Friday 28 March 2003
An architect of the U.S. "shock and awe" bombing campaign against Iraq said on Friday that American and UK credibility in administering peace in post-war Iraq would be undermined if no chemical weapons were found.
"We better find plenty of weapons of mass destruction," Harlan Ullman, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank in Washington, told BBC News 24 on Friday.
"If we don't -- Prime Minister Tony Blair and President George W. Bush can survive that because Saddam Hussein is such a wretch -- but making the case to the international community, especially if there is a lot of loss of life in Baghdad, is going to be exceedingly difficult," he added.
The United States, backed by Britain, went to war against Iraq to rid the country of its alleged weapons of mass destruction and remove Saddam. The Iraqi president denies Iraq has chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.
Ullman, whose ideas are said to have provided the vision behind the current intensive U.S. bombing strategy against Iraq, said the question was not who will win the war, but how the war is fought by the invaders.
"The issue is not whether we will prevail. We will prevail," Ullman said.
"What matter is what how long it takes, how many casualties there are, and how much our political reputation is diminished abroad, which will hinder us in administering the peace."
Ullman added that he had been surprised by how confidently the Iraq army has fought compared with its performance in the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s and the 1991 Gulf War.
"What they are doing is waging a guerrilla war in the south which is going to persist and a really tough defensive campaign around Baghdad, with the expectation that Iraq will be viewed as the victims and the British and Americans as the bullies," he said.
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