BARRED!

While rather amusing, barring French, German, and Canadian firms from bidding on Iraqi reconstruction strikes me as counterproductive. We need as much international support as possible in paying for this enormous undertaking and alienating potential allies isn’t particularly useful toward that end. Even if we take as a given that France isn’t going to be helpful, Germany and Canada are generally among our closest allies. Being spiteful because of a single policy disagreement is unwise.

FILED UNDER: Iraq War
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Mike Spenis says:

    We need as much international support as possible in paying for this enormous undertaking and alienating potential allies isn’t particularly useful toward that end.

    I’d agree, if I thought that there was a realistic hope of getting a meaningful amount of money from either Germany or Canada. There isn’t. They would like, very much, to take money in exchange for goods and services there, but they have little inclination (or ability) to provide substantial assistance.

    There is something of great value at stake here – the war on terror is not over, and there will be other times when we call upon our friends to help out. It would be a mistake to show everyone that they can screw us over like the French and Germans did, and then be forgiven as soon as the smoke clears and the contracts are handed out. It would also be a mistake to divert these rewards from the nations that did stick their necks out for us.

  2. Dodd says:

    The Washington Post puts it rather differently from the Times: “Only Allies to Help With Rebuilding – U.S. to Deny Contracts to Firms From Nonsupporting Nations”.

    That’s a bit harder to argue with (especially given that the President said before the war began that countries that didn’t help wouldn’t get any say in the reconstruction).

  3. Kate says:

    As a Canadian, I disagree. I think it’s time our country was bitchslapped into reality. For decades we’ve coasted into a socialistic state, financed by the willingness of the American taxpayer to pay the costs of our national security.

    In the past 10 years, the Liberal government has wanted to have its cake and bash it too.

    Just like any other state, pandering to internal interests at the cost of international security should come with a cost. In our case, this is a pretty low cost. And remember – with Chretien’s family ties to Bombardier and Elf, there may be more going on than meets the eye.

  4. You find this “amusing”? These countries have already decided NOT to support us militarially or financially and you want to keep trying to bribe them since you’re such a nice guy – while at the same time taking away contracts from contries that spent blood and lives to help us out.

    I’m sure you’re sweet and all, but I bet you get scewed pretty regularly since people know they can #$% you over and get away with it again and again and again and again…

  5. James Joyner says:

    DM,

    It’s not a matter of bribing them. It’s a matter of not giving the impression that the war is going to be a spoils system for Haliburton and other American interest. Canada IS supporting the reconstruction, to the tune of nearly $200 million.

  6. Gunther says:

    “Impression”? It’s not an impression, it’s an objective fact, at this point. You’d think that even if the idiots behind this thing thought that they were justified in paying back countries like France, Germany and Canada for not helping with the invasion, they’d find a more subtle way of doing it. I mean, you can always rig a bidding process to favor some contenders over others. If the bidding process was open, with none of these restrictions, it would go at least some ways towards mollifying critics. Behind the scenes, a token number of minor contracts could be given to those on the “enemies” list in order to provide cover, but the bulk would still go to favored interests. I’m really surprised at how stupid this move is.

  7. Paul says:

    Heh. I was going to comment on this:

    It’s a matter of not giving the impression that the war is going to be a spoils system for Haliburton…

    I WAS going to say that the whack jobs that believed that would believe it no matter what we did. But then one of them showed to make the case for me.

    Mike Spenis nailed to perfectly on the first comment. Go reread it.