When talking stops and shooting starts, all the arguments over UN inspections in Iraq, still the subject of heated debate as I write, will be filed under ancient history, and new questions will take their place: How will the war go? After the fighting, then what? The American war plan for Iraq has gone through three stages over the last nine months, all discussed with unusual candor in public. The current plan calls for an initial two or three days of devastating attacks by powerful and extremely accurate weapons. The targets of these weapons, according to retired Air Force Lieutenant General Tom McInerney, who discussed the strategy with Greta Van Susteren on the Fox News channel January 20, is to destroy “the centers of gravity” of the Iraqi military—the “command and control apparatus” which is difficult to hide. In the first Gulf War, when only 20 percent of the ordnance was precision-guided, the bombing campaign devastated the Iraqi water supply, electricity production, and transportation system. This time, with precision weapons closer to 80 percent of the total, it is the Iraqi military, not the national economic infrastructure, which will be struck in the opening salvo. Ground forces will follow hard on the heels of the initial strikes. “In eight or nine days we’ll have forces on the outskirts of Baghdad,” McInerney told viewers. “We’ll own 75 percent of that country.”
“Shock and Awe” is the Pentagon’s name for the sort of lightning war we intend to fight, but military history reminds us that no plan survives contact with the enemy. If this one succeeds within the “six days, [or] six weeks, I doubt six months” recently predicted by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, it will probably not be the plan alone that determines success, but just as importantly the military machine carrying it out. That the American military is big, expensive, technically sophisticated, and wary of casualties everybody knows. The question now is whether it can fight the sort of bold, quick, and determined war the planners have drawn up on paper.
Two kinds of answers might be given to this question. The first would be mainly an exhaustive list of numbers and descriptors—perhaps 200,000 American troops in all, armed with state-of-the-art weaponry. Facing them will be a ragtag Iraqi army of about 350,000 men, a lot of obsolete military hardware, and an unknown ability to deliver chemical or biological agents. The UN inspectors have not found any of these weapons since Resolution 1441 was passed in November, but the Bush administration is clearly worried about them—worried enough to threaten Iraqi generals with prosecution as war criminals if they use them, and possibly, according to air war expert William Arkin, even to retaliate with nuclear weapons.
What makes American forces so lethal is spelled out in The New Face of War, a new book by the military and intelligence analyst Bruce Berkowitz. His answer is one word—“information,” by which he means the sort of exact, instantly accessible, easily distributed digital information which goes into computers and can be used to find and attack military targets with awesome precision in near-real time. The military machine that crushed the Iraqis in forty-three days of bombing and four days of ground attack is now smaller, smarter, quicker, newer, and more lethal, while the Iraqi military has wasted away to a third of its size in 1991.The recent Iraqi promise to fight the Americans with suicide bombers is a tacit confession that they have little hope of putting up serious resistance, let alone of winning. The exhaustive list of new gadgets and “capabilities” is the easily described part of what Americans buy with the world’s biggest military budget—some $379 billion next year, as requested in President Bush’s new budget proposals.
Harder to describe is the quality of the American military: What sort of Americans have chosen military careers? How are they trained? Do they have energy and initiative? Are they psychologically ready? Are they well commanded? Do they trust one another? Does the organization believe in the job it has been asked to do—“the mission,” in military parlance? War is the ultimate test, but short of war the best way to take the measure of a military is to watch it, talk to it, travel with it, and live with it.
This was the approach followed by the Washington Post reporter Dana Priest over a four-year period, including one stretch of eighteen months, much of it spent following two “CinCs”—the commanders in chief of the European Command, which ran the American war in Kosovo, and the Central Command, which is preparing to go to war in Iraq. Few books are as lively, informed, and intelligently written as Priest’s account of the American military, and I can think of none which has arrived with better timing. What Priest saw in her time with the soldiers provides the body of The Mission, but its great subject, reflected in its title, is the way American presidents turn increasingly to the military to achieve political ends.
