Seven Point Plan for Iraq Reconstruction

By Howard Dean
April 9, 2003

We knew from the outset we could win this war without much help from others. But we cannot win the peace by continuing to go it alone. Our goal should be what the Administration has promised-an Iraq that is stable, self-sufficient, whole and free. Our strategy to achieve that goal should be based on a partnership with three sides-U.S., international and Iraqi-and a program that begins with seven basic points.

Those points are:
A NATO-led coalition should maintain order and guarantee disarmament.
Civilian authority in Iraq should be transferred to an international body approved by the U.N. Security Council.
The U.N.'s Oil for Food program should be transformed into an Oil for Recovery program, to pay part of the costs of reconstruction and transition.
The U.S. should convene an international donor's conference to help finance the financial burden of paying for Iraq's recovery.
Women should participate in every aspect of the decision-making process.
A means should be established to prosecute crimes committed against the Iraqi people by individuals associated with Saddam Hussein's regime.
A democratic transition will take between 18 to 24 months, although troops should expect to be in Iraq for a longer period.
We must hold the Administration to its promises before the war, and create a world after the war that is safer, more democratic, and more united in winning the larger struggle against terrorism and the forces that breed it.

That is, after all, now much more than a national security objective. It is a declaration of national purpose, written in the blood of our troops, and of the innocent on all sides who have perished.
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