President Bush sent this letter and report to House Speaker Thomas S. Foley (D-Wash.) and Senate President Pro Tem Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) at the opening of hostilities Wednesday against Iraq:

Dear Mr. Speaker (Dear Mr. President:):

Pursuant to section 2(b) of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (H.J. Res. 77, Public Law 102-1), I have concluded that:

1. The United States has used all appropriate diplomatic and other peaceful means to obtain compliance by Iraq with U.N. Security Council resolutions 660, 661, 662, 664, 665, 666, 667, 669, 670, 674, and 678; and

2. That those efforts have not been and would not be successful in obtaining such compliance.

Enclosed is a report that supports my decision.



Report for Use in Connection With Section 2(b) Of the Joint Congressional Resolution Authorizing the Use of Military Force Against Iraq

The report that follows is a summary of diplomatic and other peaceful means used in an attempt to obtain compliance by Iraq with the 12 U.N. Security Council resolutions relating to its invasion and occupation of Kuwait. It is not a definitive rendition of these means, because the administration cannot, of necessity, include at this time all the factual data that would support a complete historical record. This report, therefore, should be considered in light of formal and informal information already provided to the Congress and that which will be provided in the future.

1. Background

For over 5 1/2 months, the international community has sought with unprecedented unity to reverse Iraq's brutal and unprovoked aggression against Kuwait. The United States and the vast majority of governments of the world, working together through the United Nations, have been united both in their determination to compel Iraq's withdrawal from Kuwait and it is their strong preference for doing so through peaceful means. Since Aug. 2, we have sought to build maximum diplomatic and economic pressure against Iraq. Regrettably, Iraq has given no sign whatever that it intends to comply with the will of the international community; nor is there any indication that diplomatic and economic means alone would ever compel Iraq to do so. Instead, Iraq has continued to reject the relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions and refuses to recognize them.

From the beginning of the gulf crisis, the United States has consistently pursued four basic objectives: (1) the immediate, complete, and unconditional Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait; (2) the restoration of the legitimate government of Kuwait; (3) the protection of U.S. citizens abroad; and (4) the security and stability of a region vital to U.S. national security. In pursuit of these objectives, we have sought and obtained action by the U.N. Security Council, resulting in 12 separate resolutions that have been fully consistent with U.S. objectives.

The last of these 12 resolutions, U.N. Security Council Resolution 678 of 29 November 1990, authorizes U.N. Member States to use "all necessary means" to implement Resolution 660 and all subsequent relevant resolutions of the Security Council, and to restore international peace and security in the area, unless Iraq fully implements those resolutions on or before Jan. 15, 1991.

The nearly seven-week "pause of goodwill" established in U.N. Security Council Resolution 678 has now passed. Iraq has taken no steps whatever to fulfill these requirements. Iraq has forcefully stated that it considers the Security Council's resolutions invalid and has no intention of complying with them at any time. Iraqi forces remain in occupation of Kuwait and have been substantially reinforced in recent weeks rather than withdrawn. Iraq has strongly and repeatedly reiterated its annexation of Kuwait and stated its determination that Kuwait will remain permanently a part of Iraq. The Iraqi closure of diplomatic and consular missions in Kuwait has in no way been rescinded.

In short, the government of Iraq remains completely intransigent in rejecting the U.N. Security Council's demands -- despite the exhaustive use by the United States and the United Nations of all appropriate diplomatic, political, and economic measures to persuade or compel Iraq to comply.

This has been a truly international effort. More than two dozen other countries have sent their own military forces to the gulf region, including more than 250,000 troops. They have given or pledged substantial funds and other assistance to us for our operations, including over $8 billion in calendar year 1990 alone. They have taken on the responsibility for assisting those nations that have suffered the most from the effects of international sanctions against Iraq and higher energy prices. As additional costs are incurred during 1991, we will look to our allies to shoulder their fair share of our military expenses and exceptional economic assistance efforts.

2. Diplomatic and Political Actions

The extensive diplomatic and political efforts undertaken by the United States, other countries, regional organizations including the Arab League and the European Community and the United Nations to persuade or compel Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait have not succeeded. The U.N. Security Council and General Assembly have overwhelmingly and repeatedly condemned the Iraqi invasion and demanded Iraq's immediate and unconditional withdrawal from Kuwait. The Security Council has invoked its extraordinary authority under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter, not only to order comprehensive economic sanctions, but to authorize the use of all other means necessary, including the use of force. The Security Council has directed other U.N. organizations (e.g., the International Atomic Energy Agency) to take appropriate actions toward the same end within their areas of competence, and they have done so where relevant.

The president, the secretary of state and other U.S. officials have engaged in an exhaustive process of consultation with other governments and international organizations. . . .

Most recently, on Jan. 9, the secretary of state met at length in Geneva with the Iraqi foreign minister, who in 6 1/2 hours of talks demonstrated no readiness whatever to implement the U.N. Security Council resolutions. The Iraqi foreign minister even refused to receive a diplomatic communication from the president intended for Saddam Hussein. On Jan. 13, the U.N. secretary general was rebuffed by Iraq for a second time, in this case in a direct attempt to persuade Saddam Hussein to withdraw from Kuwait peacefully. Many other heads of state, foreign ministers and private persons have made similar attempts. . . .

