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Kissinger on Phase II and Iraq
by kjkhoo
14 January 2002 01:42 UTC
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My apologies -- a bit like sending coal to Newcastle -- but here's 
Kissinger on Phase II of War on Terrorism and Iraq, or rather, the 
use of military force in the forging of a new new world order.

Two phrases:

1. "To focus on the overthrow of the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq..."
2. "American public opinion...will need to be shaped..."

Gratuitous I know, but what will Hitchens say now to Kissinger? 
Bully! and and Tally-ho!??

The Washington Post

Phase II and Iraq

By Henry A. Kissinger

Sunday, January 13, 2002; Page B07

As military operations in Afghanistan wind down, it is well to
keep in mind President Bush's injunction that they are only the
first battles of a long war.

An important step has been taken toward the goals of breaking the
nexus between governments and the terrorist groups they support
or tolerate, discrediting Islamic fundamentalism so that
moderates in the Islamic world can reclaim their religion from
the fanatics, and placing the fight against terrorism in the
context of the geopolitical threat of Saddam Hussein's Iraq to
regional stability and to American friends and interests in the
region. But much more needs to be done.

Were we to flinch, the success in Afghanistan would be
interpreted in time as taking on the weakest and most remote of
the terrorist centers while we recoiled from unraveling terrorism
in countries more central to the problem.

Three interrelated courses of action are available:

(a) To rely primarily on diplomacy and coalition-building on the
theory that the fate of the Taliban will teach the appropriate

(b) To insist on a number of specific corrective steps in
countries with known training camps or terrorist headquarters,
such as Somalia or Yemen, or those engaged in dangerous programs
to develop weapons of mass destruction, such as Iraq, and to take
military action if these steps are rejected.

(c) To focus on the overthrow of the Saddam Hussein regime in
Iraq in order to change the regional dynamics by showing
America's determination to defend regional stability, its
interests and its friends. (This would also send a strong message
to other rogue states.)

Sole reliance on diplomacy is the preferred course of some
members of the coalition, which claim that the remaining tasks
can be accomplished by consultation and the cooperation of
intelligence and security services around the world. But to rely
solely on diplomacy would be to repeat the mistake with which the
United States hamstrung itself in every war of the past
half-century. Because it treated military operations and
diplomacy as separate and sequential, the United States stopped
military operations in Korea as soon as our adversaries moved to
the conference table; it ended the bombing of North Vietnam as an
entrance price to the Paris talks; it stopped military operations
in the Gulf after the Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait.

In each case, the ending of military pressure produced diplomatic
stalemate. The Korean armistice negotiations consumed two years,
during which America suffered as many casualties as in the entire
combat phase; an even more intractable stalemate developed in the
Vietnam negotiations; and in the Persian Gulf, Saddam Hussein
used the Republican Guard divisions preserved by the armistice to
restore control over his territory and to dismantle
systematically the inspection provisions of the armistice

Anti-terrorism policy is empty if it is not backed by the threat
of force. Intellectual opponents of military action as well as
its likely targets will procrastinate or agree to token or
symbolic remedies only. Ironically, governments on whose
territory terrorists are tolerated will find it especially
difficult to cooperate unless the consequences of failing to do
so are made more risky than their tacit bargain with the

Phase II of the anti-terrorism campaign must therefore involve a
specific set of demands geared to a precise timetable supported
by credible coercive power. These should be put forward as soon
as possible as a framework. And time is of the essence. Phase II
must begin while the memory of the attack on the United States is
still vivid and American-deployed forces are available to back up
the diplomacy.

Nor should Phase II be confused with the pacification of
Afghanistan. The American strategic objective was to destroy the
terrorist network; that has been largely accomplished.
Pacification of the entire country of Afghanistan has never been
achieved by foreigners and cannot be the objective of the
American military effort. The United States should be generous
with economic and development assistance. But the strategic goal
of Phase II should be the destruction of the global terrorist
network, to prevent its reappearance in Afghanistan, but not to
be drawn into Afghan civil strife.

Somalia and Yemen are often mentioned as possible targets for a
Phase II campaign. That decision should depend on the ability to
identify targets against which local governments are able to act
and on the suitability of American forces to accomplish this task
if the local governments can't or won't. And given these
limitations, the United States will have to decide whether action
against them is strategically productive.

All this raises the unavoidable challenge Iraq poses. The issue
is not whether Iraq was involved in the terrorist attack on the
United States. The challenge of Iraq is essentially geopolitical.
Iraq's policy is implacably hostile to the United States and to
certain neighboring countries. It possesses growing stockpiles of
biological and chemical weapons, which Saddam Hussein has used in
the war against Iran and on his own population. It is working to
develop a nuclear capability. Hussein breached his commitment to
the United Nations by evicting the international inspectors he
had accepted on his territory as part of the armistice agreement
ending the Gulf War. There is no possibility of a negotiation
between Washington and Baghdad and no basis for trusting Iraq's
promises to the international community.

