3,713. 8/14/2002

"In mid-August [14] 2002, top Bush administration officials drafted a top secret document for the president to sign, laying out the goal of the [Iraq] war. Blandly titled 'Iraq: Goals, Objectives and Strategy,' the document outlined the broad goals for a military operation. It asserted that a free Iraq would eliminate the threat of WMD, the means of delivering the weapons, and prevent Saddam from breaking out of containment. The broader goals of the operation were to eliminate the Iraqi threat to its neighbors, liberate the Iraqi people from tyranny, and prevent Baghdad from supporting terrorists. The United States, the document boldly noted, would help the Iraqis 'build a society based on moderation, pluralism and democracy.' The military campaign, the document noted, would be designed to minimize the chance of a WMD attack against the U.S., its forces, and friends. The U.S. would take steps to deter Iran and Syria from helping Iraq, and also would minimize the disruption of the international oil market. The U.S. would use 'all instruments of national power' to free Iraq, working with a coalition if possible and acting alone if necessary."

 – Cobra II, Michael R. Gordon and Bernard E. Trainor, 8/14/2002

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