoralized. Despite cruel penalties for desertion, about a third of the army is AWOL. Even among officers within the elite Republican Guard units, the AWOL rate is at least 17%.
A weak and demoralized army is vulnerable to an organized and internationally supported insurgency, especially one that operates from territory in Iraq free of Saddam's control, such as the northern safe haven. At one point, the U.S. supported such an insurgency, called the Iraqi National Congress, led by Ahmad Chalabi. It reached its peak in March 1995 when INC troops invaded Iraqi territory under Saddam's control with impunity, absorbing thousands of defecting Iraqi soldiers along the way. The stature it gained through this effort and American support also helped it negotiate a cease-fire among warring Kurdish factions in northern Iraq. But the U.S. never recognized the INC as the provisional government of Iraq, an act that could have freed up some of Iraq's assets for its use. Nor were sanctions lifted in areas liberated from Saddam's grip.
Worse, the U.S. abandoned the INC at the pinnacle of its success in 1995. U.S. officials assumed that broad-based upheaval in Iraq, as well as the separation of the Shiite areas in the south or Kurdish areas in the north from the rest of the country, would so humiliate and threaten the military establishment that potential coup plotters would rally behind Saddam. Once again, needless to say, the hoped-for coup never materialized. The INC still exists, though far weaker now than in 1995, in part because of Saddam's invasion of parts of northern Iraq in late 1996 and in part because the U.S. abandonment of the INC diminished its mediating role among Kurds, leading to a re-eruption of fighting in northern Iraq between the two largest Kurdish factions this September.
Washington's consistent preference for a coup over a broad-based revolution illustrates a deeper theme underlying U.S. policy in the Middle East. The U.S. has traditionally aimed its blows at individual tyrants rather than at the institution of tyranny, hoping that friendly tyrants would bring stability. Thus, U.S. officials were never comfortable with the INC's assertion that the problem in Iraq was the tyrannical nature of the Baathist system of government. The current impasse demands that Washington re-examine its entire approach to the Middle East.
Washington has no choice now but to abandon the coup option and resurrect the INC. An insurgency may be able to defeat Saddam's weak and demoralized conventional army. But one thing is clear: There is no cost-free way to depose Saddam. He is more resolute, wily and brutal than we. His strength lies in his weapons of terror; that is why he is so attached to them. The week-long interruption in U.N. inspections gave him ample time to prepare his biological capability for use. Organizing an insurgency to liberate Iraq under the INC may provoke Saddam to use these weapons on the way down. Better that, though, than current policy, which will lead him to use them on his way back up.
Mr. Wurmser is director of the Middle East program at the American Enterprise Institute.