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2003-09-04

With Occupation Costs Soaring, U.S. Set to Go Back To U.N. Asking For Unprecedented Resolution

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As the Pentagon outlines Washington’s failed Iraq plans, the White House plans to ask Congress for $60-$70 billion more for Iraq and is seeking a UN approval to force other nations to contribute troops and funds.

The Washington Post is reporting that the White House is seeking $60-70 billion more from Congress to cover the cost of the reconstruction and occupation of Iraq. The Post reports the request will be an acknowledgement by the administration that it "vastly underestimated" the cost of war.

This comes as the U.S. prepares to officially ask for a United Nations resolution on Iraq to help urge other countries to supply troops and money to the occupation.

According to the Post, the U.S. resolution would be unprecedented in UN history. It would seek the creation of a UN-mandated multinational force to operate in a country where the UN does not have political control.

Secretary of State Colin Powell yesterday lobbied for the resolution. He said quote "With the resolution, you’re essentially putting the Security Council into the game."

A secret internal report by the Joint Chiefs of Staff criticizes the Bush administration for failing to adequately plan for the reconstruction and policing of Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein and for failing to predict a guerilla war would emerge.

The report titled "Operation Iraqi Freedom Strategic Lessons Learned" was obtained by the Washington Times.

The report also shows that President Bush approved the war plans last August, the month before the U.S. approached the UN Security Council for a war mandate. And the Washington Times reports that the U.S. kept in close contact with Israel over the war plans. A meeting to discuss the invasion was held in mid-February with "key Israeli leaders" according to the report.

  • Phyllis Bennis, fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington DC, specializing in Middle East and United Nations issues. She is the author of the book Before and After: U.S. Foreign Policy and the September 11th Crisis.

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