Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Samuel Berger ; Excerpts from a Monitor Breakfast on US Security

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Samuel Berger ; Excerpts from a Monitor Breakfast on US Security

Article excerpt

Samuel Berger is chairman of Stonebridge International.

Mr. Berger served as assistant to the president for national security affairs during President Bill Clinton's second term, and deputy national security advisor during Mr. Clinton's first term.

Before his time at the White House, Mr. Berger practiced law at Hogan & Hartson, where he headed the firm's international group. Prior to that he was deputy director of the State Department's policy planning staff.

Mr. Berger is a graduate of Cornell University and Harvard Law School.

On the meaning of the UN vote to lift sanctions on Iraq:

"Primarily I think [Security Council members] wanted to avoid another confrontation with the United States. I am not sure they are thrilled with the resolution but I think they made a fundamental decision that, number one, it is hard to argue against lifting sanctions, it is counter intuitive. Number two, there really is not too much to gain at this point from a knock-down, drag-out fight with the United States..."

On the US role in postwar Iraq:

"There is a trade-off here as we move forward in Iraq between control on the one hand and sustainability on the other hand. We have chosen control. We now own Iraq, we and the British. We are the occupying powers. ...

"I hope we will move as quickly as we can to internationalize that effort more, to 'Iraqi - ize' it as quickly as we can. There is clearly, given the last six weeks, there is a need for restoring law and order, for a firm hand. But we now are the address for every Iraqi whose expectations for a better a life are not fulfilled quickly enough.

"We are the address for whatever goes wrong in Iraq and I think that we need to move now as we seek to restore law and order, we need to move to share responsibility, share the burden, and share the risks."

On the outlook for peace in the Middle East:

"I think this is an extraordinarily important time and one that we ought not to let slip away. A lot of things come together. We come off of victory in Iraq which certainly gives us enhanced authority in the region. The Palestinian Authority has selected a Prime Minister, Abu Mazen, who is a moderate. He is in a struggle with [Yasser] Arafat, with Hamas, but if he does not succeed we will not see moderate Palestinian leadership for a very long time.

"...I think both sides are exhausted by the last 2 1/2 years.... So out of that exhaustion there is a moment of opportunity. This is only going to move forward with leadership from the United States and it is only going to more forward with leadership from the president. And I think we need to seize this opportunity, this moment to push the process forward."

On the impact of the war in Iraq on Al Qaeda:

"The fact is we have disrupted Al Qaeda, and driven it out of its principal sanctuary in Afghanistan. …

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