Did Chirac Say ‘Non’? Revisiting UN Diplomacy on Iraq, 2002-03
Political Science Quarterly
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Recchia, S. (2015). Did Chirac Say ‘Non’? Revisiting UN Diplomacy on Iraq, 2002-03. Political Science Quarterly, 130 625-654. https://doi.org/10.1002/polq.12397
This article challenges the conventional wisdom that French President Jacques Chirac’s public veto threat on 10 March 2003 made UN Security Council approval for the Iraq War unattainable. Chirac only threatened to veto the particular draft resolution then on the table, leaving open the possibility of a future French abstention on the use of force in case the UN inspectors determined that Iraq had clearly failed to cooperate. Building on this insight, I develop a counterfactual thought experiment using new evidence from declassified documents and in terviews with senior American, British, and French officials. What emerges from this evidence is that the Bush administration would have stood a good chance of securing UN approval - if it had been willing to postpone the start of military operations by several weeks and endorse a set of demanding benchmarks for Iraqi compliance as proposed by other members of the Security Council. In short, there are strong indications that President Bush failed to secure UN approval primarily because he was unwilling to make even tactical concessions to his international partners.
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/polq.12397
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/248075