Regarding a series of meetings with policy officials in the defense ministries of Britain, France, and Germany on September 3-4, 2002, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith wrote: " 'U.S. policy in the war on terrorism is not based on vengeance or retaliation, but…on the requirements of self-defense.' …In explaining our focus on Saddam Hussein, I cited Iraq's general history of aggression, hostility to the United States, pursuit of WMD, and cooperation with terrorist groups. I also stressed that the question of an Iraqi role in 9/11 'is not (repeat: not) of the essence.' I explained: 'The US cannot count on being able to defend against or deter the use of…Iraqi weapons, especially given the danger that they could be provided by Iraq to terrorists who could give Iraq deniability.' Moreover, I said, it 'does not serve the interests of peace and world order for Iraq to use sovereignty as a screen behind which it can develop, unhindered, biological and nuclear weapons.' "
– War and Decision, Douglas Feith, 9/3/2002
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