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On the Record

Defining the Terms of Victory in Iraq

HOST: Over the past several weeks, US officials have expressed great confidence about what might happen in the event of war with Iraq. This week, General Tommy Franks spoke about his expectations if the US does go to war.

GEN. TOMMY FRANKS: Our troops in the field are trained. They’re ready. They are capable. And if the president of the United States decides to undertake military operations, there is no doubt we will prevail.

HOST: We’re joined now by Ivo Daalder, a senior fellow in foreign policy studies at The Brookings Institution, and retired Major General Robert Scales, former commandant of the Army War College and author of “Certain Victory,” the official Army account of the Gulf War.

Ivo Daalder, let’s start with you. We just heard that piece of tape from General Tommy Franks saying that there’s no doubt the US would prevail in a war against Iraq, but what exactly would have to happen for that to be the case? What constitutes a victory in this conflict?

DAALDER: Well, actually three different things. On the first and most immediate level, the removal of Saddam Hussein and his regime from power. Secondly, it is to secure and then destroy all the weapons of mass destruction that leads Iraq to be the threat that it is today. And third, it is important for Iraq to remain after all of that is accomplished as a stable, secure, independent and hopefully democratic government. So those are the three things we need to accomplish in order to say that we have won.

Listen to the full interview.

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