Auditing ArroganceIssue: Summer 2004
Three months before the start of the American operation in Iraq I visited the United States, where I met with Vice President Dick Cheney and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice. Our conversations were difficult. When I commented that the action in Iraq would lead to serious losses--and not simply during the military operations--the vice president smiled dismissively and said that I was exaggerating the danger. I posed the question as to whether the United States had thought through the Iraq operation "one step ahead" to Condoleezza, with whom I have met several times before, and she answered: "Yevgeny, don't worry. The political decision about the start of the operation hasn't been made yet...."
At any rate, I received a firm impression that in Washington nobody gave much thought to the problems that might arise after Saddam's regime was defeated. And events have confirmed this conclusion.