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[casi] News, 25/6-2/7/03 (1)



News, 25/6-2/7/03 (1)

TOWARDS FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY

*  The Structural Disaster in Iraq
*  Cleric says resistance to continue, backs Pachachi
*  Residents protest arrest of police chief
*  Government websites expected online in coming days
*  U.S. administrator details plan for Iraq
*  US hunts Saddam loyalists, senators demand more world involvement in Iraq
*  Former Saddam aide in Babylon, a symbol of the new Iraq    
*  Bremer urges Kurd leaders to join council

MOPPING UP THE REMNANTS OF TYRANNY

*  Former Iraqi scientist hands over nuclear plans
*  IAEA says Baghdad did not restart nuclear weapons programme    
*  The IRS Takes on Saddam's Kin
*  Ministers knew war papers were forged, says diplomat
*  Few al-Qaida Ties Seen in Iraq Arrests

MAKING THE WORLD A SAFER PLACE

*  Britain tries to weaken UN deal on cluster bombs
*  Galloway to sue Telegraph over Iraq claim
*  Rumsfeld advocates US-led global peacekeeping force


TOWARDS FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY

http://www.swans.com/library/art9/mdolin01.html

*  THE STRUCTURAL DISASTER IN IRAQ
by Michael Doliner
Swans, 23rd June

Much maligned when even noticed, the dull bureaucrat is crucial to the
functioning of the modern state. Without his colorless but steady
performance of duty opportunists would bleed the state's vast power for
personal gain, and services would not be delivered. After its recent
destruction, Iraq's bureaucracy will not be easy to reconstitute. Without a
bureaucracy Iraq will not be able to function as a modern state, and this
lack will prevent Iraq's reconstruction and the development of its oil
wealth. Any remotely competent politician should have anticipated this
problem. That the Bush administration did not can only be attributed to
incompetence or worse, an indifference to Iraq's fate after they destroyed
it.

Max Weber, in his Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, translated by Girth and
Mills, outlines the characteristics of bureaucracy. Modern officialdom
operates in fixed jurisdictional areas, with regular activities discharged
as fixed duties, with a fixed chain of authority, and with methodical
provision for fulfillment of these duties. Weber goes on to write,
"permanent and public office authority, with fixed jurisdiction, is not the
historical rule but rather the exception." There can be large political
structures without it where the positions are temporary and their
distribution personal. In those conditions the person holds the power, the
office does not bestow it. Inevitably, in such conditions, those in power
seek to gain from their position, for they hold it only as long as their
patron holds his. Furthermore, the patron chooses them for their loyalty,
not for their administrative skills. It is upon this loyalty and not these
skills that their survival depends. In the modern state even the ruler is
the first official of the state, carrying out his official duties for the
benefit of the state, not for his own benefit. Although a president, for
example, holds great power, when his term is over he must relinquish it.
With the loss of the office the power vanishes. "Public monies and equipment
are divorced from the private property of the official. This condition is
everywhere the product of a long development." The office holder chooses to
sacrifice the possibility of personal gain for the security of his position.

Now it might be questioned whether or not Iraq actually had a modern
bureaucracy before the war, given that Saddam Hussein obviously appointed
friends and family members to high offices. This happens everywhere, even in
the United States. In all states both personal and institutional loyalties
exist. What is important is that the officials, once installed, operate in a
way characteristic of officials rather than vassals. This was true of Iraq,
perhaps only because Saddam's rule was so long. Anyway, it seems at least
possible that the old ministries could have been transformed into
semi-modern ones. Had they been retained and a new government installed the
retained officials, given the alternative of unemployment, might have been
persuaded to attach their allegiance to the new government. That allegiance
would not have been personal, but institutional. The new government could
have replaced incompetent officials later. To be sure, the transformation
might not have worked, but it had a good chance, and that was the only
chance. A competent occupying force would have protected the ministries and
attempted such a transformation, especially since it was a key part of the
reconstruction of Japan under American occupation. In both cases there was
no other choice.

For once such a bureaucratic structure is destroyed, it is extremely
difficult to reconstruct. Weber emphasized the long time it takes for a
modern bureaucratic system to develop. He examined the transformation of
feudal structures into modern ones in which administrative skills gradually
became more important than personal ties to the ruler. The situation in
Iraq, where a functioning state is suddenly thrown into chaos, was not
something Weber contemplated. However, we can see some characteristics that
would make it extremely difficult to reconstitute a bureaucracy under these
conditions. Weber points out that the bureaucrat trades the benefits he
might gain from exploiting his position for security." The relatively great
security of the official's income, as well as the rewards of social esteem,
make the office a sought-after position." The official enters into a career
in which he moves up a hierarchical ladder. The stability of the whole
structure is essential to persuade him to sacrifice the possibility of
immediate gain for these long-time benefits.

Obviously, no one can provide such guarantees in today's Iraq where what
will happen tomorrow is anyone's guess. Given that conditions were already
appalling before the war, and many people were starving, it would be
extremely difficult to inspire someone to place long term considerations
over possible immediate profit. Without a stable state no guarantee of long
term benefits is possible. Here, the idea of a career in office is
ludicrous.

Rules and duties bind bureaucracies to methodical activities that can be
carried out in specific locations. Because most of the ministries of Iraq
were destroyed in the war and its aftermath, it will not only be difficult
to find officials ready to adopt the modern bureaucratic way of life, but
also to provide the tools necessary for that life to be lived. Records,
computers, and other tools have been lost. Because everyone is now living
from day to day, any new equipment supplied will likely also be looted.
Stories of just this happening are coming out of Iraq's oil fields now. It
would not be surprising if the officials themselves took the opportunity to
loot their own ministries. Trying to rebuild these ministries in the present
desperate conditions would be like trying to fill a sieve with water. New
equipment will be looted, too, Without stability the bureaucratic life is
impossible, and corruption inevitable. On the other hand without a reliable
cadre of bureaucrats a stable regime is impossible. Instability breeds
corruption, and corruption instability. How can this vicious circle be
broken?

Without the presence of the United States Iraq, like Afghanistan, would fall
back into a feudal structure in which warlords controlled semi-independent
sections of the country. Subordination would be personal, rather than
through a hierarchy of offices. Such a structure is much less stable, for it
is wholly dependent upon personalities. Oil companies would be unlikely to
invest in such an unstable situation, and Iraqi oil would be unobtainable as
long as this situation continued.

