World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Post-Saddam Iraq - Marc Grossman

Post-Saddam Iraq

Marc Grossman, Under Secretary for Political Affairs Testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Washington, DC February 11, 2003

As Prepared

Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee.

Thank you for inviting us to talk about post-Saddam Iraq.

This is my first opportunity to testify before this Committee in the 108th Congress. I congratulate Senator Lugar on his Chairmanship. Senator Biden, we thank you as well for your leadership in this Committee last year.

I also want to second Secretary Powell's thanks to all the members of the Committee for your strong support for the men and women of the State Department.

Mr. Chairman, members of this committee need no introduction to the subject of Iraq and the regime of Saddam Hussein. As Secretary Powell told the United Nations Security Council on February 5, Leaving Saddam Hussein in possession of weapons of mass destruction for a few more months or years is not an option, not in a post-September 11th world.

The day after his address to the UN Security Council, Secretary Powell came before this committee and said, The President does not like war, does not want a war. But this is not a problem we can walk away from.

Mr. Chairman, our testimony today will in some ways be like a consultation. Many of the policies Under Secretary Feith and I will describe are still under discussion in the Administration. President Bush has not made final decisions about if and when to use military force to disarm Iraq, nor has he made any final decisions about exactly how the United States will proceed with respect to Iraq after a conflict, if one is required. Although we may not be able to describe final decisions, we are not without clear guidance. On January 20, President Bush directed all relevant agencies of the government to focus their attention on Iraq post-war planning. Under Secretary Feith will describe to you the planning office at the Pentagon. The President s direction is clear: If it becomes necessary for a US-led military coalition to liberate Iraq, the United States will want to be in a position to help meet the humanitarian, reconstruction and administrative challenges facing the country in the immediate aftermath of combat operations.

Before I offer some views on what that future might look like, let me first lay this base. If we have to act, we will have allies.

* 26 countries are providing us with access, basing or overflight rights, or some combination of the three.

* Another 18 countries have granted us access, basing or overflight rights based on our contingency request for those rights, or have come forward voluntarily to offer such rights to us, should we wish to make use of them.

* 19 countries have offered us military assets or other resources. This number includes many countries that have granted us access, basing and overflight rights, but also a number of additional countries.

Mr. Chairman, let me now highlight five subjects.

First, I want to offer some of the principles that guide our thinking about the future of Iraq.

Second, I want to stress the importance of ridding Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction.

Third, a report on what we are planning on the humanitarian front.

Fourth, some words on our planning for reconstruction.

Fifth, on the political front, I want to tell you about the work we have been doing on what post-Saddam Hussein Iraq ought to look like.

I.Guiding Principles

Mr. Chairman, if it should be necessary for the United States to take military action, these principles will guide our thinking.

* First, we will demonstrate to the Iraqi people and the world that the United States wants to liberate, not occupy Iraq or control Iraqis or their economic resources.

* Second, we must eliminate Iraq's chemical and biological weapons, its nuclear program and its related delivery systems

* Third, we must also eliminate Iraq's terrorist infrastructure.

* Fourth, safeguard the territorial unity of Iraq. The United States does not support Iraq's disintegration.

* Fifth, begin the process of economic and political reconstruction, working to put Iraq on a path to become a prosperous and free country.

This job will take a sustained commitment. The United States is committed to stay as long as is necessary in Iraq, but not one day more.

II.Weapons of Mass Destruction

Mr. Chairman, President Bush is determined to see Iraq disarmed of its weapons of mass destruction. That is job #1 today, during a conflict if there is one, and in the days after.

Locating, securing and disposing of Iraq's WMD capabilities will be an urgent priority. We will focus on weapons and delivery systems, bulk agents, related infrastructure, dual-use infrastructure, and Iraq's technical and scientific expertise.

Ensuring that the U.S. Government has the capacity to do all this is the work of a broad interagency task force, chaired at the NSC. We are working to decrease the possibility of the Iraqi regime using WMD before or during any military action, and we are in discussions with other countries to establish a program to eliminate the Iraqi WMD program after regime change in Baghdad. A number of our allies are cooperating with us in this area, including helping prepare for a response to incidents that Saddam Hussein might provoke.

U/S Feith will have more to say on this.

III.Meeting Iraq's Humanitarian Needs

Mr. Chairman, my third point is what we are planning to do to meet Iraq's humanitarian needs.

In the event of a military conflict, our immediate objective will be to provide humanitarian assistance to civilians. Those who have fled their homes in fear will have to be cared for. Essential supply lines for food, medicine, water, and fuel will have to be restored.

Mr. Chairman, U.S. government agencies are engaged in planning to meet Iraq s humanitarian needs with an emphasis on civilian-military coordination. This effort is led by the National Security Council and OMB. USAID and State are engaged with the non-governmental organizations and international organizations who will be important partners in addressing Iraq s humanitarian needs. Civilian and military officials regularly consult and coordinate plans.