These exhaustive efforts have produced not the slightest indication of any intention by Saddam Hussein to meet the demands of the international community for immediate and unconditional withdrawal from Kuwait. For our part, the administration made clear that there could be no reward for aggression lest we undermine prospects for an expanded constructive role for the U.N. Security Council and for a new, more peaceful world order. Attempts to link resolution of Iraq's aggression against Kuwait and other issues were rejected on the grounds that these issues were unrelated to Iraq's aggression and that such efforts would only serve to divert attention from the immediate challenge posed by Iraq.

3. Economic Sanctions

Since Aug. 2, (in the case of the United States) and Aug. 9 (in the case of the Security Council and other U.N. Member States), comprehensive economic sanctions have been imposed on Iraq, with the exception of goods for a very limited category of essential humanitarian purposes. These sanctions have since Aug. 25 been backed by an extensive maritime interception effort involving warships of many states, and since Sept. 25 by rigorous controls on air traffic to and from Iraq. The United States and other countries have engaged in tireless efforts during this period to uncover and defeat attempted evasions of these sanctions around the world, whether by direct attempts to pass through the allied interception cordon or by the use of financial and trade intermediaries.

Our efforts have resulted in a very substantial reduction of the volume of trade to and from Iraq, and significant shortages in Iraq's financial resources. The most serious impact on Iraq thus far has been on the financial sector, where hard currency shortages have led Baghdad to take a variety of unusual steps to conserve or obtain foreign exchange. The sanctions have shut off 97 percent of Iraq's exports and more than 90 percent of its imports and have prevented Baghdad from reaping the proceeds of higher oil prices or its seizure of Kuwaiti oil fields. The departure of foreign workers and the cutoff of imported industrial inputs has caused problems for a variety of industries.

Notwithstanding the substantial economic impact of sanctions to date, and even if sanctions were to continue to be enforced for an additional six to 12 months, economic hardship alone is highly unlikely to compel Saddam to retreat from Kuwait or cause regime-threatening popular discontent in Iraq. Due to a reduction of domestic consumption, cannibalization of Kuwaiti facilities, smuggling, and use of existing stockpiles, the most vital Iraqi industries do not appear to be threatened. The prices of foodstuffs for the Iraqi population {have} sharply increased and rations have been reduced, but there is still access to sufficient staple foods, and new supplies are being injected from the fall harvest and smuggling.

While we might succeed in substantially reducing the overall Iraqi supply of food and other essential consumer commodities, Saddam Hussein has made clear his willingness to divert such supplies to his military forces, even at the cost of severe deprivation of his civilian population. Even if the international community were prepared to deprive the Iraqi civilian population of food, there is no reason to believe that this would change Saddam Hussein's policies.

The ability of Iraqi armed forces to defend Kuwait and southern Iraq is unlikely to be eroded substantially over the next six to 12 months even if effective sanctions could be maintained. Iraq's infantry and artillery forces probably would not suffer significantly, since Iraq could maintain the relatively simple Soviet-style weaponry of these forces. Low-technology defensive preparations could also be expanded. Iraq's armored and mechanized forces would be degraded somewhat, but Iraq has large stocks of spare parts and other supplies that would ameliorate this effect. Iraqi air forces and air defenses would likely be hit far more severely by continued effective sanctions, but in any case, Iraqi air defense and air forces would play a limited role -- in relation to the ground forces -- with respect to Iraq's ability to hold Kuwait.

In short, while sanctions might degrade to some extent the operational readiness of some portion of the Iraqi armed forces, it is clear that Iraq would still retain very large and powerful land and air forces, as well as substantial capability to replace ammunition and other essential replacement items. Delay would also have important military consequences that might make any eventual military action more costly and increase U.S. and coalition casualties. Iraq has already exploited its 5-month occupation of Kuwait to increase significantly its ability to resist coalition efforts to restore that country's sovereignty and to increase further its already formidable military capability. Iraq has increased the size of its forces in the Kuwait Theater of Operations by 450,000 personnel and has increased the overall size of its armed forces by mobilizing many thousands of combat veterans and reservists. Additional time has already permitted the Iraqis to extend and reinforce their fortifications along the Saudi border; more time would only make these defenses more formidable. Delay also would give the Iraqis more time to further develop, produce and weaponize weapons of mass destruction, thus making any eventual conflict more destructive and strengthening Iraq's ability to coerce other nations with the threat of mass destruction. Delay may also degrade the readiness of coalition forces.

In short, international sanctions have not caused Iraq to comply with the Jan. 15, 1991, deadline in U.N. Security Council Resolution 678, or to retreat from its insistence that its annexation of Kuwait is permanent. Even if the world community were able to maintain the current high level of success in sanctions enforcement, these economic results would not produce such compliance.

Further, the longer the sanctions continue, the more likely it is that leaks in the sanctions enforcement system will develop, that intermediaries will devise ways to circumvent sanctions, and that Iraq will find means of using its own resources to fill critical shortfalls. Even more important, if the coalition fails now to carry through on the U.N. Security Council's demands for immediate Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait, there will be strong pressures and temptations on various countries to ease their enforcement of sanctions and to compromise on demands that Iraq meet existing objectives fully and unconditionally.

In summary, diplomatic and economic pressures have not diminished Iraq's intransigence despite 5 1/2 months of unparalleled international effort, and continued reliance upon them alone could risk achieving the basic objective of bringing about Iraq's complete and unconditional withdrawal from Kuwait.