Brent Scowcroft warned that if the United States went into Iraq, it would turn the Middle East into a caldron.
Scowcroft conceded that Saddam might well be a despot and untrustworthy, but he noted that it wasn’t because of terrorism that the Iraqi leader was a problem. He predicted that if the United States went in, it would turn the Middle East into a “cauldron.” Given the United States’ priorities and the costs and benefits of any invasion, he warned that an attack on Iraq would be “premature” and “counterproductive” in the absence of genuine progress on the Israeli-Palestinian issue and without the establishment of a UN inspection regime that could review Iraq’s chemical and biological weapons systems. Saddam Hussein was “not a man who will risk everything on the roll of a dice,” consistent with the fact that “during the Gulf War, he didn’t do everything he could have done,” Scowcroft noted, such as planting chemical weapons in New York or releasing nerve gas.” Later that Sunday, the CBS Evening News showed clips of the interview, and a story in Monday’s London Times repeated Scowcroft’s arguments.
National Security Advisor Rice did not insist that the president consider the “potential consequences of his actions.”Brent Scowcroft
Brent Scowcroft and the call for national security – The Strategist: Brent Scowcroft and the Call of National Security