March 19, 2003 | WebMemo on Iraq
Three War Aims
Administration should conduct this military operation -- to end
Saddam Hussein's brutal and menacing regime in Iraq -- based on
three war aims:
Iraq's terrorist infrastructure and weapons of mass destruction
programs. The military force
should be large enough to perform this mission rapidly. When the
President is able to certify that all of Iraq's terrorist support
and its weapons of mass destruction infrastructure, programs, and
arsenal have been accounted for and destroyed, this element of the
post-war force should be withdrawn.
hostile Iraq -- or Iran once Saddam Hussein is removed from power
-- from dominating the Persian Gulf region. The post-war force
would need to be large enough to block any Iranian incursions into
largely Shiite areas south of Baghdad and capable enough to block
Iranian infiltration into the Kurdish areas of northern Iraq to
bolster Kurdish separatist movements. The time it will take to
secure this aim will likely be lengthy, since it will depend on the
reconstruction of a reliable and friendly Iraqi military force
capable of standing up to Iran with a relatively modest U.S.
Iraq's energy infrastructure to ensure that world energy markets
continue to have access to those resources. It is uncertain how
long this effort could take, but it is a less complex and narrower
mission than the other two. At the outset, protecting the energy
infrastructure should involve infantry brigades, but over time,
this element of the force could gradually transition to military
police brigades before eventually drawing down the force size as
the situation stabilizes. This would provide the United States
military commanders with the necessary flexibility to transition
from a combat force to a military police presence. The United
States also should seek to turn this responsibility over to
reconstituted Iraqi security forces.
political level, the Administration also should utilize the
post-war U.S. military presence to help give Iraq's new, presumably
more-friendly leaders a better opportunity to develop an inclusive
federal system of government.
WebMemo is excerpted from a Backgrounder: , by Baker Spring and Jack Spencer. Full
footnotes and analysis are available there.