520. 3/30/1992

On March 30, 1992, “President George H.W. Bush answered the question as to why we did not go on to Baghdad to take out Saddam Hussein [in 1991]: ‘We certainly had the military capability to go on to Baghdad. But once we had prevailed and had toppled Saddam Hussein’s government, we presumably would have had to stay there and put another government in place. And what would that have been: a Sunni government, a Shia government, or another Baathist regime? How long would U.S. forces have been required to stay in to prop the government up? And how effective could it have been if the government we put in had been perceived as a puppet of the U.S. military? To involve American forces in a civil war inside Iraq would have been a quagmire, because we would have gone in there with no clear-cut military objective. It’s just as important to know when not to use force as it is to know when to use it.’ ”

 – Ricardo S. Sanchez with Donald T. Phillips, Wiser in Battle, Pages 82-83

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