Most books about the American military stress doctrine, gadgets, and numbers. Priest makes the occasional bow in that direction: in a footnote about the air war in Afghanistan, for example, she mentions “air tasking orders,” “kill boxes,” “emerging targets,” and other terms of art for American high-tech war. But what interests her most is the culture of the American military, how it looks at the world, and what policymakers in Washington hope to do with it. That, she found, is increasingly ambitious. The first President Bush, for example, appointed the US military the “single lead agency” in the war on drugs. President Clinton also prepared to use the military for political ends—up to a point. His secretary of state, Madeline Albright, wanted to use US troops in Bosnia but General Colin Powell, then still chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, put up stiff resistance. “What’s the point,” Albright asked Powell, “of having this superb military that you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?”
“Coercive diplomacy” was what Albright had in mind. Secretary of Defense William J. Perry took the notion a step further; the military, he thought, might be used to “shape” the world, push it in directions America wanted to go. Under Clinton the official National Security Strategy gave the CinCs broad but vague powers which evolved into the current concept of “engagement”—a practice of intimate contact with foreign governments and militaries at so many levels, under so many separate programs, that it becomes difficult to say where aid and training end and US moral responsibility begins. The “peacekeeping” methods taught to the military in Kyrgyzstan in the late 1990s, Priest writes, were really “a euphemism for lethal tactics,” and might be used to crush democratic opposition as well as terrorists.
In the course of her research Priest learned two things—that the CinCs are figures of extraordinary power throughout the territory they command, far more influential than American ambassadors; and that “the mission” of the US military has expanded enormously in the last decade or two. “The US government had grown increasingly dependent on its military to carry out its foreign affairs,” Priest writes:
The shift was incremental, little noticed, de facto…. The military simply filled a vacuum left by an indecisive White House, an atrophied State Department, and a distracted Congress.
When Priest began her travels the ballooning of the mission was simply an interesting fact; if the United States wanted to attempt something abroad—distribute food in Somalia, stop ethnic killing in Kosovo, put drug dealers out of business in Colombia—it asked the military to take on the job. After September 11 this American dependence on its military immediately began to drive the Bush administration’s response to the challenge posed by Islamic terror. Priest makes no attempt to prove which came first—a visceral preference for military solutions or practical resort to the military tool that lay readiest to hand. But the result, she says, is a war on terror that is all war; and a “mission” whose prospects reflect the strengths and weaknesses of the military instrument chosen to carry it out.
Since 1980 the American military has been divided into commands, at the moment ten in all—five functional commands, like transportation or strategic weapons, and five regional commands. Most of The Mission reports on the time Priest spent with units of the European Command in the former Yugoslavia, and with General Anthony Zinni during his three years—from 1998 to 2001—as CinC of the Central Command, which includes Egypt and the Horn of Africa, the Middle East, South and Central Asia, and “the stans” of the former Soviet Union, given to Centcom specifically to acknowledge the importance of the “Islamic threat.” Zinni is currently underemployed as President Bush’s envoy to the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, but as CinC his power was equaled only by heads of state. “Short, burly and camel-nosed,” as Priest describes him, Zinni traveled constantly throughout his realm, fifteen times to Saudi Arabia alone, where he learned to admire the culture and even the ruling family.
Priest has a talent for capturing the nuances of character and situation; in one passage she describes a delegation of US senators that Zinni took to see the Saudi defense minister, Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz. The prince was uncomfortable with all those strange senators; he called Zinni from the back of the room, made space for him on a satin couch, took the general’s hand in his own, and held it in the affectionate Arab way for the rest of the meeting.
After a couple of years of such attention, Priest tells us, Zinni, a widely read man, concluded that “he had become a modern-day proconsul, descendant of the warrior-statesmen who ruled the Roman Empire’s outlying territory, bringing order and ideals from a legalistic Rome. Julius Caesar, Caesar Augustus—they would have understood. His compatriots, he knew, did not.” But although he embodied American power, and was respected accordingly, in one way Zinni was not like the proconsuls who ran the world from Rome. The proconsuls were given extraordinary authority and latitude, while Zinni, on the all-important question of using power for political ends, was kept on a short leash by the Clinton White House, and could do nothing without authority from Washington.
