In Search of an Iraq Policy

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BAGHDAD: The bombing has stopped, and Saddam Hussein remains. Everyone, from the Pentagon on down, knew that’s how it would come out. So, to paraphrase Bill Clinton’s words on that other war, what do we do now? France, which was against the U.S.-U.K. military strikes but decided not to say so, just wants everything back the way it was. “We need a new UNSCOM,” said French foreign minister Hubert Védrine in a radio interview Monday. “We are seeking a policy that looks toward tomorrow and the day after.”

Special Report But UNSCOM-style inspections do not lie in that direction. “The bombings were probably the end of on-the-ground inspections,” says TIME U.N. correspondent William Dowell. “Saddam isn’t likely to let them back in now, and even if he did, there’s no expectation that they’d be allowed to do their job any more than before.” At this point, there is only one policy: the threat of further bombs, based on whatever intelligence Washington can get from half a world away. According to Pentagon chief Bill Cohen’s post-bombing assessment, the U.S. has about a year to come up with something else.