Thursday, March 27, 2003

Postwar Iraq?
Al-Hayat will publish an interview tomorrow with Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, in which he apparently says (based on a tidbit in today's paper) that Iraqi opposition figures from both inside and outside Iraq will make up the basis of any transitional government, which the U.S. will attempt to set up as soon as possible after removal of Saddam's regime. He reportedly stressed that Iraqis would choose their government, and that any effort by the U.S. and its allies to appoint a governor in Iraq would most probably fail.

This seems to be a far cry from the U.S. military government option which the Iraq opposition heard from Zalmay Khalilzad at a meeting in Ankara in February. It seems to confirm what Kanan Makiya mentioned (in an earlier March 20 posting), namely that he had heard from the Pentagon's Douglas Feith,

... that the Bush administration had discreetly abandoned its military government plan and decided to reaffirm the United States' decade-old alliance with the opposition.

Are we missing something? So, what is Jay Garner's (the head of the postwar U.S. civilil administration) role anyway? And how credible will the opposition be given the possibility that the U.S. may have to impose a new regime with far more force than it had anticipated?

Postscript: In his press conference with Tony Blair, Bush essentially said the same thing as Armitage.

No comments:

Blog Archive