.contact us |.about us
News > International News ... ...
White House: Don't expect help in Iraq
( 2003-09-11 16:42) (Agencies)

Just days after the United States began pushing for a new U.N. resolution authorizing a multinational military force for Iraq, senior administration officials are seeking to lower expectations that large offers of foreign troops will be forthcoming.

"The expectation is that we would not get a large additional number of forces as a result of an additional U.N. resolution," Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Wednesday during a question-and-answer session following a speech at the National Press Club.

Secretary of State Colin Powell made a similar remark at a closed-door briefing for Senate members later Wednesday, according to a Senate aide who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The aide said Powell told lawmakers the world community is suffering from "donor's fatigue" ! an apparent reference to the fact that the United States has made repeated requests for financial aid and peacekeeping commitments in Afghanistan  and the Balkans in recent years.

The administration wants more international troops not only because the U.S. military is hard pressed to sustain a large occupation force on its own, but also because American commanders believe it would help to have more troops from Muslim countries like Turkey and Pakistan.

Powell also said a revived Iraqi economy would have to generate most of the money for Iraqi reconstruction. The only foreign contributions considered solid so far are $300 million from Canada and several hundred million dollars from European countries, he said ! well below the amounts needed.

Said Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla.: "I think they were realistic to say that it was going to be slow coming," he said, referring to financial contributions.

In cautioning not to expect "a large additional number" of foreign troops, Rumsfeld mentioned no numbers. But he and other administration officials have said for weeks that they want at least one additional multinational division ! in the range of 10,000 to 15,000 soldiers ! to be placed under U.S. command.

One such division, led by Poland and including forces from a variety of European and Central American nations, already is in Iraq. It is replacing the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.

The Pentagon is counting on getting at least one other multinational division into Iraq by next spring to replace the 101st Airborne Division, which will have been there a year by then. U.S. forces are stretched thin with major commitments in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere.

A Rumsfeld spokesman, Bryan Whitman, said in an interview that Rumsfeld still believes the administration will succeed in attracting an additional international division.

In remarks to reporters at the White House on Wednesday, Bush said he was sending Powell on a global tour to solicit contributions toward stabilizing and rebuilding Iraq.

"The secretary of state will be going around the world urging people to make serious contributions, and I will, once again, make that plea," Bush said. "We expect and hope that our friends contribute to the reconstruction of Iraq. It is in your interest that you do so."

The next step in the Bush administration's efforts to win passage of a new U.N. resolution will be a meeting this weekend in Geneva of foreign ministers of the five permanent members of the Security Council ! the United States, Britain, China, France and Russia.

France and Russia have proposed amendments to the draft U.S. resolution that would give the United Nations a more direct say in when and how the Iraqis regain their sovereignty.

In his remarks at the press club, Rumsfeld said international contributions of troops and money is welcome, but the main focus is on getting Iraqis more involved in providing their own security and building both an economic and political foundation for sovereignty.

"Our goal is not to create a dependency in Iraq by flooding it with Americans," he said. "Our goal is to get a still broader international face on it and then a considerably greater Iraqi face on it as they contribute more and more to their own political future and their own economic future."

Asked whether he believed Bush's announced plan to ask Congress for an additional $87 billion, mostly for postwar Iraq, would fully cover the costs of occupation, Rumsfeld replied, "I'm not in the budget business."

Bush told reporters the money is "worth it."

"It's important to spend that money," Bush said after he met with the prime minister of Kuwait, Sheik Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah. "It's in our national interest that we spend it. A free and peaceful Iraq will save this country money in the long term. It's important to get it done now."

  Today's Top News   Top International News
+US$1.3b to tackle loopholes on health
( 2003-09-11)
+9/11 attack praised on new Bin Laden tape
( 2003-09-11)
+Beijing plans second int'l airport
( 2003-09-11)
+Foreign debt jumps, but 'poses no threat'
( 2003-09-11)
+Commentary: Pentagon's distorted view of China
( 2003-09-11)
+Singapore labs investigated in mystery SARS case
( 2003-09-11)
+White House: Don't expect help in Iraq
( 2003-09-11)
+Israel mulls fresh strikes, expulsion of Arafat
( 2003-09-11)
+Hitler's propaganda filmmaker dies at 101
( 2003-09-11)
+US to honour Sept 11 victims amid warnings of new attacks
( 2003-09-11)
  Go to Another Section  
  Article Tools  
  Related Articles  

+2 GIs hurt; Forces raid Saddam loyalists

+Allies slow on Bush call for Iraq funds

+US troops arrest four in Iraq raid

+Bush seeks $87 billion for Iraq reconstruction

+Talks underway on Iraq resolution; changes expected

+UN reaction to US Iraq proposal varies

+France, Germany reject US draft on Iraq

+Polish-led force to oversee part of Iraq

+US repels attack, seizes bomb suspects in Tikrit

        .contact us |.about us
  Copyright By chinadaily.com.cn. All rights reserved