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Take Iraq apart, says Bush adviser


Take Iraq apart, says Bush adviser

By Andrew Marshall in Washington

21 May 2000

The United States should dismember Iraq, splitting it into several different states, an adviser to Republican presidential candidate George W Bush has said.

Robert Zoellick, an under secretary of state under Mr Bush's father, made the controversial suggestion at a Washington think tank last week. His comments suggest that Mr Bush might be a far more aggressive president than Bill Clinton, and they also amount to criticism of his father, George Bush.

President Bush stopped the war in Iraq after Iraqi forces had left Kuwait rather than pressing on against Saddam Hussein as some in Washington wanted.

The coalition of allied forces, said Mr Zoellick, "had a sword against his neck but would not use it".

"At some point we know that Saddam will move first and at that point, as opposed to letting him get an additional step, I think for one step forward he has to get two steps back," Mr Zoellick said.

"That means that we essentially undermine his position within his own country, also with the Russians, the French and others, and that means slowly taking away pieces of his territory. We have started that in the north; I believe we could do that in the south.

"I believe that in part this involves air power, in part it involves more.''

There is pressure in Washington from conservatives for the US to mount a large-scale operation against Iraq by arming the Iraqi opposition, but this is opposed by the US government and by Britain.

Mr Zoellick, a senior former official, has been tipped for high office under Mr Bush.

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