Here is an interesting article about some risk if GW wants to send troops to Iraq.
Tuesday, August 20, 2002
A chorus of caution on perils of Iraq war
In addition to the cautions advanced by Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and former HUD Secretary Jack Kemp earlier this month, the past week heard more voices for caution concerning a potential war with Iraq:
•Brent Scowcroft, the national security adviser under President Gerald Ford and the first President Bush, wrote in Thursday's Wall Street Journal, "It is beyond dispute that Saddam Hussein is a menace." However, "there is scant evidence to tie Saddam to terrorist organizations and even less to the Sept. 11 attacks."
Attacking Iraq "would not be a cakewalk. On the contrary, it undoubtedly would be very expensive - with serious consequences for the U.S. and global economy - and could as well be bloody. In fact, Saddam would be likely to conclude he had nothing left to lose, leading him to unleash whatever weapons of mass destruction he possesses.
"Israel would have to expect to be the first casualty, as in 1991 when Saddam sought to bring Israel into the Gulf conflict. This time, using weapons of mass destruction, he might succeed, provoking Israel to respond, perhaps with nuclear weapons, unleashing an Armageddon in the Middle East."
•Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, commander of the allied forces in the 1991 Gulf War, urged preparation on MSNBC's "Hardball" on Friday. "I think we have to have a coalition firmly in place," he said. "We have to have that kind of support. We have to have better intelligence than we have right now ... I don't know if they [the U.S. military] have the port facilities ... to really conduct a ground campaign. ...The worst case scenario is that, if they [the Iraqis] put up a fight, we have to go in the cities and fight."
•Lawrence Eagleburger, secretary of state under the first President Bush, joined the chorus. "Unless he [Saddam] has his hand on a trigger that is for a weapon of mass destruction and our intelligence is clear, I don't know why we have to do it now when all of our allies are opposed to it," he said, as reported by ABC News on Friday. "There are any number of other terrorist targets that deserve our attention. We ought to be taking some time to think through whether they are at least as urgent a target as Iraq."
•Henry Kissinger, secretary of state to Presidents Nixon and Ford, was more hawkish, but still cautious. He said on "Meet the Press" Sunday that President Bush had made an "intellectual case" for attacking Iraq, but, "He has not yet created the political framework, but that will have to be the next step."
•The New York Times reported on Thursday that "a crisis may be looming with Turkey, [Bush] administration officials said. Turkish officials have warned that they are preparing to go to war to prevent the Iraqi Kurds from declaring a kind of mini-Kurdish state within Iraq.... "The Turkish government fears that such a state with control over key oil resources around Kirkuk might incite Turkey's repressed Kurdish population to rebel."
So a U.S. war against Iraq might quickly spawn a war by Turkey against Iraq's long-suffering Kurdish minority.
Because this war wouldn't be a "cakewalk," we keep insisting that the U.S. Congress must exercise its constitutional prerogative of deciding whether or not to "declare war." Hearings on a possible Iraq war in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on July 31 and Aug. 1 only scratched the surface. No new hearings are scheduled there or in the House Committee on International Relations.
The American people need to know the justification, the allies that can be counted on to assist, the potential cost, the potential numbers of troops involved, the definition of success and the exit strategy.
President Bush should not act alone. Congress represents the American people, whose sons and daughters in the military - and perhaps cities in America - could become war casualties in what Gen. Scowcroft warns could be "an Armageddon."