The Bush administration made it clearer than ever Thursday,
in sketching its vision for a democratically run Iraq, that it sees a decidedly
secondary role for the United Nations in that country when the shooting is over
Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Friday, April 11,
Pentagon Designs Three-phase Process for Governance of Postwar Iraq
The Bush administration made it clearer than ever
Thursday, in sketching its vision for a democratically run Iraq, that it
sees a decidedly secondary role for the United Nations in that country
when the shooting is over.
A three-phase transition process will lead
to eventual self-governance in the postwar period, US Deputy Secretary
of Defense Paul Wolfowitz told lawmakers on Thursday.
Outlining the blueprint to the Senate Armed Services Committee,Wolfowitz
said the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance, led by
retired US Lieutenant-General Jay Garner and under the US Central
Command, will take charge in the first phase after the coalition forces
have taken full control of Iraq.
The office will oversee humanitarian aid to Iraq and restore basic
services in the war-shattered country, but it is not a "provisional
government" for Iraq, Wolfowitz stressed, adding that
"town-hall type assemblies" would be held around the country
to lay the foundation for further transition.
An Iraqi Interim Authority will be established in the second phase. It
will include representatives from all of Iraq's religious and ethnic
groups and will have both legislative and executive powers, said the
But he did not mention how long it would take to form the interim
authority or how long US troops would stay in Iraq.
"The interim authority's most important responsibility will be to
set in motion a process leading to the creation of a new Iraqi
government, for example, by setting up local elections or drafting a new
constitution," Wolfowitz said.
In the final phase, a new Iraqi government will be elected in accordance
with the new constitution drafted by the interim authority and take full
control of the country, he added.
Referring to the role of the United Nations in the postwar
reconstruction of Iraq, Wolfowitz said, "It (the United Nations)
can't be the managing partner. It can't be in charge."
After a two-day summit in Northern Ireland,
US President GeorgeW. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair on
Tuesday issued a joint statement, saying there will be a vital role for
the United Nations in the reconstruction of Iraq.
However, when pressed on what precisely the UN role would be, Bush
mentioned only humanitarian work, "suggesting" people to staff
the interim authority and helping Iraq "progress."
Neither did Bush spell out how much power the United Nations would have,
nor did he elaborate on Washington's plans to place US officials
alongside Iraqis in the interim authority.
In response to the ambiguous US-British statement, France
insisted that the United Nations should play a "central role"
in overseeing the economic and political reconstruction of Iraq.
French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder
will meet with their Russian
counterpart, Vladimir Putin,at St. Petersburg, Russia's second largest
city, on this weekend. The anti-war trio were expected to coordinate
their positions on the postwar reconstruction of Iraq.
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