Zinni liked and understood the Arabs he dealt with but sometimes chafed under their caution and restraint. Getting the rulers of the Gulf states to agree on measures for the common defense, he whispered during a meeting, was “like watching paint dry.” Even more frustrating to Zinni, Priest writes, was Washington’s refusal to see what was behind the “rising anti-Americanism” of what he called “the Arab street.” Priest must have discussed this with him often. “Much of this,” she writes,
[Zinni] blamed on Washington’s unwillingness to craft a durable peace between Israel and the Palestinians. He complained time and again that the United States wasn’t doing enough to solve the problem. After all, it had considerable leverage that it had never even threatened to use: an annual aid payment of nearly $3 billion a year to Israel and millions spent on development projects in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Washington shrank from that, but often wanted to challenge Iraq in small ways. In late 1997, for example, the Clinton administration wanted US pilots to be more aggressive in patrolling Iraq’s no-fly zones, to draw fire and shoot back to prove that the US was still determined to contain Iraq. It wasn’t real punitive action the Clinton people had in mind, Zinni felt, just muscle-flexing for PR effect.
Zinni rebelled. To him this was poking a stick into the tiger’s cage, and it frightened the sheiks. They wanted to know if the United States was serious and would follow through. “Of course we’re not serious,” Zinni thought to himself. “We’re just going to go up there and drop a few bombs and whack the Iraqis around a little bit. Saddam’s still going to be standing at the end of it.”
Small wonder, Priest writes, that every time the United States wanted to issue a visible blow against Hussein, Zinni “had to go hat-in-hand to each country to secure takeoff, landing and overflight permission for US planes.” Zinni didn’t really blame the Saudis for being cautious, and he wasn’t about to put his pilots at risk so the White House could look tough on the evening news. So in late 1997 Zinni told the Clinton people, sure, he’d crank up the air war in Iraq if that is what the government wanted; just send him a written order. That, of course, nobody in the White House intended to do.
Zinni was often restive with Washington’s half-measures, but in every other way he got what he wanted. He traveled in his own plane with an entourage of thirty or more, and he ran his mini-empire from Centcom headquarters in Tampa, Florida, where he was aided by a staff of more than a thousand backed by a special CinC budget of more than $50 million a year. One impression emerges clearly from Priest’s account of the instrument under Zinni’s control: the military is the only generously funded institution in American public life. Over recent decades just about every other form of discretionary public spending has been allowed to lag—for education and health care, for environmental and social programs, for parks, schools, libraries, museums, and symphony halls. Only the military seems able to squeeze from Congress funds for the newest, the most sophisticated, the most expensive, and the best of everything, in generous quantity and pretty much on demand.
In a February 16 Washington Post article, Thomas Ricks and Vernon Loeb reported that even the military is feeling the strain of aging aircraft and a soaring “operations tempo” as it prepares for war with Iraq. But Ricks and Loeb also found that the military is “highly confident” of defeating Iraq with an all-professional army using weaponry so advanced that “the Pentagon…really does not like to fight alongside its allies—it feels they slow US forces down.”
In its new National Security Strategy, issued in September, the United States openly embraced the concept of preemptive war, and President Bush has said he is ready to give the order. After that things might go well or badly, quickly or slowly, but no one seems to doubt that an American attack will inevitably be followed by a regime change in Baghdad. Then what?
“Nation-building,” once derided by President Bush, is now openly embraced. His envoy to the new Afghan government and to the Iraqi exile leaders who hope for a role in postwar Baghdad is Zalmay Khalilzad, a well-connected defense intellectual and expert on the Middle East, and a member of the National Security Council. Afghan-born but American-educated, Khalilzad was a charter member of a closely knit group in the first Bush administration, including Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz, that played an important role in the 1991 Gulf War and has continued to press for the overthrow of Saddam Hussein ever since. Little known to the general public but watched carefully by area experts, Khalilzad has a wide writ on the NSC. He is a member of the inner circle preparing for war, and his defense of American policy in public forums often makes explicit what the President himself only implies.
At the Washington Institute for Near East Policy last October, Khalilzad repeated the President’s determination “to disarm Iraq one way or another.” War might still be avoided, he conceded, but added that “we are of the view that disarming Iraq is extremely unlikely without regime change” and “liberation is the way to do it.” In that event, he said, “our objective for the long term in Iraq would be to establish a broad-based representative and democratic government….” About the details, despite many questions from the audience, Khalilzad was vague, but he insisted that the old Bush suspicion of the tar-baby perils of nation-building was history. The United States was not going to back away. “We will…stay for as long as necessary to do the job,” he said. “This will be a major strate-gic commitment, and we will see it through….”
