War on Iraq 'historic blunder' by US : Samore

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{image-Gary Samore_23112008.jpg news.oneindia.in}Washington, Nov 23: Eminent American Expert on International Relations and Diplomacy Gary Samore, who has held important posts under various Presidents from Ronald Regan to George Bush, thinks that waging war on Iraq was a ''historic blunder'' committed by the United States.

''Mr Bush undertook a very costly expedition without realising it,'' said Mr Samore, who is also Director of Studies and Maurice R Greenberg Chair, Council of Foreign Relations. According to Samore, the US has landed itself in a situation in Iraq where it has to reconstruct from the beginning. In fact, the Bush administration had not realised that the war would end so early, and the US would be saddled with the responsibility of reconstruction of the devastated country, he added. As the situation stood, it would be very difficult for the US to make an early exit from Iraq, said Mr Samore who had come here to participate in the HT Leadership Summit that came to a close yesterday.

The US expert also felt that current US engagements in Pakistan to ward off the terror threat from across the border would also continue as there was no alternative to helping the country proactively in fighting Taliban and Al-Qaeda backed forces based in Afghanistan.

Besides, the US will have to give a package to Pakistan to sustain its economy in view of the global financial crisis, he said.

Replying to a question, he said that under the coming Obama administration in the US, pressure might increase on India to ratify the CTBT.

''If Mr Obama suceeds in getting the treaty ratified by the country's legislature, China will also follow the suit, and then India will be under increased international pressure to sign the treaty,'' the US expert said.

He felt that Mr Obama would go in more for strong bilateral relationships and he might have more bargaining power in the West Asia because of the crashing oil prices due to global economic slowdown.

In his opinion, China and Russia might be more inclined to suppport the US stand on the nuclear programme of Iran under the Obama administration than they were under the Bush administration.

Mr Samore is also a former senior director for Non-proliferation and Export controls at the National Security Council and editor of three International Institute for Strategic Studies "dossiers" on weapons programs in Iraq, North Korea, and Iran. He has also been vice president for Global Security and Sustainability, and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation. He was Special Assistant to the President. Non-proliferation and export controls, National Security Council. He has also authored a number of books on nuclear proliferation.


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