If these capabilities remain intact, they could in time be used
for terrorist goals or by Saddam Hussein in the midst of some new
regional or international upheaval. And if his regime survives
both the Gulf War and the anti-terrorism campaign, this fact
alone will elevate him to a potentially overwhelming menace.

 From a long-range point of view, the greatest opportunity of
Phase II is to return Iraq to a responsible role in the region.
Were Iraq governed by a group representing no threat to its
neighbors and willing to abandon its weapons of mass destruction,
the stability of the region would be immeasurably enhanced. The
remaining regimes flirting with terrorist fundamentalism or
acquiescing in its exactions would be driven to shut down their
support of terrorism.

At a minimum, we should insist on a U.N. inspection system to
eliminate Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, with an unlimited
right of inspection and freedom of movement for the inspectors.
But no such system exists on paper, and the effort to install it
might be identical with that required to overthrow Saddam
Hussein. Above all, given the ease of producing biological and
chemical weapons, inspection must be extremely intrusive, and
experience shows that no inspection can withstand indefinitely
the opposition of a determined host government.

But if the overthrow of Saddam Hussein is to be seriously
considered, three prerequisites must be met: (a) development of a
military plan that is quick and decisive, (b) some prior
agreement on what kind of structure is to replace Hussein and (c)
the support or acquiescence of key countries needed for
implementation of the military plan.

A military operation against Saddam Hussein cannot be long and
drawn out. If it is, the battle may turn into a struggle of Islam
against the West. It would also enable Hussein to try to involve
Israel by launching attacks on it -- perhaps using chemical and
biological weapons -- in the process sowing confusion within the
Muslim world. A long war extending to six months and beyond would
also make it more difficult to keep allies and countries such as
Russia and China from dissociating formally from what they are
unlikely to join but even more unlikely to oppose.

Before proceeding to confrontation with Iraq, the Bush
administration will therefore wish to examine with great care the
military strategy implied. Forces of the magnitude of the Gulf
War of a decade ago are unlikely to be needed. At the same time,
it would be dangerous to rely on a combination of U.S. air power
and indigenous opposition forces alone. To be sure, the
contemporary precision weaponry was not available in the existing
quantities during the Gulf War. And the no-fly zones will make
Iraqi reinforcements difficult. They could be strengthened by
being turned into no-movement zones proscribing the movement of
particular categories of weapons.

Still, we cannot stake American national security entirely, or
even largely, on local opposition forces that do not yet exist
and whose combat capabilities are untested. Perhaps Iraqi forces
would collapse at the first confrontation, as some argue. But the
likelihood of this happening is greatly increased if it is clear
American military power stands in overwhelming force immediately
behind the local forces.

A second prerequisite for a military campaign against Iraq is to
define the political outcome. Local opposition would in all
likelihood be sustained by the Kurdish minority in the north and
the Shiite minority in the south. But if we are to enlist the
Sunni majority, which now dominates Iraq, in the overthrow of
Saddam Hussein, we need to make clear that Iraq's disintegration
is not the goal of American policy. This is all the more
important because a military operation in Iraq would require the
support of Turkey and the acquiescence of Saudi Arabia. Neither
is likely to cooperate if they foresee an independent Kurdish
state in the north and a Shiite republic in the south as the
probable outcome. A Kurdish state would inflame the Kurdish
minority in Turkey and a Shiite state in the south would threaten
the Dhahran region in Saudi Arabia, and might give Iran a new
base to seek to dominate the gulf region. A federal structure for
a unified Iraq would be a way to deal with this issue.

Creating an appropriate coalition for such an effort and finding
bases for the necessary American deployment will be difficult.
Phase II is likely to separate those members of the coalition
that joined so as to have veto over American actions from those
that are willing to pursue an implacable strategy. Nevertheless,
the skillful diplomacy that shaped the first phase of the
anti-terrorism campaign would have much to build on. Saddam
Hussein has no friends in the gulf region. Britain will not
easily abandon the pivotal role, based on its special
relationship with the United States, that it has earned for
itself in the evolution of the crisis. Nor will Germany move into
active opposition to the United States -- especially in an
election year. The same is true of Russia, China and Japan. A
determined American policy thus has more latitude than is
generally assumed.

But it will be far more difficult than Phase I. Local resistance
-- especially in Iraq -- will be more determined and ruthless.
Domestic opposition will mount in many countries. American public
opinion will be crucial in sustaining such a course. It will need
to be shaped by the same kind of decisive and subtle leadership
by which President Bush unified the country for the first phase
of the crisis.

The writer, a former secretary of state, is president of
Kissinger Associates, an international consulting firm.

 2002, Los Angeles Times Syndicate International

 2002 The Washington Post Company

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