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The new Downing Street documents
Text format transcriptions of the PDF files coming
Document Person / Dpt Title Key point(s)
The Iraq options paper Overseas and Defense Secretariat, Cabinet Office


Iraq: Options Paper
March 8, 2002





"Continue to make clear (without overtly espousing regime change) our view that Iraq would be better off without Saddam. We could trail the rosy future for Iraq without him in a 'Contract with the Iraqi people' [...]"
Building an Iraq legal case Legal advisors of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Iraq: Legal Background
March 8, 2002
"In the UK's view a violation of Iraq's obligations which undermines the basis of the cease-fire [...] can revive the authorization to use force [...]. The US [...] maintains that the assessment of breach is for individual member States. We are not aware of any other State which supports this view."
Condi pledged regime change in 2002 David Manning, Blair foreign policy advisor Letter to the Prime Minister on dinner with Condoleezza Rice
March 14, 2002

"I said that you would not budge in your support for regime change but you had to manage a press, a Parliament and a public opinion [...]"

"Condi [Rice]'s enthusiasm for regime change is undimmed."

"Bush has yet to find the answers to the big questions: [...] what happens on the morning after?"

British ambassador: 'The need to wrongfoot Saddam on the inspectors'

Christopher Meyer, UK ambassador to the U.S. Note on Sunday lunch with Paul Wolfowitz, to David Manning

"We backed regime change, but the plan had to be clever and failure was not an option. It would be a tough sell for us domestically, and probably tougher elsewhere in Europe."

"…As the conversation developed, it became clear that Wolfowitz was far more pro-INC than not. He said that [Chalabi] had a good record in bringing high-grade defectors out of Iraq. The CIA stubbornly refused to recognize this. They unreasonably denigrated the INC because of their fixation with Chalabi."

Brits knew Iraq WMD program stalled Peter Ricketts, Blair political advisor Letter to Jack Straw
March 22, 2002
"For Iraq, "regime change" does not stack up. It sounds like a grudge between Bush and Saddam. Much better, as you have suggested, to make the objective ending the threat to the international community from Iraqi WMD [...]."
Foreign Secretary indicates Britain knew Iraq case weak Jack Straw, British Foreign Secretary Letter to the Prime Minister
March 25, 2002
"We have also to answer the big question - what will this action achieve? There seems to be a larger hole in this than on anything. Most of the assessments from the US have assumed regime change as a means of eliminating Iraq's WMD threat. But none has satisfactorily answered how that regime change is to be secured, and how there can be any certainty that the replacement regime will be better."

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