For the United States to avoid this outcome it will have to produce
stability from the outside. First it will have to alleviate the near
starvation of much of the population. To do this the United States will have
to pay the salaries of the police and other bureaucrats and supply food for
everyone else. It will have to do this not as an emergency measure, but in a
way that persuades the population that a stable situation has developed.
This will not be easy, for distribution of this food will require the
bureaucracy that now no longer exists. Even if the US paid the police and
other bureaucrats, it would be difficult to keep them from corruptly
funneling off the food for sale on the black market. For only the long
presence of stability of official structures can produce a belief in
stability. Just bringing cash and food into Iraq will not be enough. The
police, uncertain of tomorrow, will take advantage of their position for
their own benefit. For as Weber points out, everywhere the development of
the dutiful bureaucrat takes a long time.

Could the United States bring in a bureaucracy of Americans to run Iraq?
That would be monumentally expensive, and in the end, futile. Only a system
that is essentially permanent, thus producing stability, will work. These
Americans would have to plan to stay for the long term in the face of open
Iraqi resistance. Not only would the US have to pay this army of office
workers, it would also have to protect them as well. Modern weaponry and
Iraqi nationalism will make any attempt to reconstitute the old colonial
foreign service enormously expensive, and probably impossible.

These Americans would have to be paid very well, but even so, they would
find it difficult to do their jobs. This bureaucracy would be only a thin
modern mantle over the seething feudal core of Iraqi society itself. It
would be difficult to prevent strongmen, once the food was distributed, from
expropriating it. The British Empire had compliant local leaders whose own
power had remained under the new rulers. The United States would need to
supply virtually every official needed down to the most minor. The Americans
in Iraq would be American officials relying on American stability for their
long-term benefits. Iraqis, of course, could not do this. Also, Iraq would
certainly resist such a colonial government, and the whole corps of
officials would become a huge security burden.

Such is just one of the structural difficulties of our present situation in
Iraq. Whereas the US is ready to abandon Afghanistan to its feudal future,
it will not want to abandon Iraq and its oil. I do not see a solution to
this. That the Bush administration has floundered about after the war shows
that they too have no solution. This can only bespeak incompetence or
criminal indifference.

Without a stable modern state, Iraq will inevitably return to a feudal
structure with warlords ruling fiefdoms through vassals loyal to them
personally. Such structures are highly unstable. Any reconstruction under
such conditions would require huge additional payoffs to the warlords and
their underlings all down the line. Redevelopment of the oil fields would
require the same large payoffs to warlords who may lose power tomorrow. Oil
companies will not do it.

Michael Doliner has taught at Valparaiso University and Ithaca College. He
lives with his family in Ithaca, N.Y.


RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC

*  CLERIC SAYS RESISTANCE TO CONTINUE, BACKS PACHACHI
RFE/RL IRAQ REPORT, Vol. 6, No. 28, 27 June 2003

Iraqi Sunni cleric and head of the Unified Iraqi National Movement Ahmad
al-Kubaysi told London-based "Al-Hayat" in an interview published on 22 June
that resistance against the U.S.-led administration in Iraq is solidifying.
"Actual resistance in Iraq at present is much bigger and wider than what is
published in the media," al-Kubaysi said. He added that the resistance is
not due to Ba'athist elements, but rather it "is carried out by the real
owners of the land who suffered from Saddam [Hussein] and who are stunned by
the suffering from the Americans who have, by their behavior, compelled the
Iraqi people to resist." He said that should international peacekeepers
enter Iraq, the Iraqis would have to adjust their "methods of resistance,"
but did not elaborate on how they might change.

Al-Kubaysi told "Al-Hayat" that his party is not a strictly Sunni movement,
and said it was open to all Iraqis. "It is a Sunni movement, but we are on
the same line as the Kurds and Shi'ites and there are no differences among
us," he said, adding that his group had no sectarian, ethnic, or religious
"sensitivities." The Sunni cleric said that his party would support former
Iraqi Foreign Minister Adnan Pachachi to head the future provisional Iraqi
government, "because he does not have any ideology that discriminates among
various Iraqis."

Asked about the formation of a provisional Iraqi government, al-Kubaysi said
that should one be formed, it would not have real power. "This is a promise
very similar if not identical to Israel's promise to set up an independent
Palestinian state," he said, adding, "Neither will materialize."

Al-Kubaysi further claimed that Iraqis were deluded in their belief that the
U.S. would actually establish an Iraqi government, saying the U.S. "does not
want anybody to intervene, whether Iraqi or non-Iraqi because it wants this
juicy prey for itself." He also claimed that the U.S. has threatened Iran
and Syria in order to dissuade the two states from "even listening in or
looking at what is going on in Iraq." (Kathleen Ridolfo)


RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC

*  RESIDENTS PROTEST ARREST OF POLICE CHIEF
RFE/RL IRAQ REPORT, Vol. 6, No. 28, 27 June 2003

Residents took to the streets in the Diyala Governorate, located northwest
of Baghdad on 24 June, protesting the arrest of Major General Sa'dun
al-Hamdani, arrested by U.S. troops more than one month ago, Al-Jazeera
reported the same day. Al-Hamdani had been elected to head the Diyala police
force after returning to Iraq following 23 years in exile. According to
Al-Jazeera, al-Hamdani's relatives said he worked with U.S. forces to
establish security in the governorate. Relatives claimed he was summoned to
a meeting with a U.S. general named "Rogers" and was arrested at that
meeting. Many of the protesters are from the Bani Hamdan tribes, the
satellite channel reported. Shaykh Jabbar Jassam al-Mitlab, chief of the
Bani Hamdan tribes, told Al-Jazeera: "We are now using diplomatic methods to
secure his release. If these methods prove useless, then we will use our
special methods for addressing them." He did not elaborate on what the
"special methods" were. (Kathleen Ridolfo)


RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC

*  GOVERNMENT WEBSITES EXPECTED ONLINE IN COMING DAYS
RFE/RL IRAQ REPORT, Vol. 6, No. 28, 27 June 2003

"Wired News" reported on 20 June that Iraq's Uruklink website was expected
to return to the Internet within a week. Uruklink hosted all government
Internet sites during the regime of deposed President Saddam Hussein. The
site will now be "scrubbed clean" of all references to the fallen dictator,
according to Iraq's State Company for Internet Services (SCIS). However,
Ala'a Hassan Harif, lead system administrator and research-and-development
manager for SCIS, told "Wired News" that the Internet service provider (ISP)
has faced problems in trying to purge Hussein loyalists from the
government-controlled provider.

