“We don’t just put this complicated and tragic history aside without asking if our values and commitments are still intact.” Archbishop of Canturbury, Dr Rowan Williams.


“More than 50 years of post-World War II experience have pointed toward the advantages of working, wherever possible, within the framework of alliances and multinational institutions. In jettisoning these lessons for the convenience of a largely bilateral operation, the US let itself at risk legally, financially and militarily.”                   Presidential candidate Wesley Clark, from Iraq: What Went Wrong?  (25/09/03)

“When we were first starting our police force, we didn’t understand why they had to go to school until they learned lessons in respecting human rights of the citizens and how to avoid taking revenge. We could teach the Iraqi police the lessons we learned.” Nexhat Daci, the speaker of Kosovo’s legislative assembly, on Kosovo’s offer to send police officers to Iraq. New York Times editorial (6/10/03) (So far, Washington has not accepted the offer.)

“Kay’s interim findings offer detailed evidence of Hussein’s efforts to defy the international community to the last. The report describes a host of activities related to weapons of mass destruction that “should have been declared to the UN”. It reaffirms that Iraq’s forbidden programs spanned more than two decades, involving thousands of people and billions of dollars.” US Secretary of State Colin Powell, in an editorial for the Washington Post. (7/10/03))

“If Israel continues to attack us, what are we supposed to do? Tell them ‘welcome’? Of course we will have to defend ourselves by all means.” Syrian Ambassador to Spain, Mohsen Bilal (8/10/03)

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Asymmetric Risks and War with Iraq


Any future war with Iraq will have important economic, as well as political and security-related, consequences. . First-order consequences might include increased oil prices and higher defence expenditure, at a time when it appears that tax revenues will be rising much slower than government spending. There will also be second-order consequences such as the fallout from asymmetric risks. These will depend on the war’s outcome and on whether it   brings peace and stability to the region or has the opposite effect.

This paper addresses some of the potential unintended consequences of conflict with Iraq. It is based on a speech delivered to 25 senior executives from the insurance, reinsurance and banking industry at a closed discussion at the VISA HQ in London on 20 February.


The Iraq conflict and the future of Europe

The war with Iraq coincides with crucial discussions over the future of Europe. Glenys Kinnock MEP looks at the thorny issues involved for the international institutions concerned, and concludes that the move towards a common foreign, security and defence policy is more important now than ever.

So the UN route has been abandoned, and the United States and its ‘coalition of the willing’ has decided to launch an attack on Iraq. In his resignation speech in the House of Commons, Robin Cook expressed his deep concern about a war that did not have the agreement of NATO, the EU nor the UN Security Council. The decision to go to war lacks the legitimacy and authority of the UN, and represents a failure of that multilateralism, which is the cornerstone of international stability and the firm principle upon which the EU is built.


The United States & Nation-building: path to democracy or hegemony?

As long ago as last fall, I strongly suspected that the Bush Administration would decide to invade Iraq and would be ill prepared for victory. In this paper I want to discuss the US experience in nation-building, and why the United States has been so successful at waging war in the past decade and so ill prepared to follow up on military victory with actions which would validate the sacrifices made in war.

It is surely not because the United States lacks experience with nation-building in recent years, or because there have not been clear lessons learned from these experiences. In the past decade, the United States has been involved in nation-building eleven times, investing tens of billions of dollars and tens of thousands of American personnel, military and civilian. The list includes Somalia, Haiti, Panama, Cambodia, Bosnia, Kosovo, East Timor, Afghanistan and now Iraq. And, of course, half a century ago we rebuilt Germany and Japan in a major effort lasting several years.


Media Reporting of the War

Reporting Iraq:
What went right? What went wrong?


The case for invading Iraq remained a matter of public concern in the aggressor countries – the US, UK, Spain and Australia – to an extent unmatched before, during or, particularly, after any other war in recent times.

Echoing this was an audible level of disquiet among journalists. Many who had reported from Iraq, or spent the period leading up to and spanning the war in charge of papers or newsdesks, joined in a discussion about the coverage – both in print and in person – which, again, was unprecedented in both scope and tone.