WASHINGTON, Aug. 13 — The Bush administration has abandoned the idea of giving the United Nations more of a role in the occupation of Iraq as sought by France, India and other countries as a condition for their participation in peacekeeping there, administration officials said today.
Instead, the officials said, the United States would widen its effort to enlist other countries to assist the occupation forces in Iraq, which are dominated by the 139,000 United States troops there.
In addition to American forces in Iraq, there are 21,000 troops representing 18 countries. At present, 11,000 of that number are from Britain. The United States plans to seek larger numbers to help, especially with relief supplies that are coming from another dozen countries.
(N.Y. TImes daily update)
Administration officials said that in spite of the difficult security situation in Iraq, there was a consensus in the administration that it would be better to work with these countries than to involve the United Nations or countries that opposed the war and are now eager to exercise influence in a postwar Iraq.
“The administration is not willing to confront going to the Security Council and saying, ‘We really need to make Iraq an international operation,’ ” said an administration official. “You can make a case that it would be better to do that, but right now the situation in Iraq is not that dire.”
The administration’s position could complicate its hopes of bringing a large number of American troops home in short order.
*Yes this is a difficult decision, but without strong evidence to the contrary I have to agree with the CinC’s decision. The UN is the reason our troops deployment was delayed into the heat of the summer, the sandstorms and six-months of Sadam burrying everything from money to airplanes in the desert, not to mention AQ and all the others scurrying around solidifying their own preparations.