Paul Bremer, current proconsul of Iraq, gave an interview with the Washington Post, in which he makes the following snide(editorializing at work) remark:
“What exactly is it that happens on the ground that makes things better if the U.N. is in charge of reconstruction?” Bremer said. “How does the situation on the ground get better?”
What happens? I’ll let this quote from the New Republic sum it up:
A new, robust Security Council resolution would provide political cover for potential troop donors, especially India, Turkey, and possibly Pakistan. But this would necessarily involve a bigger role for the U.N. in the political process. The last thing the Secretariat wants is for the U.N. to be used as an overgrown NGO, or worse, as a scapegoat–and a target for bombings like last week’s–should things go wrong.
In a nutshell, other reluctant countries would be willing to send troops and funding in to Iraq. Political cover would suddenly exist to de-Americanize the conflict, a potential positive, sweetening the pot with plenty of blame to be spread around should things continue to deteriorate. And, in fact, given the increased participation of many organizations that have had experience in similar matters in the past, the situation would be far more likely to improve, and sooner rather than later. The holiding back of an international effort for reconstruction is silly, especially given that, as Bremer himself said, Iraq will need “several tens of billions” of dollars from abroad in the next year to rebuild its rickety infrastructure and revive its moribund economy.