Harif said that the general manager of SCIS, Shakir Abdullah, has removed
from his office a once-prominently displayed photograph of himself and
Hussein. "In Iraq, you can't be a general manager for 16 years continuously
unless the regime is completely sure of you and you are serving the regime,"
Harif said, adding, "Your attitude, action, beliefs, and thoughts must be
absolutely compatible with the regime." Abdullah declined to be interviewed,
and according to "Wired News," the issue goes much deeper. Harif and other
engineers said that Abdullah was appointed to head SCIS after Osama Khalid,
the founder, was "mysteriously fired" by the Iraqi minister of transport and
communications. Harif said that soon after, Saddam Hussein ordered two
officers from the Ministry of Defense to monitor SCIS. When asked about
rumors that the Iraqi government spied on SCIS customers, Harif reportedly
declined to answer. "It is not very safe here today to say all the
information," he noted, adding, "We still have people who support the old
regime."

The two defense officers were hired on as employees of SCIS when the
Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) abolished the Defense Ministry in May.
Harif said that the men remain on the SCIS payroll. CPA and the U.S. Agency
for International Development (USAID) did not respond to requests for
comment on SCIS's management, "Wired News" reported. Harif said that he has
voiced his concerns with CPA officials, but was rebuffed. He added that the
CPA recently promoted Abdullah to the position of consultant to the Ministry
of Transport and Communications, which oversees SCIS. "Wired News" reported
that Harif might have a personal axe to grind with Abdullah, who stripped
him of his title at the outset of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and appointed
Harif's colleague to the position.

SCIS had restored Internet connectivity and e-mail service to its 20,000
registered users by the end of May, Harif said. He said that the delay in
bringing the Uruklink website back online was related to security concerns.
The site's content was revamped weeks ago, but reportedly held up due to
security concerns. (Kathleen Ridolfo)


RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC

*  U.S. ADMINISTRATOR DETAILS PLAN FOR IRAQ
RFE/RL IRAQ REPORT, Vol. 6, No. 28, 27 June 2003

The head of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Iraq, L. Paul
Bremer, outlined the coalition's plan for the rebuilding of Iraq in a 22
June address to the World Economic Forum's extraordinary session in Jordan.
Bremer highlighted the progress made in Iraq thus far, citing the doubling
of the police force to 30,000 officers -- a 200 percent increase in 30 days
-- and the participation of Iraqis in neighborhood watch groups and district
advisory councils, according to the CENTCOM website
(http://www.centcom.mil). He added that coalition forces are focusing on
three key areas that will facilitate Iraq's transition to a stable,
economically viable, democratic state.

Bremer said that the first focus area is that of providing security and
establishing law and order. Iraqis are working together with coalition
forces to help realize this goal. He noted that some 2,000 Iraqi police
officers patrolled the streets of Baghdad alongside coalition troops, and
added that the coalition would begin recruitment for the new Iraqi army in
two weeks. The army will work to secure Iraq's borders, Bremer said.
Addressing the current challenges to security from regime loyalists, the CPA
head said that the coalition "will not let the last vestiges of Saddam's
regime turn the clock back for the Iraqi people, whose best days are yet to
come."

Bremer told the World Economic Forum that the second focus of the CPA is a
political transformation of Iraq. He said that a political council would be
announced in the next month to assist in the management of Iraq. Promising
that the council will be representative of all Iraqis, Bremer added: "It
will have real authority from its first day. It will nominate ministry heads
and form commissions to recommend policies concerning issues significant to
Iraq's future from reform of the educational curriculum, to plans for a
telecommunications infrastructure, to proposals [for] stimulating the
private sector."

A constitutional conference will also be convened and "run entirely by
Iraqis" to draft a new constitution. He said that the constitution would
"provide the foundation for national elections for a free and sovereign
Iraqi government."

The third focus and "most immediate priority" is a free and vibrant economy,
according to Bremer. Iraq faces an economy devastated by mismanagement under
the Hussein regime, where 50 percent of Iraqis were unemployed prior to the
war. Hussein spent one-third of Iraq's GDP on the military while 60 percent
of the nation remained dependent on government food rations. Bremer added
that Iraq's vast state-owned enterprise system destroyed the market. "Our
strategic goal in the months ahead is to set in motion policies which will
have the effect of reallocating people and resources from state enterprises
to the more-productive private firms. A fundamental component of this
process will be to force state enterprises to face hard budget constraints
by reducing subsidies and special deals," he said.

Lower subsidies will result in lower taxes and a level playing field that
private firms need in order to compete, according to Bremer. Reduced
subsidies will also ward off the "temptation to print money with the
attendant risks to inflation and interest rates." These policies should also
contribute to competition, low inflation and interest rates, and fiscal
discipline.

The U.S. administrator recognized Iraq's need for a "humane social safety
net" and suggested that all Iraqis could benefit from their country's oil
wealth through the establishment of a dividend program similar to the one in
the U.S. state of Alaska or through the establishment of a national trust
fund that would finance public pensions and other "social safety net"
programs.

Bremer also said that small and medium-sized enterprises could help create
jobs quickly, aiding in a shorter economic recovery time. New technology,
coupled with a clear commercial code, low tariffs, and transparent corporate
governance would also facilitate a quick transition. (Kathleen Ridolfo)


http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20030630/wl_mideast_afp/i
raq_worldwrap&cid=1514&ncid=1478

*  US HUNTS SADDAM LOYALISTS, SENATORS DEMAND MORE WORLD INVOLVEMENT IN IRAQ
Yahoo, 30th June

[.....]

On the political front, a top Iraqi Shiite religious authority perceived as
a "moderate" has come out against the drafting of a new constitution by a
US-named body, dealing a major blow to Bremer's plans.

The drawing-up of a constitution must be preceded by general elections,
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani said in a fatwa, or religious edict, a copy
of which was obtained by AFP Monday.

"There is no guarantee that such a convention will draft a constitution
upholding the Iraqi people's interests and expressing their national
identity, founded on Islam and lofty social values," Sistani said from the
Shiite holy city of Najaf, 130 kilometers (80 miles) south of Baghdad.

In the capital, a 35-member advisory council currently being selected by the
coalition will meet for the first time next week to pass on issues and
grievances raised by residents through neighbourhood councils to the US-led
Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) and Iraqi ministry officials.

"We are hoping that these councils can evolve into something permanent. The
precise way in which they evolve is going to be up to Iraqis, not to the
coalition," Andrew Morrison, deputy civil administrator for Baghdad, told a
news conference.

[.....]


http://www.jordantimes.com/Mon/news/news10.htm

*  FORMER SADDAM AIDE IN BABYLON, A SYMBOL OF THE NEW IRAQ
Jordan Times, 30th June
    
HILLA, Iraq (AFP)  One of Saddam Hussein's former top army commanders
turned fierce opposition figure, Iskandar Jawad Watut, is today the symbol
of a new administration ready to rebuild Iraq with the US-led coalition.

Watut was elected governor of the region of Babylon, south of Baghdad, by
dignitaries in the mosque of Hilla, the capital of the district, after the
collapse of the Saddam regime on April 9.

