3,434. 3/8/2002

A memo titled ‘Iraq: Options Paper‘ was written by the British government Overseas and Defence Secretariat on March 8, 2002, and leaked to the press in May 2005 as part of the Downing Street Memos. It stated: ” ‘The US administration has lost faith in containment and is now considering regime change [in Iraq]. The end states could either be a Sunni strongman or a representative government. …A legal justification for invasion would be needed. Subject to Law Officers advice, none currently exists. This makes moving quickly to invade legally very difficult. We should therefore consider a staged approach, establishing international support, building up pressure on Saddam, and developing military plans. There is a lead time of about 6 months to a ground offensive.’ ”

 – Philip Taylor, The War in Iraq, Pages 30-31

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