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Iraq's Disarmament Inevitable, Defense Policymaker Says

By Kathleen T. Rhem
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 27, 2003 – Iraq's disarmament is inevitable, the Defense Department's senior policy writer told an Arab media outlet Jan. 24.

Iraq must disarm "either through cooperation with the U.N., or the United States will lead a coalition of willing countries to bring about the disarmament of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction," Douglas Feith, undersecretary for policy, told Al Jazeera, an Arab television station based in the Persian Gulf nation of Qatar.

Feith reminded that the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved Resolution 1441 to give the Iraqi government a final chance to disarm peacefully. Inspectors were sent into the country to help the government fulfill its obligations to the United Nations.

But Iraq has been intent on hiding the truth about its weapons programs. "There are a number of things the Iraqi government has done in recent weeks that are not cooperative," Feith said.

He cited Iraqi unwillingness to allow its scientists to be interviewed outside Iraq or even inside Iraq without government officials present, and the false declaration Iraq submitted to the United Nations in December. Iraq has also continued to fire on U.S. and coalition aircraft patrolling the Northern and Southern No-fly zones in the country.

"The key to making the inspections work is the Iraqi government making the crucial decision that, because of the international pressure, Iraq has to disarm itself," Feith said. "Otherwise, President Bush has made clear the only alternative Iraq will have is to be disarmed by force."

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