Since then he has been ruling a region of 2.5 million residents, or 10 per
cent of the country's population, from an office continuously targeted by
electricity cuts.

The 57-year-old Shiite Muslim father of six, sporting a small moustache, was
one of the most prestigious army commanders in Iraq until 1991 when he was
forced to retire after opposing the government repression of the Shiites.

In 1998, he was even arrested for plotting against the president, an
accusation Watut now confirms.

"I had three brothers executed and six others went abroad," he said.

Today, he is the third on a list published June 11 by the Ittihad newspaper
for figures thought to be eligible to become government ministers in any new
Iraqi government.

"I am doing my best to build a new city and the Americans are giving us the
chance to do so," said Watut.

He was speaking as dozens of residents were besieging the mayor's office in
Hilla, protesting a hike in gas prices and asking for the reintegration of
former soldiers of the disbanded Iraqi army.

"My door is open to all and I am trying to resolve all problems," he said.

Three telephones rang continuously in his office where a local tribal chief
was awaiting for Watut's signature on a document, and as a number of
residents were crowding the waiting hall outside.

"Security is guaranteed in the region," Watut said, explaining that he had
2,000 armed policemen under his command in Hilla where US patrols are rarely
seen.

"We have even killed Abu Abdullah, the greatest thief of Babylon's
archaeological site," adjacent to Hilla and where the US-coalition troops
are based, he said.

But Watut does not hide fears for his security.

"I am scared because three groups can attempt to kill me: the criminals
freed by Saddam Hussein just before the war, the former Baath Party members
and elements from (Islamic) sects," he said.


http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20030630/wl_mideast_afp/i
raq_worldwrap&cid=1514&ncid=1478

*  US hunts Saddam loyalists, senators demand more world involvement in Iraq
Yahoo, 30th June
[Extract on the arrest of Abu Haidar Abdul Munim, US-appointed interim
governor of the southern city of Najaf]

[.....]

On Monday, the US-appointed interim governor of the southern city of Najaf
was removed from office and detained by coalition forces on charges of
kidnapping and corruption, a senior coalition official said.

Abu Haidar Abdul Munim faces "charges which include: kidnapping and holding
hostages; pressurising government employees to perform financial crimes;
attacking a bank official and stealing funds," the official said.


http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c
=StoryFT&cid=1054966516182&p=1012571727172

*  BREMER URGES KURD LEADERS TO JOIN COUNCIL
by Gareth Smyth in Baghdad
Financial Times, 1st July

Paul Bremer, the chief US administrator in Iraq, visited Jalal Talabani and
Masoud Barzani, the two main Kurdish leaders, over the weekend, to try to
persuade them to sit on the political council planned as the next
transitional step towards a new Iraqi government.

Hoshyar Zebari, a senior official in the Kurdistan Democratic party (KDP),
which is led by Mr Barzani, said on Sunday that no one should assume that
the Kurdish leaders would sit on the council.

"The Kurds will participate, but the level of that participation is now the
issue," he said. "The next two weeks are critical. For its own credibility,
the political council needs Mr Talabani and Mr Barzani . . . It is a
difficult decision."

Sciri (the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq), a large Arab
Shia Muslim group, has already suggested it might not sit on the council.

Both Sciri and the Kurds fear that the US intends the council to be
advisory. Both preferred an earlier US proposal for a "big tent" conference
of Iraqi representatives that would appoint an interim government.

Reaching consensus over the composition and powers of the council is taking
longer than Mr Bremer expected when he set a mid-July target in announcing
the plan at the beginning of June. Mr Bremer told BBC television on Sunday
that he expected the council to be formed within three to four weeks.

The Kurds' special concern is with a constitutional convention, due to run
in tandem with the political council. They want the convention to propose an
autonomous Kurdish region within a federal state.

"The two issues are linked," said Mr Zebari. "We have told Mr Bremer there
must be a strong political element [in the constitutional convention], it's
not a matter of lawyers working behind closed doors."

Although the US and many Iraqi groups accept the need for federalism, the
Kurds fear that, without deft political management, a proposal could be
defeated in a referendum across Iraq.

Mr Zebari also said that the Kurds expected to keep "an internal
self-defence force - maybe with some heavy weapons" within a federal Iraq.
He claimed this was consistent with the Kurds' agreement with the Americans
to disarm as a new Iraqi army is created.

[.....]


MOPPING UP THE REMNANTS OF TYRANNY

RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC

*  FORMER IRAQI SCIENTIST HANDS OVER NUCLEAR PLANS
RFE/RL IRAQ REPORT, Vol. 6, No. 28, 27 June 2003

A former Iraqi nuclear scientist has given U.S. intelligence officials
blueprints and parts related to the construction of a nuclear weapon,
international media reported on 26 June. Mahdi Shukur Ubaydi, who headed
Iraq's uranium-enrichment program in the late 1980s and early 1990s,
reportedly hid the documents in his garden near his home in 1991 and
voluntarily turned over the documents to U.S. officials in Baghdad.
According to "The Washington Post," Ubaydi also supplied U.S. officials with
several components of a gas centrifuge, which is used to enrich uranium for
nuclear weapons, as well as design plans for the machines. Ubaydi reportedly
told U.S. officials that he buried the materials on the orders of Qusay
Hussein, son of deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. He said he was told
to wait for an order to restart the program, but the order never came. "I
have very important things at my disposal that I have been ordered to have,
to keep, and I've kept them," "The Washington Post" quoted Ubaydi as telling
CNN on 25 June. "I don't want this to proliferate, because of the potential
consequences, if it falls in the hands of tyrants, in the hands of dictators
or of terrorists," he added. Ubaydi also reportedly expressed his desire
that other Iraqi scientists come forward with information on Iraq's
weapons-of-mass destruction (WMD) programs. (Kathleen Ridolfo)


http://www.jordantimes.com/Fri/news/news6.htm

*  IAEA SAYS BAGHDAD DID NOT RESTART NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROGRAMME
Jordan Times, 27th June
    
VIENNA (AP)  The UN nuclear agency said on Thursday the discovery of
components from Baghdad's original nuclear weapons programme did not imply
that Iraq had reactivated it.

The comments reflected the ongoing dispute between the United Nations and
Washington over whether Saddam Hussein was trying to make weapons of mass
destruction. The US administration argued such programs existed in going to
war against Baghdad, while UN inspectors said their searches on the ground
turned up no evidence of such programs.

A US intelligence official said Wednesday that American authorities were
examining parts and documents from an Iraqi weapons programme run in the
early 1990s that were handed over by a former Iraqi nuclear scientist.

