I'm including an email that my Geopolitics in the Post-Cold War World professor sent out this evening. Kind of interesting, though I can't say much for credibility, etc. Never the less, worth a read, and not entirely unbelievable. :
Stratfor is offering a special discount to existing subscribers
to access the newly launched www.us-iraqwar.com, containing
authoritative analysis on the world's latest geopolitical and
military developments of the pending U.S.-Iraq war.
Use this special code - WD-729 - and pay just $34.00; that's 30%
off the retail price of $49.95. (This offer does not apply to
corporate and multi-user subscriptions.)
Sources: Iraq Agrees To Full Compliance With Inspectors
Former Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov, reputed to be a
personal friend of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, made a
lightning visit to Baghdad on Feb. 23. The purpose and results of
the meeting are shrouded in secrecy, apart from a statement by
Moscow that Hussein was asked -- and agreed -- to cooperate fully
with U.N. weapons inspectors.
Reliable Stratfor sources within the Russian government say
Hussein indeed has promised to cooperate with the inspectors'
demands -- including that Baghdad scrap its al Samoud 2 missile
program by March 1, an announcement that sources expect to be
forthcoming within days.
The importance of the meeting stretches much further, however.
Sources say the Iraqi leader has agreed to a proposal by Russian
President Vladimir Putin -- previously discussed between Russian,
French and German leaders -- that Baghdad formally invite U.N.
peacekeepers within the next 10 days or so to back up weapons
inspectors. This, sources say, would show the world that Iraq
will be unconditionally disarmed under strict and fully
enforceable U.N. deadlines, with peacekeepers staying on in Iraq
until the task is complete.
Sources also say that Hussein has asked Putin to deliver a secret
offer to U.S. and British energy giants, inviting them back to
Iraq as major industry players roughly 30 years after they were
ousted from the country. The companies could return to Iraq
immediately if Washington calls off its planned invasion.
On Feb. 24, Vladimir Voloshin -- the head of Russia's
presidential administration -- left Moscow for Washington,
where he is likely to deliver that message to President George
W. Bush. The choice of Voloshin as a diplomatic envoy is highly
unusual, because he focuses on managing Russia's internal
affairs and has never been dispatched in this way before.
Voloshin also will brief U.S. leaders on other aspects of the
discussion between Primakov and Hussein. The ultimate goal of
this visit is to persuade the Bush administration that Iraq will
be disarmed to such a point that it not only will be unable to
threaten U.S. and Israeli forces for years to come, but would be
unable to resist a U.S. invasion if Washington deems it necessary
to attack Iraq in the future. If Washington is at least partly
receptive to this message and to Hussein's promises, a second
meeting between Primakov and Hussein likely will result.
If intelligence from Stratfor sources is correct, the Bush
administration could save face by claiming that Iraq's true
disarmament was reached only through U.S. military pressure.
Putin already has called British Prime Minister Tony Blair and
French President Jacques Chirac to convey details of the Primakov
meeting. Sources say Chirac was enthusiastic about the proposal,
and that Blair has also reacted favorably. But the fate of the
proposal rests with Washington.
The Bush administration's reaction at this point is far from
clear. The proposal would not achieve Washington's two main goals
in Iraq: regime change and a new base for U.S. forces in the
Middle East. However, as the costs of war continue to pile up,
the Russian proposal could be considered a face-saving exit for
The ultimate decision likely will come down to Bush
administration advisers -- including former U.S. President George
H.W. Bush -- who will weigh the risks involved for the current
president's re-election plans and the U.S. geopolitical stance as
a whole. At this point, we believe the Bush administration will
reject Hussein's overtures and Putin's proposal. But there will
be more to the story: Last minute-attempts to block or promote
the war will continue within the U.N. Security Council and
possibly involving a second trip by Primakov to Baghdad.
Would be kind of clever - inviting peacekeepers in - I think. They'd be one big giant wall against the US. Of course, we'd veto it, though Britain might support it. Or, like the article suggests, maybe that's our exit strategy. Anyway, let's wait and see if something comes of this.
Chips Jr and I said months ago, before 1441 came into being, that the best solution diplomatically speaking would be to send Inspectors backed by a mutilateral force. You would have to make sure you set up the Rules of Engagement heavily in your favour of course. The beauty of this strategy would be the fact that if a military breach occured you would have instant full backing of the Security Council (possibly abstention from China as ever but not a veto) to go for an all out war. This kind of thing would also have been able to use the smaller amount of troops already stationed out there, whilst simultaneously organising the logistics for the backup military should it all happen to 'kick off'. In fact, you could even have written into it something like a deal whereby if weapons were actually found he exhiled himself, and he refused it meant war. You couldn't lose with that strategy. Box him into a corner where all roads lead to him losing power but the perception there is still a chance of him staying exists. Go for that line and everyone would have been carried along with it, no millions marching around the world, nothing. Everyone's a winner, except Saddam Hussein.