Analysis: U.S. and UN Shift on Iraq
Council on Foreign Relations
August 16, 2007
Author: Greg Bruno
Yet the renewed UN commitment to Iraq signals more than a staffing increase: It is an about-face for the United States, and some worry, a life boat shot through with holes. The United States and its allies went to war without Security Council backing, and some question whether the UN’s legitimacy will be undermined (Gulf News) by the appearance of a bailout. Jeffrey Laurenti, a senior fellow at The Century Foundation, warned weeks before the vote that a UN rescue mission would be doomed, or even targeted by insurgents, without a promise from the United States to draw down troops. Others question how the UN can bolster its mission (Newsday) with a unionized staff that clearly wants out.
The discussion wasn’t even on the table in 2003, when the United States appeared uninterested in UN help. Then last month, almost four years to the day, the Bush administration made its most public appeal for course correction.
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