Susan Rice

Information about Susan Rice

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Michael E. O'Hanlon and Ivo Daalder, two Brookings colleagues of Rice at the time, said that Rice consistently opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq in the run-up to the war. In 2012, columnist Peter Beinart reviewed a series of NPR interviews with Rice in late 2002 and early 2003 and concluded that Rice's position on war was equivocal; at some points, she expressed skepticism about U. S. military action, while at other points taking a more hawkish view. Beinart wrote that two of Rice's then-Brookings colleagues at the time were both unsure about her position on the war at the time. For example, in November 2002, Rice said, "many people who think that we haven't finished the war against al Qaeda and our ability to do these simultaneously is in doubt. " In a December 2002 NPR interview, Rice said, "It's clear that Iraq poses a major threat. It's clear that its weapons of mass destruction need to be dealt with forcefully, and that's the path we're on. I think the question becomes whether we can keep the diplomatic balls in the air and not drop any, even as we move forward, as we must, on the military side. . . . The George W. Bush administration frankly owes the American public a much fuller and more honest assessment of what the costs will be of the actual conflict, as well as the aftermath, the post-conflict reconstruction. And the costs are going to be huge. " Rice endorsed the long-standing U. S. policy toward Iraq of regime change, but not necessarily through military means; regarding Rice's allusion to military action, O'Hanlon notes that "For the Clinton administration, they were typically airstrikes or cruise missile strikes of limited duration and effect, not invasions. " In a February 2003 NPR interview, Rice said she believed Secretary of State Colin Powell "has proved that Iraq has these weapons and is hiding them, and I don't think many informed people doubted that," but also stated, "there are many who fear that going to war against Iraq may in fact in the short term make us less secure rather than more secure. " In her memoir, Rice wrote, "From the start, I viewed that war of choice as a dangerous diversion from the main objective of defeating al-Qaida globally and in Afghanistan. " :212 In April 2003, after the war began, Rice said, "To maximize our likelihood of success, the US is going to have to remain committed to and focused on reconstruction and rehabilitation of Iraq for many years to come. " Rice said that in the wake of chaos in Iraqi cities in the aftermath of the invasion, the U. S. should act urgently "to fill the security void" and then "transition as quickly as possible these law and order responsibilities to other competent international actors and, of course, ultimately to legitimate Iraqi authorities as quickly as possible. "