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U.S. Not a 'Go-it-alone' Nation, Deputy Says

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Oct. 28, 2002 – Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz tried to put some of the fears of American unilateralism to rest, saying, "We are not a go-it-alone country. This is not a go-it-alone president. We value the help we receive from others and depend on it crucially."

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A Tennessee Air National Guardsman of the 118th Air Wing in Nashville, describes maintenance procedures on unit C-130s to Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz (center left). Wolfowitz visited the unit Oct. 28, 2002, as his last stop of the day, which also had included visits with 101st Airborne Division troopers at Fort Campbell, Ky., and an address at an Association of Old Crows meeting in Nashville. Photo by Jim Garamone.

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The deputy told the Association of Old Crows that President Bush has not made a decision on using force against Iraq.

He said the United States would prefer Saddam Hussein willingly give up his weapons of mass destruction. "Our real hope is to finally convince Saddam Hussein that his only hope of survival is a complete change of course and to give up these weapons of mass destruction," Wolfowitz said. "I think the one thing that might bring this message home to him is a unified message from the world community."

The United Nations must make it clear that it is serious about Security Council resolutions being honored. "If he understands that this time finally the world community is serious, it is our best hope of avoiding a conflict," he said.

The secretary said that the Iraqi dictator has learned all the wrong lessons. Saddam Hussein tried to murder former President George H.W. Bush in 1993. "He was surprised he could be caught trying to murder a former president of the United States and get off as lightly as he did," Wolfowitz said.

But generally, the deputy noted, Hussein has learned the lessons of what he can get away with. Since the end of the Persian Gulf War, Saddam Hussein has flaunted the United Nations and broken every Security Council resolution that pertains to Iraq.

Wolfowitz told the group "anyone who has studied (Saddam's) behavior would have to conclude that the only way to get him to fundamentally change is to confront him with a credible use of force."

Saddam Hussein is not going to fundamentally change his regime if the United Nations persists in "passing more toothless resolutions."

Wolfowitz said that if the world is to convince Saddam Hussein to change, the United Nations must demonstrate a clarity of purpose that has been lacking. "We've got to set a new and higher standard," he emphasized. "That is the key issue -- not new and arbitrary timetables and deadlines."

The deputy told the Old Crows that the United States has put together the largest coalition in history. "We couldn't do what we're doing without that kind of cooperation," he said.

He said on the military side, 26 nations are set up in U.S. Central Command's Tampa, Fla., headquarters. "It is also worth saying that if it comes to the use of force in Iraq, it's going to be very important to have countries with us. And we are grateful for the large number of countries that have already begun to indicate that if it comes to it, they will be with us," Wolfowitz said. "Others have indicated that if the U.N. Security Council passes a new resolution, they will be with us. I'm quite sure that if we have to act, we'll have a very substantial coalition."

Further, when Iraq is liberated, he noted, there will be a substantial number of countries that will help rebuild the nation.

The Association of Old Crows is a nonprofit professional organization that promotes electronic defense/information superiority to maintain national security.

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Click photo for screen-resolution imageDeputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz (center left) chats with Tech. Sgt. Mike Owen on an Oct. 28, 2002, visit to the 118th Air Wing of the Tennessee Air National Guard, based at Nashville (Tenn.) International Airport. Wolfowitz was wrapping up a day that had included visits with 101st Airborne Division troopers at Fort Campbell, Ky., and an address at an Association of Old Crows meeting in Nashville. Photo by Jim Garamone.  
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