Thursday, March 20, 2003
Military Objectives - 20th March 2003, 18.35

The government has announced their military objectives:

In aiming to achieve this objective as swiftly as possible, every effort will be made to minimise civilian casualties and damage to essential economic infrastructure, and to minimise and address adverse humanitarian consequences. The main tasks of the coalition are to:

a. overcome the resistance of Iraqi security forces;

b. deny the Iraqi regime the use of weapons of mass destruction now and in the future;

c. remove the Iraqi regime, given its clear and unyielding refusal to comply with the UN Security Council's demands;

d. identify and secure the sites where weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery are located;

e. secure essential economic infrastructure, including for utilities and transport, from sabotage and wilful destruction by Iraq; and

f. deter wider conflict both inside Iraq and in the region.

Military action will be conducted in conformity with international law, including the UN Charter and international humanitarian law.

6. Our wider political objectives in support of the military campaign are to:

a. demonstrate to the Iraqi people that our quarrel is not with them and that their security and well-being is our concern;

b. work with the United Nations to lift sanctions affecting the supply of humanitarian and reconstruction goods, and to enable Iraq's own resources, including oil, to be available to meet the needs of the Iraqi people;

c. sustain the widest possible international and regional coalition in support of military action;

d. preserve wider regional security, including by maintaining the territorial integrity of Iraq and mitigating the humanitarian and other consequences of conflict for Iraq's neighbours;

e. help create conditions for a future, stable and law-abiding government of Iraq; and

f. further our policy of eliminating terrorism as a force in international affairs.

7. In the wake of hostilities, the immediate military priorities for the coalition are to:

a. provide for the security of friendly forces;

b. contribute to the creation of a secure environment so that normal life can be restored;

c. work in support of humanitarian organisations to mitigate the consequences of hostilities and, in the absence of such civilian humanitarian capacity, provide relief where it is needed;

d. work with UNMOVIC/IAEA to rid Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery;

e. facilitate remedial action where environmental damage has occurred;

f. enable the reconstruction and recommissioning of essential infrastructure for the political and economic development of Iraq, and the immediate benefit of the Iraqi people; and

g. lay plans for the reform of Iraq's security forces.

They also state that British troops will leave as soon as it is "practicable". Translate as God knows when!


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