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US Policy Against Iran and Iraq

By: Gad Nahshon

The Council of Foreign Relations published a new report, "Differentiated Containment: U.S. Policy Toward Iran and Iraq." Behind the task force report were Zbigniew Brzezinski, Brent Scowcroft, Richard Murphy and 24 members of the study group. The report includes background material such as the U.N.'s Security Council resolutions and every a summary of conference proceedings of the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research which convened (April, 1997) in Abu Dhabi. We learn from this comprehensive report:

  1. "Dual containment" means Iran and Iraq ("globalization" of George Kennan's old concept...). This concept is better than crusading against these two threats to the Gulf stability.

  2. "The Gulf is an integral part of the broader 'new Middle East'. Many links connect the Arab-Israeli peace process with 'purely' Gulf issues." Therefore, the U.S. should also discuss with Israel Gulf issues.

  3. "As for the United States, Saudi Arabia is no longer its primary crude oil supplier. It has been surpassed by Venezuela." By the way, "Gulf oil represents only 8.5 percent of U.S. consumption, but 23 percent of European and 70 percent of Japan..."

  4. Gulf countries must guard against potential domestic destabilized elements, some pro- democracy, and some pro- Muslim fundamentalism. Do kings and princesses have a future in the 21st century?

  5. Iran has mitigated its militant policies because it needs the United States' technology even in the fields of its oil. But the Gulf States are protesting the fact that Iran refuses to liberate three islands in the Gulf area, Abu Musa and Greater and Lesser Tunb.

  6. "... all quantities of special nuclear material - that is highly enriched uranium or plutonium found in Iraq have been removed" (Madeline K. Albright, March 26, 1997). But the Gulf Cooperation Council (March 26, 1997) warned that the "... Iraqi government continues to hide a number of missiles and chemical and biological weapons..."

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