Best of OTB – May 19, 2003

As part of a continuing series, I’ll be publishing excerpts and re-posts of material buried deep in the OTB archives. Some will be profound and some silly; some will demonstrate keen insights and others painful errors.

While I would have personally been in favor of the war simply to eliminate the threat of Saddam’s acquiring WMD and eliminating an evil regime that was torturing its people and fomenting terrorism, that was not the basis on which the Administration made the case for war. We put US credibility on the line that there was a vast WMD arsenal in Iraq. Indeed, the whole case in international law was to enforce UN resolutions about WMD. If we don’t find these arsenals, it’s going to be quite embarrassing.

From POSTWAR PANICKING, May 19, 2003

FILED UNDER: General,
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. Anderson says:

    I disagree, predictably, that regime change was a sufficient justification; but folk of good will can differ on that.

    Where it shouldn’t be possible to differ, I think, is that if you’re going to change a regime, you need a very clear plan for what regime you’re going to change TO.

  2. James Joyner says:

    if you’re going to change a regime, you need a very clear plan for what regime you’re going to change TO

    Yup. I think they were planning to install Chalabi and then thought the better of it and went the “rapid handover of sovereignty, quick elections” route. That might have worked had they done a better job of protecting the infrastructure and getting people back to work but maybe not.

  3. anjin-san says:

    “embarrassing”

    I think the families of the dead might have another word for the war…