The scientist, Mahdi Shukur Obeidi, was quoted as saying he had kept the
parts buried in his Baghdad garden on the orders of Saddam's government.
Once sanctions against Iraq ended, the material was to be dug up and used to
reconstitute a programme to enrich uranium to make a nuclear weapon, Obeidi
claimed to US officials.

The intelligence official acknowledged the find was not the "smoking gun"
that could prove US claims that Iraq had an active nuclear weapons weapon.

In Vienna Thursday, the International Atomic Energy Agency suggested the
revelations tended to prove the opposite.

"The findings and comments of Obeidi appear to confirm that there has been
no post-1991 nuclear weapons programme in Iraq and are consistent with our
reports to the Security Council," said agency spokesman Mark Gwozdecky.

The IAEA has long monitored Iraq's nuclear programmes and has questioned US
claims that Saddam was reviving his nuclear weapons programme.

Before the 1991 Gulf War, Obeidi headed Iraq's programme to make centrifuges
that would enrich uranium for nuclear weapons, the official said. Most or
all of that programme was dismantled after UN inspections in the early
1990s.

Details of Obeidi's activities during the past decade were not immediately
available, although he was interviewed often by IAEA inspectors in 2002, the
US intelligence official said.

Obeidi turned over documents that included detailed designs for centrifuges,
intelligence officials said. He told intelligence officials the parts from
his garden were among the more difficult-to-produce components of a
centrifuge.

Assembled, the components would not be useful in making much uranium.
Hundreds of centrifuges are necessary to make enough for a weapon.

In Vienna, Gwozdecky, the agency spokesman, said the IAEA had "regularly"
reported that Iraq had "successfully tested a single centrifuge prior to
1991." Obeidi and his family have left Iraq, the intelligence official said.


http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1101030707-461779,00.html

*  THE IRS TAKES ON SADDAM'S KIN
by Adam Zagorin
Time, July 7, 2003 Vol. 161 No. 27

Sunday, Jun. 29, 2003: As the early-morning cool gave way to temperatures
that would rise above 100, Saddam Hussein's half brother sat calmly in a
pale blue safari suit and sandals waiting to confront his American
cross-examiner. Since his capture on April 17, Barzan Tikriti had been
through weeks of questioning on military and security issues at an
interrogation center near Baghdad airport. Now it was time to talk money. A
special interrogator had been flown in from the U.S. to take up the matter
of Saddam's hidden wealth with the man long regarded as the dictator's
financial mastermind. What the American found was a detainee not only
willing to talk about his brother's finances but also eager to denounce the
regime he had long served.

According to the interrogator, Scott Schneider, Barzan proclaimed on several
occasions, sometimes banging his fist on a folding table, "I spoke out
against the regime." He demanded a search for documents that he said would
prove his resistance to Saddam's dictatorship. Barzan had fled before the
U.S. dropped six smart bombs on his luxurious compound 70 miles west of
Baghdad, and was then turned in to American forces by an informer. Yet
Schneider, an IRS criminal investigator based in Pensacola, Fla., told TIME
that he displayed no ill will toward the U.S. Vain and concerned about his
appearance, Barzan did grumble about a tear in his safari suit and waved a
hand to show his long fingernails, complaining that he had not been allowed
to trim them.

Barzan, who shared a mother with Saddam and whose daughter was once married
to Saddam's elder son Uday, repeatedly demanded to be set free to
participate in the running of his occupied country. "If you release me, if
you let me go and then find a document implicating me in any crime, I will
voluntarily come back (to detention)," he told an astonished Schneider. In
addition to helping Saddam hide a fortune that U.S. investigators think
could be anything from $2 billion to $7 billion or more, Barzan served from
1979 to 1983 as head of Iraqi intelligence, an organization notorious for
its brutish tactics. Indict, a British human rights group, claims it can
produce up to 30 witnesses to support various allegations against Barzan.
Among them: he helped direct the murder of thousands of rebellious Iraqi
Kurds in 1983, and he personally visited beatings, electroshock and
executions on Iraqi prisoners.

If Barzan truly opposed Saddam, he did not let it show in a letter he wrote
to his half brother that U.S. officials found among Barzan's possessions
shortly after the regime fell. TIME obtained a synopsis of the nine-page
handwritten document and also examined a partial copy of the original, which
was apparently produced sometime in the 1990s. In the letter, Barzan
describes the status of various funds controlled by Saddam and discusses
means for hiding the money.

The tone of the missive is hardly that of a man writing to a close family
member but rather of a fearful servant addressing his wrathful master, which
is not surprising, given Saddam's penchant for crushing those who crossed
him, kin or not. The letter contains little family bonhomie and no questions
about relatives. Barzan never fails to refer to Saddam as "Your Excellency,"
and he does not stint when it comes to abject professions of devotion. "I
hope that we will all be guarded by good intentions, purity of heart and the
innocence of our motives," Barzan writes in an aside after describing how to
camouflage assets. "I am prepared to do anything to increase your level of
trust in the soundness of our relations which we live and die for ..." He
signs the letter "your loyal brother, Barzan."

Despite his caution, Barzan occasionally spoke of the need for vague
political reforms in Iraq. He is also widely believed to have run afoul of
Saddam on a number of occasions over family matters, like his failure to
marry his son to one of Saddam's daughters. Despite their differences, say
private investigators who have studied Saddam's assets, Barzan began
managing his half brother's overseas portfolio after moving to Geneva in
1983. There, he occupied a lavish lakeside villa and served as Iraq's
ambassador to Switzerland and to the U.N.'s Geneva branch. His other job was
establishing the extensive financial network that helped sustain Saddam
during decades of war and international sanctions.

On the eve of the fIrst Gulf War, according to investigators hired by the
Kuwaiti government, Barzan orchestrated a sweeping repatriation of Iraqi
assets held abroad, preventing their seizure. When international sanctions
were imposed on Iraq, he hid the funds in locations safe from prying eyes.
Money that had been kept in sham accounts or in government bonds, including
U.S. Treasuries, was stashed in companies or with individuals in Europe, the
Middle East and Asia, sometimes via Iraq's Rafidain Bank, according to a
report by the Coalition for International Justice, a Washington-based human
rights group.

What most interest U.S. officials about Barzan's letter are the details
describing where money was hidden and how. Investigators, who would not
release those details for publication for fear of compromising their work,
are now following up on the leads. At one point in the letter, Barzan
mentions setting up a foreign dummy company to obscure an unidentified
operation, apparently connected to Iraqi intelligence. Clearly, his goals
went beyond concealment, because later he dismisses the idea, telling Saddam
the taxes would be too high and the rate of return too low. In another part
of the letter, Barzan writes, "In case there is a notion to withdraw
(money), I believe it should be transferred under a different name."
Otherwise, he writes, the transfer "will attract the attention of the
authorities." It's not clear which authorities he means.

