The Gulf Trip Wires to War

What would it take for the U.S. to attack Iraq, and how would Bush square the decision with the U.N. and Congress?

With an impish smile, Claiborne Pell, Democratic Senator from Rhode Island and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, waved a newspaper clipping at Secretary of State James Baker last week. It reported that Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze had told his country's parliament he would seek its prior approval for any military involvement in the Persian Gulf. "Can you make the same promise?" asked Pell. "We will continue to consult," replied Baker. But he added, "What I cannot do is make a general, across-the-board commitment."

On the eve of its departure from Washington for a two-month adjournment, Congress was looking...

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