Cheney on Invading Iraq - 9/14/1992





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Published on Sep 27, 2007

Then-SecDef Dick Cheney explaining why *not* to invade Iraq.

But let's assume for the moment that we would have been able to do it — ... Then the question comes [of] putting a government in place of the one you've just gotten rid of; you can't just sort of turn around and walk away — you have now accepted the responsibility for what happens in Iraq. What kind of government do you want us to create in place of the old Saddam Hussein government? Do you want a Sunni government, or a Shi'a government or maybe it ought to be a Kurdish government, or maybe one based on the Ba'ath Party or maybe some combination of all of those? How long is that government likely to survive without U.S. military forces there to keep it propped up?

If you get into the business of committing U.S. forces on the ground in Iraq, to occupy the place, my guess is I'd probably still have people there today instead of having been able to bring them home. ... The bottom line question for me was: How many additional American lives is Saddam Hussein worth? The answer: not very damn many.


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