Downing Street Memo
From : The Times of London, May 1, 2005

 A document containing meeting minutes transcribed during the British Prime Minister's meeting on July 23, 2002


 From: Matthew Rycroft
 Date: 23 July 2002
 S 195 /02

cc: Defence Secretary, Foreign Secretary, Attorney-General, Sir Richard Wilson, John Scarlett, Francis Richards,
 CDS, C, Jonathan Powell, Sally Morgan, Alastair Campbell


 Copy addressees and you met the Prime Minister on 23 July to discuss Iraq.

 This record is extremely sensitive. No further copies should be made. It should be shown only to those with a
 genuine need to know its contents.

 John Scarlett summarised the intelligence and latest JIC assessment. Saddam's regime was tough and based on
 extreme fear. The only way to overthrow it was likely to be by massive military action. Saddam was worried and
 expected an attack, probably by air and land, but he was not convinced that it would be immediate or
 overwhelming. His regime expected their neighbours to line up with the US. Saddam knew that regular army
 morale was poor. Real support for Saddam among the public was probably narrowly based.

 C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now
 seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of
 terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience
 with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion
 in Washington of the aftermath after military action.

 CDS said that military planners would brief CENTCOM on 1-2 August, Rumsfeld on 3 August and Bush on 4

 The two broad US options were:

 (a) Generated Start. A slow build-up of 250,000 US troops, a short (72 hour) air campaign, then a move up to
 Baghdad from the south. Lead time of 90 days (30 days preparation plus 60 days deployment to Kuwait).

 (b) Running Start. Use forces already in theatre (3 x 6,000), continuous air campaign, initiated by an Iraqi casus
 belli. Total lead time of 60 days with the air campaign beginning even earlier. A hazardous option.

 The US saw the UK (and Kuwait) as essential, with basing in Diego Garcia and Cyprus critical for either option.
 Turkey and other Gulf states were also important, but less vital. The three main options for UK involvement

 (i) Basing in Diego Garcia and Cyprus, plus three SF squadrons.

 (ii) As above, with maritime and air assets in addition.

 (iii) As above, plus a land contribution of up to 40,000, perhaps with a discrete role in Northern Iraq entering
 from Turkey, tying down two Iraqi divisions.

 The Defence Secretary said that the US had already begun 'spikes of activity' to put pressure on the regime.
 No decisions had been taken, but he thought the most likely timing in US minds for military action to begin was
 January, with the timeline beginning 30 days before the US Congressional elections.

 The Foreign Secretary said he would discuss this with Colin Powell this week. It seemed clear that Bush had
 made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam
 was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran. We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force.

 The Attorney-General said that the desire for regime change was not a legal base for military action. There
 were three possible legal bases: self-defence, humanitarian intervention, or UNSC authorisation. The first and
 second could not be the base in this case. Relying on UNSCR 1205 of three years ago would be difficult. The
 situation might of course change.

 The Prime Minister said that it would make a big difference politically and legally if Saddam refused to allow in
 the UN inspectors. Regime change and WMD were linked in the sense that it was the regime that was producing
 the WMD. There were different strategies for dealing with Libya and Iran. If the political context were right,
 people would support regime change. The two key issues were whether the military plan worked and whether
 we had the political strategy to give the military plan the space to work.

 On the first, CDS said that we did not know yet if the US battleplan was workable. The military were continuing
 to ask lots of questions.

 For instance, what were the consequences, if Saddam used WMD on day one, or if Baghdad did not collapse
 and urban warfighting began? You said that Saddam could also use his WMD on Kuwait. Or on Israel, added the Defence Secretary.

 The Foreign Secretary thought the US would not go ahead with a military plan unless convinced that it was a
 winning strategy. On this, US and UK interests converged. But on the political strategy, there could be US/UK
 differences. Despite US resistance, we should explore discreetly the ultimatum. Saddam would continue to play
 hard-ball with the UN.

 John Scarlett assessed that Saddam would allow the inspectors back in only when he thought the threat of
 military action was real.

 The Defence Secretary said that if the Prime Minister wanted UK military involvement, he would need to decide
 this early. He cautioned that many in the US did not think it worth going down the ultimatum route. It would be
 important for the Prime Minister to set out the political context to Bush.


 (a) We should work on the assumption that the UK would take part in any military action. But we needed a fuller picture of US planning before we could take any firm decisions. CDS should tell the US military that we were considering a range of options.

 (b) The Prime Minister would revert on the question of whether funds could be spent in preparation for this

 (c) CDS would send the Prime Minister full details of the proposed military campaign and possible UK
 contributions by the end of the week.

 (d) The Foreign Secretary would send the Prime Minister the background on the UN inspectors, and discreetly
 work up the ultimatum to Saddam.

 He would also send the Prime Minister advice on the positions of countries in the region especially Turkey, and
 of the key EU member states.

 (e) John Scarlett would send the Prime Minister a full intelligence update.

 (f) We must not ignore the legal issues: the Attorney-General would consider legal advice with FCO/MOD legal

 (I have written separately to commission this follow-up work.)

(Rycroft was a Downing Street foreign policy aide)
Source Page :

If you have any doubt about the false claims of the Bush Master and his team of Vlcans, as they called themsElves,
read the book, The Rise of the Vulcans, and you will know the Downing Street Memo is hardly the first proof of the
crimes of the Bush Master II and his 'Team of Vulcans.'

by :
James Mann
Author of, About Face
Publisher : Viking / Penguin Group, NY
Published : 2004
ISBN # : 0670032999
Includes Index
United States - Foreign Relations 2001-
United States - Military Policy
United States - Politics and Government - 2001 -
Bush, George W. ( George Walker ) 1946 -
Friends and associates of George Bush
Cabinet Officers - United States - Biography
Presidents - United States - Staff - Biography
Political Consultants - United States - Biography
E902.M345 2004

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