For U.S. investigators, the letter also served as a check on Barzan's
veracity. Without letting on that he had the letter, Schneider questioned
Barzan closely on its contents to establish what interrogators call a base
line. The conclusion: Barzan was at least partly truthful. That gives
Schneider, who found Barzan brash but always cordial, some hope that
additional information he offered during the interrogation will pan out.
Hoping to recover some of Saddam's missing billions, the IRS is fielding
teams of investigators on several continents to track down every lead Barzan
produced. There were quite a few, says Schneider, noting, "We definitely
spent quality time together." U.S. officials fear that if not recovered,
Saddam's money could find its way to terrorists or to those continuing to
resist the occupation of Iraq. In addition, any money recovered from
Saddam's stashes could help fund Iraq's reconstruction. Washington had
counted on Iraqi oil revenue for much of that financing, but the industry is
producing below expectation because of looting, sabotage and unanticipated
maintenance problems. "There is a crying need for money to reconstruct Iraq,
and anything we recover will buy a whole lot of schoolbooks," says David
Aufhauser, general counsel of the U.S. Treasury, who is overseeing the
effort to track down Saddam's wealth. "We must also demonstrate to the world
that kleptocrats, tyrants and despots cannot rape their nations' finances
and simply get away with it." That almost sounds like something Barzan would
say these days.


http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/story.jsp?story=419982

*  MINISTERS KNEW WAR PAPERS WERE FORGED, SAYS DIPLOMAT
by Andrew Buncombe in Washington and Raymond Whitaker
The Independent, 29th June

A high-ranking American official who investigated claims for the CIA that
Iraq was seeking uranium to restart its nuclear programme last night accused
Britain and the US of deliberately ignoring his findings to make the case
for war against Saddam Hussein.

The retired US ambassador said it was all but impossible that British
intelligence had not received his report - drawn up by the CIA - which
revealed that documents, purporting to show a deal between Iraq and the west
African state of Niger, were forgeries. When he saw similar claims in
Britain's dossier on Iraq last September, he even went as far as telling CIA
officials that they needed to alert their British counterparts to his
investigation.

The allegation will add to the suspicions of opponents to the war that last
week's row between the BBC and Tony Blair's director of communications
Alastair Campbell was a sideshow to draw attention away from more serious
questions about the justification for the war.

The comments of the former US diplomat appear to be at odds with those of
the Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw. Appearing before a parliamentary
committee last week, Mr Straw said the British intelligence community had
not known of the forged documents' existence "at the time when [the
September dossier] was put together".

But in his first interview on the issue, the former US diplomat told The
Independent on Sunday: "It is hard for me to fathom, that as close as we are
and [while] preparing for a war based on [claims about] weapons of mass
destruction, that we did not share intelligence of this nature."

Asked if he felt his findings had been ignored for political reasons, he
added: "It's an easy conclusion to draw." Though the official's identity is
well-known in Washington - he was on the National Security Council under
President Clinton - he asked that his name be withheld at this stage.

During last week's hearings by the Foreign Affairs Committee, MPs cited
repeated reports that the forged documents - a letter on which the signature
of Niger's president had been faked, and another carrying the signature of a
man who had not held office in the country since the 1980s - had originally
reached the CIA via British intelligence.

Mr Straw not only denied that the forged documents came from British
sources, but said Britain's allegations about Iraq's quest for uranium in
Africa came from "quite separate sources". He said he would give further
details of these sources for the uranium allegation in a closed session on
Friday, during which he was fiercely cross-questioned by Sir John Stanley,
the committee's chief sceptic. After hearing what the Foreign Secretary had
to say, the Tory MP is reported to have told Mr Straw he did not believe
him.

The testimony of the former US diplomat further undermines the claims of
both the British and US governments that Saddam had developed, or was
developing, weapons of mass destruction.

The Niger connection became one of the most important and most controversial
elements in the build-up to war, and both Britain and the US used it to
claim that Iraq was "reconstituting" its nuclear programme. It later emerged
that the report was based on forged letters obtained by Italian intelligence
from an African diplomat. The Italians were said to have passed the letters
to their British counterparts, from where they reached the CIA.

When the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) finally had the
opportunity to inspect the documents, nearly a year later, they were
dismissed as fakes in less than a day. Neither the US nor Britain ever gave
the IAEA any other information to back up their allegations on Iraq's
uranium-buying activities, despite the "separate sources" cited by Mr Straw.

In February 2002, the former diplomat - who had served as an ambassador in
Africa - was approached by the CIA to carry out a "discreet" task: to
investigate if it was possible that Iraq was buying uranium from Niger. He
said the CIA had been asked to find out in a direct request from the office
of the Vice-President, Dick Cheney.

During eight days in Niger he discovered it was impossible for Iraq to have
been buying the quantities of uranium alleged. "My report was very
unequivocal," he said. He also learnt that the signatures of officials vital
to any transaction were missing from the documents.

On his return he was debriefed by the CIA. One senior CIA official has told
reporters the agency's findings were distributed to the Defence Intelligence
Agency, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Justice Department, the FBI and the
office of the Vice President on the same day in early March.

Six months later the former diplomat read in a newspaper that Britain had
issued a dossier claiming Iraq was seeking to buy uranium in Africa. He
contacted officials at CIA headquarters and said they needed to clarify
whether the British were referring to Niger. If so, the record needed to be
corrected. He heard nothing, and in January President Bush said in his State
of the Union speech that the "British Government has learned that Saddam
Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium in Africa".

The ex-diplomat says he is outraged by the way evidence gathered by the
intelligence community was selectively used in Washington to support
pre-determined policies and bolster a case for war.


http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/w-me/2003/jul/01/070107497.html

*  FEW AL-QAIDA TIES SEEN IN IRAQ ARRESTS
by John J. Lumpkin
Las Vegas Sun (from AP), 1st July

WASHINGTON (AP): U.S. forces in central Iraq have detained a handful of
people suspected of ties to al-Qaida, but American intelligence officials
describe them as mostly low-level operatives with unclear purposes in the
country.

Their presence is far from conclusive evidence that the Bush
administration's pre-war assertions about al-Qaida links to the Iraqi
government were accurate, experts say.

Like the hunt for Iraqi chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs,
the search by intelligence and military teams in Iraq continues for proof of
a link between Saddam Hussein's government and al-Qaida.

And as with the allegations regarding weapons, some Bush administration
critics question whether the intelligence on such a link was exaggerated or
mishandled.

Intelligence officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said
documents are being reviewed and prisoners, both Iraqi and foreign, are
being interviewed to determine what Iraq-al-Qaida connections actually
existed.