The all-important question of who would run Iraq after the shooting stops was left vague until February 11, when spokesmen for the Departments of State and Defense told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that it would be the United States, not some provisional government set up by Iraqi exiles, which would take charge in Baghdad. Dismantling Iraqi weapons programs (“a huge undertaking”), securing Iraq’s border with Iran, holding the country together, rebuilding the economy, rooting out members of the Baath Party tainted by ties with the regime of Saddam Hussein, writing a new constitution, and restoring oil production to help pay for reconstruction will all be carried out under the authority of the Pentagon’s Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA), established by the President on January 20. ORHA’s director, retired Army Lieutenant General Jay M. Garner, will report to the President through General Tommy Franks of the Central Command and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, an arrangement which makes it clear that postwar Iraq will be under American military occupation until the President decides the time is ripe to return the country to Iraqi control. This is not a minor point; every Arab government has now been put on notice that the Americans are coming to stay.
As described by the two administration officials who had done the preliminary work of postwar planning, the undersecretary of state for political affairs, Marc Grossman, and the undersecretary of defense for policy, Douglas J. Feith, the reconstruction of Iraq will be the single biggest effort at “nation-building” undertaken by the United States since 1945, a plan of breathtaking scope to change the political landscape of the Middle East. With the senators Feith limited himself to the challenges facing occupation authorities on Day One, but he recently gave a richer description of what the administration has in mind to The New Yorker’s Nicholas Lemann, reported in the issue of February 17 and 24. A genuinely democratic government in Baghdad, Feith said, might encourage other countries in the Middle East to follow suit, with potentially far-reaching consequences. He told Lemann:
Terrorist organizations cannot be effective in sustaining themselves over long periods of time to do large-scale operations if they don’t have support from states. They need a base of operations…and one of the principal reasons that we are focussed on Iraq…is because we are focussed on this connection between three things: terrorist organizations, state sponsors, and weapons of mass destruction…. [In Afghanistan] you had a regime that was ousted because of its support for terrorist operations against the United States. If the Iraq regime gets ousted…I think that the combination of those two actions will influence the thinking of other states about how advisable it is for them to continue to provide safe harbor or other types of support to terrorist organizations.
But how much money this ambitious effort would cost, how many troops would be required to hold Iraq together while the program was put into effect, and above all how long the job would take were questions the undersecretaries did not want to pin down for the senators. Feith promised only that the United States would stay “as long as required” and leave “as soon as possible.” But Feith’s colleague Marc Grossman, repeatedly pressed by the senators to fill in the blanks, at last conceded that the many tasks facing ORHA were going to take time—two years or more before control of the country could be surrendered entirely to a new Iraqi government.
Those two years tell us a lot we need to know. Arab governments reluctantly going along with American plans all want a transition that is short and sweet; King Abdullah’s Jordan hopes for a week of war followed by American withdrawal in three months.
Two years could as easily be ten; it means the Americans won’t leave until good and ready, after they’ve done all they intend to do. “Disarming” Iraq, the first job on the American agenda, demands the freedom to go anywhere, speak to anyone, remove or detain any official, suspend payment of any contract, and inspect, copy, or carry off any file. The administration will want to show the world that its fears were not paranoiac, and it will want to know who helped Saddam Hussein pursue weapons of mass destruction, and might do the same for another aspirant.
The paper trail left by decades of effort to build weapons of mass destruction will not be the only target of American cleanup teams. “A key element of US strategy in the global war on terrorism,” Feith told the senators, “is exploiting the information about terrorist networks that the coalition acquires through our military and law enforcement actions.” He is referring to the “information” collected by Iraqi intelligence services; in other words, the files. The biggest intelligence bonanzas come at the end of wars, when the very people who compiled the files hand over the keys and explain where everything is. Police states are notorious for the obsessive keeping of files, and dictators with dreams of world power want to know everything about everybody. Saddam Hussein’s secret police have been collecting information on political movements, terrorist groups, arms dealers, rich bankers and businessmen, and rival leaders since he came to power in 1968. This trove of secret information about the dark underside of Arab and Islamic politics will not be an incidental benefit of an American military occupation lasting two years or more, but will be one of the first targets of occupation forces.
