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thedrifter
03-13-03, 07:05 AM
"The Voice of the Grunt"
03-12-2003

For the Record: Will the UK Fight?



Question to Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld at a Pentagon press briefing, March 11, 2003:



Q: Sir, support for a possible war is shrinking rapidly in Great Britain. Would the two questions. Would the United States go to war without Great Britain? And two, would the role of the British in an initial assault be scaled back?



Rumsfeld: This is a matter that most of the senior officials in the government discuss with the U.K. on a daily or every-other-day basis. And I had a good visit with the Minister of Defense of the U.K. about an hour ago. Their situation is distinctive to their country, and they have a government that deals with a parliament in their way, distinctive way.



And what will ultimately be decided is unclear as to their role; that is to say, their role in the event that a decision is made to use force. There's the second issue of their role in a post-Saddam Hussein reconstruction process or stabilization process, which would be a different matter. And I think until we know what the resolution is, we won't know the answer as to what their role will be and to the extent they're able to participate in the event the President decides to use force, that would obviously be welcomed. To the extent they're not, there are workarounds and they would not be involved, at least in that phase of it.



Q: We would consider going to war without our closest ally, then?



Rumsfeld: That is an issue that the President will be addressing in the days ahead, one would assume.



Statement issued by Rumsfeld four hours later:



I have no doubt of the full support of the United Kingdom for the international community's efforts to disarm Iraq. In my press briefing today, I was simply pointing out that obtaining a second United Nations Security Council Resolution is important to the United Kingdom and that we are working to achieve it.



In the event that a decision to use force is made, we have every reason to believe there will be a significant military contribution from the United Kingdom.


Sempers,

Roger