President Bush has authorized $15 million dollars to support this planning process and an additional $35 million has been made available from existing accounts. Other donors are also responding to the UN s request for preparedness support. As a result, food, shelter items and water bladders are ready. A substantial amount of work has been done on meeting the humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people, and still more is being done by a number of agencies and organizations in Washington, New York and around the world.


Mr. Chairman, let me turn to the fourth area: reconstruction. Iraqis will face the task of reconstructing of a country that has been subjected to decades of neglect and mismanagement. There has been a tremendous interagency effort, led by the National Security Council and the Office of Management and Budget, to think through reconstruction needs and objectives. The interagency effort has focussed on a number of priority program areas including education, health, water and sanitation, electricity, shelter, transportation, rule of law, agriculture, communications and economic and financial policy. I hope you won t be surprised to learn that many of these priority program areas overlap exactly with the working groups in the Future of Iraq Project, which I will describe next.

With regard to the oil sector, our guiding principle is that Iraq s oil belongs to all of the Iraqi people. We are committed to ensuring that any action taken in this area is for the benefit of the Iraqi people. Should military action be required in Iraq, the US will take steps to protect and preserve Iraq s oil sector, and we will support the efforts of Iraqis to restore production. U/S Feith will have more to stay on this.

V.The Political Future The United States is committed to helping Iraqis rebuild their country politically as well as physically.

Last March, the Bush Administration announced the Future of Iraq project. In consultations with "free Iraqis," we developed 17 working groups. The purpose of these is to begin practical planning for what could be done between now and the date of a change of government in Baghdad, and in the immediate aftermath of a transition. The subjects of the working groups include:

1. Transitional Justice 2. Public Finance 3. Democratic Principles 4. Public Health and Humanitarian Issues 5. Public Outreach 6. Water, Agriculture & the Environment 7. Economy and Infrastructure 8. Local Government 9. Defense Policy 10. Oil & Energy 11. Education 12. Anti-Corruption Issues 13. Civil Society-Capacity Building 14. Building a Free Media 15. Return of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons 16. Foreign Policy 17. Preserving Iraq's Cultural Heritage

Each of the working groups brings together about 10-20 Iraqi experts to discuss the Iraqis' thoughts and plans for what can be done now, and in the aftermath of a change of government in Baghdad, to improve the lives of the Iraqi people.

Here are some examples of the work that Iraqi experts have done:

* In the legal field, for example, the Iraqi lawyers in the Transitional Justice working group have drafted 600 pages, in Arabic, of proposed reforms of the Criminal Code, the Criminal Procedure Code, the Civil Code, the Nationality Law, the Military Procedure Code and more; proposals for the trial of Saddam Hussein and his top associates; proposals for national reconciliation, and the reform of the police, the courts and the prisons.

* The Economy & Infrastructure; Public Finance; and Water, Agriculture & the Environment working groups have prepared proposals for the transition of the Oil-for-Food program to better meet the basic needs of food and medicine of the Iraqi people. The Iraqis also have plans for reconstruction of four key sectors: Electricity, Communications, Water, and Agriculture.

Both we and the Iraqis we are meeting make the point that Iraqis on the outside will not control decisions that will, ultimately, have to be made by all Iraqis. The Iraqi diaspora is a great resource but not a substitute for what all Iraqis will need to do together to work towards democracy in their country. Both we and free Iraqis look forward to the day when all Iraqis are able to talk freely and work together to build a free and democratic Iraq.

And while we are listening to what the Iraqis are telling us, at the end of the day, the United States Government will make its decisions based on what is in the national interest of the United States.

What the Transition Might Look Like

Mr. Chairman, let me conclude with a short observation about how we get to this future for Iraq, recognizing that no decisions have been made on structure or timing. The Administration is still considering these issues, and discussing ideas with free Iraqis who are in the political opposition, technocrats, intellectuals and others. We are also consulting with our close allies and with you.

Conceptually, there are three stages:

(1)Stabilization, where an interim Coalition military administration will focus on security, stability and order; laying the groundwork for stage 2.

(2)Transition, where authority is progressively given to Iraqi institutions as part of the development of a democratic Iraq.

(3)Transformation, after Iraqis have drafted, debated and approved a new, democratic constitution and held free and fair elections, the only way for any future Iraqi government to be truly legitimate.


Mr. Chairman, I recognize my testimony today has been only the start of an effort to answer your questions about the future of Iraq. There are many uncertainties.

What I am certain about is that we seek an Iraq that is democratic, unified, multi-ethnic, with no weapons of mass destruction, which has cut its links to all terrorists, and is at peace with its neighbors. We expect to stay in close touch with you over the coming weeks.


Released on February 11, 2003

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>


Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>


Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC