Gaffney To Congress: Gulf War Inevitable, Better Now Than Later

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In testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday on the Persian Gulf crisis, Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., the Center’s director, advised Congress that war with Iraq was merely a matter of time and that it would be far preferable to use force at once to doing so later.

The following points were among the highlights of Gaffney’s testimony:

  • "The argument over whether economic sanctions against Iraq have been given enough time to work is completely beside the point. It would be like a team of doctors arguing over whether a program of treating a patient afflicted with cancer with nothing stronger than aspirin would be effective if permitted to continue for six-months or a year. In all likelihood, while the medics were debating, the patient would die — probably without even feeling significant symptomatic relief, to say nothing of obtaining a cure."

  • "Because the sanctions program against Iraq is designed to deal with a symptom of the current problem in the Persian Gulf — not its root cause — there is, in my view, virtually no chance that sanctions will actually produce the needed results, no matter how long we attempt to maintain the international consensus needed to impose and enforce them."

  • "I define the needed results as being nothing less than the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq and the neutralizing of his power projection capabilities. Anything short of this outcome will, I believe, simply postpone the day of reckoning, not prevent it."

  • "I submit that the liberation of Kuwait under circumstances that preserved Saddam’s capacity for…future aggression — his massive military force, his weapons of mass destruction, his ballistic missiles and the despotic political control of Iraq which gives him a free hand to make use of these assets — would simply ensure that war, when it comes, will be far more costly and devastating than it would be at present."

  • "Regrettably, virtually every U.S. military action entails some cost in terms of American lives and casualties. These losses are terrible to contemplate. I simply fear that the losses we might experience down the road are very likely to be far larger than the losses incurred in terminating Iraq’s aggressive capabilities now."


The full text of Gaffney’s testimony is attached.

Center for Security Policy

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