In a memo written on March 7, 2003, Defense Department official Joseph Collings said Central Command’s Deputy Commander, Lieutenant General John Abidzaid, “appeared to be more concerned than Washington about how the U.S.-led effort [in Iraq] would unfold. ‘We are an antibody in their society,’ Abizaid said in the closed-door meeting [of a U.S. postwar planning delegation to the Persian Gulf states]. ‘The key thing is to internalize the problem. We really need the U.N. stamp of approval. It would be crazy to keep the U.S. government in charge for too long.’ ”

 – Michael R. Gordon and Bernard E. Trainor, Cobra II, Page 187