High-level al-Qaida prisoners, particularly Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and Abu
Zubaydah, have denied the terror network worked with Saddam's government,
according to U.S. officials. So have Iraqi prisoners, including Farouk
Hijazi, a former Iraqi intelligence operative who U.S. officials allege met
with al-Qaida operatives in the 1990s, including possibly Osama bin Laden
himself.

Before the war, the Bush administration publicized a number of U.S.
intelligence reports that hinted at some kind of cooperation between Iraqi
officials and al-Qaida associates.

Even then, critics said the reports were far from conclusive. In addition,
the U.N. terrorism committee has found no evidence linking Iraq to al-Qaida.

The most specific U.S. allegations involved the movements and followers of a
Jordanian named Abu Musab Zarqawi, whom the CIA describes as a high-level
associate of bin Laden who believes himself independent of al-Qaida.

In April, U.S. forces near Baghdad captured a man they described as a
midlevel terrorist operative who worked for Zarqawi. It is unclear whether
the additional detentions are also tied to him, as Islamic extremists have
also entered Iraq on their own accord to fight the U.S.-British occupation.

"I think they're finding remnants of the Zarqawi network," said Vince
Cannistraro, a former CIA counterterrorism chief. "It is still not clear to
what degree they received support from the Saddam Hussein regime. That he
was promoting al-Qaida is absurd. That there was a tolerance for a Zarqawi
network in Iraq seems clear."

Zarqawi has been charged in Jordan in connection with the death of Lawrence
Foley, a U.S. diplomat who was shot Oct. 28 in Amman, and in a failed
operation to bomb U.S. and Israeli tourist sites in the capital several
years ago. He is also suspected of ties to an alleged foiled plot to conduct
an attack with poison in Europe.

Zarqawi was in Afghanistan when the U.S. attacked after Sept. 11. He was
hurt and fled to Iran, where he received medical treatment, U.S.
counterterrorism officials say.

In February, Secretary of State Colin Powell told the United Nations, he
went to Baghdad in May 2002 for additional treatment.

During that time, roughly two dozen of Zarqawi's followers moved to Baghdad,
according to Powell. Their activities in Baghdad are unclear.

Intelligence officials say they presume Saddam's internal security network
would have known about Zarqawi. Therefore, officials concluded, Saddam must
have at least tolerated Zarqawi's presence. But direct evidence of any sort
of cooperation is slim.

Powell said Zarqawi stayed for two months and left. The Jordanian government
has indicated he was in Syria in June, but it is unclear whether its
information is at odds with Powell's testimony.

It appears that most of the planning for the Foley killing was done in
Syria, not Iraq, according to Jordanian prosecutors. In September, Zarqawi
briefly was in Jordan.

Also in 2002, Zarqawi's followers made contact with a Kurdish Islamic
extremist group, Ansar al-Islam, which operated in an area outside of
Saddam's control in northern Iraq.

Powell alleged that one of Saddam's agents was at Ansar headquarters,
implying a connection. Other U.S. officials, however, said they were unsure
what that agent was doing there; he may have been covertly spying on the
group for Saddam.

U.S. forces bombed Ansar during the invasion of Iraq. Zarqawi is now
believed to have fled to Iran, U.S. and German officials say. His status
there is unclear.

But predictions that Saddam's government would provide al-Qaida operatives
with chemical and biological weapons apparently were not realized. Homeland
Security Secretary Tom Ridge and other officials say there is no evidence
that al-Qaida has obtained any of Iraq's alleged-but-unfound weapons.

U.S. officials have alleged other meetings between Iraqi and al-Qaida
leaders, including Hijazi's reported get-together with bin Laden in
Afghanistan in 1998. Hijazi acknowledged meeting with al-Qaida operatives in
1994 in Sudan, but said the Iraqi government established no ties with bin
Laden's network.

A senior al-Qaida prisoner claimed operatives sought chemical and biological
weapons training in Iraq, and one of them described the effort as
"successful." Another defector said Saddam sent agents to Afghanistan to
train al-Qaida members on document forgery.

The U.S. government has provided nothing further to substantiate these
assertions.


MAKING THE WORLD A SAFER PLACE

http://www.guardian.co.uk/military/story/0,11816,985136,00.html

*  BRITAIN TRIES TO WEAKEN UN DEAL ON CLUSTER BOMBS
by Owen Bowcott
The Guardian, 26th June

Britain and the United States are attempting to weaken the provisions of an
international treaty requiring belligerents to clear up unexploded cluster
bombs after the end of any conflict, according to the group Landmine Action.

Talks have been going on for 10 days in Geneva to reach consensus on a
protocol under the United Nations convention on conventional weapons. Draft
proposals would oblige countries to pay for the safe destruction of cluster
bombs they had used during a war.

Richard Lloyd, the director of Landmine Action, said yesterday: "Rather than
adopt a clear obligation to clear up the mess, the UK [delegation] is
suggesting it should 'cooperate' in addressing the problems that unexploded
munitions cause.

"We are disappointed the UK are failing to take a lead in this issue.
Britain is quite isolated from other European countries over it. [The UK
wording] would not make the difference to stop people being blown up after
wars.

"The British position in Geneva is contrary to the impression left by
ministers in parliament that that they would work positively to achieve an
effective, legally binding protocol. They have been arguing instead for a
weaker language in certain key articles."

The US, Mr Lloyd said, had been even more resistant to calls for a legal
duty. "The biggest problem is the United States," Mr Lloyd said.

"We hope they will change their view, but at present they want a voluntary
declaration [of intent to remove cluster bombs] rather than having a duty
imposed on them.

"The negotiations are by consensus, so it looks likely there will be an
agreement at the end of the week to adjourn for further talks in November."

The Ottawa Treaty on landmines already requires states which plant mines to
remove them after a conflict.

As well as unexploded cluster bombs, the new protocol would also cover hand
grenades and other explosive devices.

Landmine Action is one of the main groups campaigning on the issue, and has
estimated that US and UK forces used around 300,000 cluster bomb
sub-munitions, or "bomblets", on Iraq in the war earlier this year. A
significant number failed to explode.

Cluster bombs are usually used against troop concentrations. British
aircraft dropped 66 cluster bombs, each containing 147 bomblets, and fired
2,000 artillery shells which each contained 49 bomblets. US forces dropped
around 1,200 cluster bombs.

UN agencies have estimated that hundreds of Iraqi children have been killed
or injured since the end of the fighting from picking up unexploded shells
and bomblets.

Landmine Action is launching a report today on the international extent of
the problem. It says at least 92 countries are threatened by unexploded
cluster bombs or other explosive remnants of war. In 57 of these countries,
new casualties from the leftovers of conflict were reported in the period
January 2001-June 2002.

