From an article by Robert W. Tucker in the Dec. 10 issue of The New Republic:
The administration must choose today between the loss of prestige that will follow abandonment of its present course and the hazards, above all domestic, of war. It is a cruel choice, but barring Hussein's sudden, unexpected capitulation, it is an inescapable choice. With every passing day the president has increasingly committed the nation to the course of war, the principal result of which may well be to circumscribe severely the American role in the world for years to come. There is nothing that justifies, let alone compels, the taking of such a great risk. Time is not working against us. It is Hussein who is being deprived of the income that constitutes the sole source of his means of maintaining a military establishment. And since that deprivation is the result of American naval power, it can be maintained as long as we need to maintain it.
It may be, of course, that economic sanctions cannot achieve the objectives the administration has set forth. But sanctions combined with military forces whose mission is the protection of Saudi Arabia are capable of preserving America's vital interests in the Gulf. These interests -- the prevention of Iraq's domination of the region, along with continued access to the Gulf's oil at reasonable prices -- can be achieved without forcing the Iraqis to vacate Kuwait. As long as the export embargo is maintained, our vital interests can be realized even if Iraq stays in Kuwait indefinitely. There remains the threat posed by Iraq's efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction: an entirely legitimate concern, it is one that in any scenario can best be answered by the United States extending a nuclear umbrella to Iraq's neighbors.