1,084. 1/26/1998

“On January 26, 1998, a Washington, D.C. think tank called the Project for the New American Century published an open letter to President [Bill] Clinton signed by eighteen individuals, mostly former U.S. national security officials, declaring that the ‘current American policy toward Iraq is not succeeding.’ Observing that ‘ *containment* of Saddam Hussein has been steadily eroding over the past several months,’ the signers said that the United States could no longer rely on its Gulf War coalition ‘to continue to uphold the sanctions or to punish Saddam when he blocks or evades UN inspections.’ They warned: ‘Our ability to ensure that Saddam Hussein is not producing weapons of mass destruction, therefore, has substantially diminished. Even if full inspections were eventually to resume, which now seems highly unlikely, experience has shown that it is difficult if not impossible to monitor Iraq’s chemical and biological weapons production….[I]n the not-too-distant future we will be unable to determine with any reasonable level of confidence whether Iraq does or does not possess such weapons…The only acceptable strategy is one that eliminates the possibility that Iraq will be able to use or threaten to use weapons of mass destruction.”

 – Douglas Feith, War and Decision, Pages 195

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