Still Pissed Off About the Hawley-Smoot Tariff

Friday, July 30, 2004

NATO Approves Iraq Force

Not much in the way of details in the story, but it represents a positive step forward for multilateralism in Iraq.

Money quote:

"The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said an agreement was reached but did not explain how it resolved a dispute between France and the United States over command and control."

So here's the run-down. America gets together with a bunch of military allies and says, "We should all work on training Iraqi military forces so they can be self-sustaining." France says "only if we can be in charge of all your troops."


One supreme irony of the whole "multilateralism" argument against the Iraq invasion was that even if the UN had sent forces into Iraq, the citizenship composition of the coalition would not have been significantly different. When the UN invades, it's the US plus some other countries invading. When the UN conducts a peace-keeping operation, it's the US plus some other countries conducting a peace-keeping operation. That's not me being arrogant, that's me being aware of what constitutes a "UN presence." But France insists on being in charge of the largely US troops. Why? Because they're France. Very persuasive reasoning.