Controlling Iraq will require a major military presence and support structure—that is, a base. The New York Times has recently reported that the government of Saudi Arabia soon intends to ask American forces to leave the kingdom, but what Riyadh takes away a defeated Baghdad can be expected to give—something like the base at Guan- tánamo, for example, leased from Cuba at the end of the Spanish-American War. A permanent base would make it clear to other governments in the neighborhood—Iran’s in particular—that American demands for an end to WMD programs or support for terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Hamas were backed by military muscle next door, planted for the long haul.
A look at a map will suggest what we might expect after the American defeat and occupation of Iraq. Across a 730-mile border to the east is Iran, with twice as many people, three times the territory, and a twenty-five-year history of conflict with Washington. President Bush placed Iran in the “axis of evil” a year ago, and his administration has vigorously protested its support of terrorist organizations and its effort to build atomic weapons—a program much bigger and closer to success than Iraq’s. The United States has no diplomatic relations with Iran, but the two sides have secretly discussed the coming war. Iran promises to stand aside of the fighting and to cooperate in the handling of refugees, but there mutual understanding comes to an end.
Over the last decade the United States has pushed hard to stop sales of military hardware and technology to Iran by Russia, China, and North Korea. In the 1990s it twice managed to buy up fissionable material in former republics of the Soviet Union to keep it out of Iranian hands, but despite such efforts the CIA estimates that Iran may be able to build a bomb by the end of the decade. It is Iran’s desire for a bomb, combined with its support for Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations, that puts it on the President’s list of problem nations. How the Islamic world might respond to American occupation of Iraq, followed by a renewed crisis over American demands of Iran, can be found in Dilip Hiro’s War Without End, a history, first published a dozen years ago and now extensively revised, of the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and its growing use of terrorism—the one a response to Western secular culture, and the other to rage and humiliation over repeated defeats by American and Israeli armies.
Hiro was born in India but has long resided in London, where he has written more than twenty books about the Middle East and South Asia over the last thirty years. In another recent book, Iraq: In the Eye of the Storm, Hiro provides a history of the unfolding American conflict with Iraq until the moment last fall when the Security Council of the United Nations passed a new resolution calling for renewed inspections. War Without End describes the broader social, political, and religious context of the struggle that is likely to follow the defeat and occupation of Iraq. Hiro piles up in careful detail a history of developments as they unfolded, and thereby gradually builds a portrait of time, people, places, and the logic of events. He begins with the Sunni–Shiite split at the heart of Islam, describes the rise of modern Islamic activism in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Afghanistan, and concludes with a long account of the way Islamic anger shifted its focus onto the United States, and of the initially puzzled and faltering American response.
Hiro believes that Islamic terrorism was born at the moment when Egypt’s Anwar Sadat abandoned the common Arab position of support for the Palestinians and made a separate peace with Israel. “A quarter century after the treaty,” he writes, “peace between the two neighbors remained cold and had not trickled down even to the level of academics and intellectuals.” It is the continuing American refusal, whether in Pakistan, Cairo, or Gaza, to recognize the connection between politics and terror, between grievance and the violence it provokes, Hiro believes, that sets the United States “on an inexorable course of war without end.”
The question now is whether an American war to achieve its ambitious goals in Iraq will be only the first in a series of wars. As always the best indicator is what officials actually say. Over the last year Iran has been infrequently mentioned by administration officials, but always in terms of hostility and suspicion. In a speech to the American-Iranian Council last March Zalmay Khalilzad charged Iran with continued support of terrorist groups like Hamas, Palestine Islamic Jihad, and especially Hezbollah, which had been caught red-handed using Iranian funds to finance a shipload of arms to Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization. “Hard-line, unaccountable elements of the Iranian regime facilitated the movement of al-Qaeda terrorists escaping from Afghanistan,” he said:
Iran is also aggressively pursuing weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons, and the missiles to deliver them…. Considering Iranian militant support to terrorist organizations, what check is there that Iran would not transfer even some of its WMD technology to terrorists?
