The Magazine

Merci, M. de Villepin

ADVANCE COPY from the February 3, 2003 issue: Why we owe a debt to our friends the French.

Feb 3, 2003, Vol. 8, No. 20 • By ROBERT KAGAN and WILLIAM KRISTOL
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And it isn't even about multilateralism. As Powell points out, and as we and others have pointed out many times, with or without a U.N. Security Council Resolution, the United States will not "go it alone" in Iraq. When the president announces that the United States is going to war, and the attack begins, the United States will have many allies indeed: in addition to the nations already mentioned, Arab states like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and probably others. Australia has already begun sending troops, even though the Australians live thousands of miles away from the zone of crisis.

We would prefer it if France and Germany also joined forces with the United States in common defense of international security. We would prefer it if the U.N. Security Council supported war against Saddam. But most of all we want to see the United States and a coalition of willing partners take the action necessary to defend and preserve international security. The international situation has clarified. The case against Saddam is clear-cut. The Bush administration is, finally, united around the need for military action. Now the president, who has led us to this point, can give the word.

--Robert Kagan and William Kristol

FLASHBACK: In November 2002, Kristol and Kagan warned of The U.N. Trap.