The Foreign Office said last night that the UK fully supported the new
protocol and was working for a formulation that would contain both
legally-binding measures and "best practice" guidelines.


http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsPackageArticle.jhtml;jsessionid=HP1VT0VK5UHSKCR
BAE0CFFA?type=topNews&storyID=327118

*   GALLOWAY TO SUE TELEGRAPH OVER IRAQ CLAIM
Reuters, 28th June

LONDON: A radical politician who had links to Saddam Hussein's old
government has started libel proceeding against a British newspaper, after
it reported he had been in the pay of the Iraqi government.

Lawyers for politician George Galloway, one of Britain's most outspoken
anti-war campaigners, said on Friday they had issued papers at London's High
Court against The Daily Telegraph's publisher.

The Telegraph in April accused Galloway of taking at least 375,000 pounds a
year in pay offs from Baghdad.

The Telegraph said it would fight Galloway's claim.

"Charles Moore, editor of The Daily Telegraph ... said that the action would
be defended," the newspaper's publisher said in a statement.

On June 20, American newspaper The Christian Science Monitor retracted a
similar story alleging that Galloway had received $10 million to boost
Iraq's reputation in the West.

The Scottish legislator refused to accept The Monitor's apology after it
said documents from Baghdad on which it had based its report were "almost
certainly forgeries."

"The last two months have been a walking nightmare so I just can't accept an
apology like this," he told Reuters at the time, saying the Telegraph's
documents would also be exposed as fakes.

Prime Minister Tony Blair's Labour Party suspended Galloway in May after he
called Blair and U.S. President George W. Bush "wolves", among other things,
before and during the war.

Galloway has been pilloried in the right-wing press and mocked as the "MP
for Baghdad Central" for his past trips to Iraq and meetings with Saddam.


http://www.dawn.com/2003/06/28/int12.htm

*  RUMSFELD ADVOCATES US-LED GLOBAL PEACEKEEPING FORCE
by Esther Schrader
Dawn, from The Los Angeles Times, 28th June
[Astonishing leap forward to Policeman of the World status]

WASHINGTON: Defence Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is discussing the
possibility of the United States organizing a standing international
peacekeeping force that could be dispatched to trouble spots around the
globe.

The force would operate outside the auspices of the United Nations and NATO
and would include thousands of US Army troops trained and permanently
assigned to peacekeeping work.

Such an undertaking would represent a major reversal by the Bush
administration, which came into office deeply opposed to tying up US
military forces in international peacekeeping operations.

The plan would probably be opposed by the Army, which has resisted efforts
to have its troops drawn into peacekeeping duties.

There are other obstacles as well. Some analysts question how many nations
would sign up for such a force if it were under the control of the United
States, whose willingness to collaborate with other countries is highly
suspect in many parts of the world.

"It seems to me that they have now decided that this is a great opportunity
for multilateralism. Who knows, maybe somebody will buy it," said retired
Major Gen. William Nash, who commanded a tank division in the 1991 Persian
Gulf War and, later, NATO peacekeepers in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

With more than half the Army's deployable troops now engaged in peacekeeping
and stabilization operations around the world, including Bosnia, Kosovo,
Afghanistan and especially Iraq, the Pentagon says its purely military
capabilities are stretched thin - a problem that is widely acknowledged.

Senior Bush administration officials are coming to believe that the best
solution is to create a standing constabulary force made up of troops from a
range of countries - but led and trained by the United States. It would be
distinct from a proposed NATO rapid-response force and apart from the United
Nations, which has provided peacekeeping missions for decades.

"I am interested in the idea of our leading, or contributing to in some way,
a cadre of people in the world who would like to participate in peacekeeping
or peacemaking," Rumsfeld told a group of defence industry leaders at a
dinner in Washington last week.

"I think that it would be a good thing if our country provided some
leadership for training of other countries' citizens who would like to
participate in peacekeeping ... so that we have a ready cadre of people who
are trained and equipped and organized and have communications that they can
work with each other."

The Pentagon has been accused of being unprepared for the post-war violence
in Iraq, and Army officials have complained that their troops are not
trained to do the kind of police work that is needed there.

"We're not terribly good at peacekeeping, so I don't know why we would be
training people to be peacekeepers," said Charles Pena, director of defence
policy studies at the Cato Institute. But a senior Defence official said,
"The way Secretary Rumsfeld envisions it, anyone with concerns about US
peacekeeping should be assuaged, because the whole idea is for us to do
less, rather than more, peacekeeping."

Though Rumsfeld has defended the military's post-war performance, he
acknowledged to a questioner in the dinner audience that it would have been
good to have such a force set up before the war.

"It's something that is being discussed in a very serious way by some very
serious people right now," the defence official said. But the official said
Rumsfeld had not decided how many US troops he would recommend allocating to
such a force. Nor has the overall size of such a force, or who would pay for
it, been addressed. The idea has been broached with unidentified countries
in Europe and Latin America, officials said.

Other defence officials said the force would probably require about 10,000
US troops.

The notion of creating US military units permanently assigned to
peacekeeping was widely discussed at the Pentagon during the Clinton
administration, when US forces found themselves increasingly involved in
non-military missions in such places as Haiti, Bosnia and Kosovo.

Upon taking office, President Bush promised to pull US peacekeepers out of
the Balkans and to launch an immediate review of troop commitments in dozens
of countries, with an eye to strictly limiting overseas deployments. But
since the Sept 11 attacks, peacekeeping has come to be viewed by Republicans
as more relevant to national security. Indeed, in terms of the numbers of
soldiers engaged in peacekeeping, it is the fastest-growing mission of the
US military.

"We could take or leave peacekeeping operations in the 1990s - we left
Haiti, we left Somalia. The sense was that it might be regrettable in terms
of local conditions but not seen as a security threat to the US," said
Andrew Krepinevich Jr., executive director of the Center for Strategic and
Budgetary Assessments.

"Now failed states are seen as potential breeding grounds for terrorists,
and even though we have sizable forces already engaged in peacekeeping
operations, there may be more to come."

Defence officials say Rumsfeld's proposal is consistent with the aim of
limiting US overseas deployments. Though it would professionalize a small
number of US troops in peacekeeping, it would aim to enlist other countries
to contribute the vast majority of troops to such a force, with the promise
that they would be trained and organized by the United States.

The US has about 5,500 peacekeeping troops in Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia,
Croatia and the Sinai peninsula, in addition to the 150,000-plus presence in
Afghanistan and Iraq. None of the troops are peacekeepers by vocation, and
not all receive such training before their deployment.

Still, as envisioned, creating a standing international peacekeeping force
that is US-led or trained would allow the Pentagon to exert considerably
more control over peacekeeping than in the past.




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