In August, speaking to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Khalilzad repeated these charges in even stronger terms. He reminded his listeners that “there are still unresolved issues” about Iran’s responsibility for Americans killed in the bombing of the Khobar Towers, a military barracks in Saudi Arabia, and he said the regime’s pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and its “continuing support for terrorists is a threatening mix.” This is the specter that haunts Washington—terrorists with weapons of mass destruction. In his State of the Union Address President Bush called it “the gravest danger facing America and the world,” and he again singled out Iran as a “a government that represses its people, pursues weapons of mass destruction and supports terror.”
In testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on February 11, the CIA’s chief, George Tenet, said, “We see disturbing signs that Al Qaeda has established a presence in both Iran and Iraq…. Iran remains a serious concern because of its across-the-board pursuit of WMD and Missile capabilities,” because Iran is developing ballistic missiles which might reach the US mainland by 2015, and because of “Iran’s support for terrorism”—all charges of the kind made against Iraq as justification for war. Argument over these contentious issues will soon take place while American and Iranian armies face each other across hundreds of miles of border in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The American plan to stay for at least two years would bring us up to March 2005, a few months after the next presidential election. We might expect the inevitable tensions over American demands to be rising toward crisis just about then.
What is most remarkable about this unfolding crisis is the degree to which it has been driven by theory—general ideas about things that might or could happen. The United States and Britain never found any connection between Iraq and the attacks of September 11, and recent claims that Baghdad may be conspiring with terrorists in al-Qaeda are tenuous and weakly supported by evidence. Three months of UN inspections have found no proof of ongoing Iraqi programs to create biological, chemical, or nuclear weapons, and it is obvious that the United States, despite its conviction that Saddam Hussein must have something underway, is unable to tell inspectors where to look next. And yet, instead of supporting continuing and expanded inspections to resolve these uncertainties, the Bush administration is planning war to end even the possibility of terror weapons in al-Qaeda’s hands, and it is planning to remove by force at least one and possibly two legal governments in order to end state support of terrorist organizations, and it is hoping to transform the political landscape of the Middle East by introducing democracy of a kind friendly to the West. The goals themselves are of an accepted and familiar kind; it is the willingness to go to war to achieve them that is unusual.
The theory has many authors, but one of them, we are told by Dana Priest in The Mission, appears to be Donald Rumsfeld. He arrived at the Pentagon with plans to build an anti-ballistic missile system (still very much in the works) and to transform the military—get rid of the old-think about big armies with thundering tread, and replace it with new-think about high-tech weaponry, information warfare, speed, agility. But he wasn’t simply planning to buy new stuff; he wanted a new way to think about America in the world after the cold war, when American military power was supreme.
To help Rumsfeld along in his thinking, Priest writes, his office sponsored a study of the histories of great empires—a word Washington officials were beginning to use. These stories all have sad endings but it wasn’t the fall of empires that engaged Rumsfeld; it was how empires kept themselves in power. The language of this study is abstract in the extreme and filled with current military jargon. “Symmetric” and “asymmetric” are key words. To me a passage from the study helps to explain the mood in the White House that places its hope in war:
Military doctrine and forces are created in the image of the economies that spawn them; military forces, although multi-purpose by nature, are formed around a core of threats that they are designed to defeat; asymmetric confrontations have historically generated decision outcomes, whereas symmetric confrontations tend to be exhaustive.
An example of an exhaustive symmetric confrontation would be the First World War, where vast but nearly equal armies fought until one collapsed. Examples of asymmetric confrontations would be the British army against the Zulus in South Africa, or the American army against the Sioux Indians in the Dakotas. A “decision outcome” means that something is settled once and for all, which is what Rumsfeld and his commander in chief, George Bush, hope to do with the threat that terrorists will be provided with weapons of mass destruction by rogue states. The overwhelming military power of the United States is what makes a contest with weak armies like Iraq’s asymmetric, and what allows a decision outcome. But a war to overthrow Saddam Hussein won’t by itself provide a “decision outcome” in the present case, because there are two rogue states with programs to build nuclear weapons in the Middle East. The theory says that both have to go, and if President Bush can be taken at his word, he thinks the same thing. To me the implication seems clear: Iraq first, Iran next.
February 26, 2003
March 27, 2003