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An unnecessary war

Saddam Hussein is deemed reckless, ruthless and not fully rational. But his past dealings show him to be eminently deterrable

Should the United States invade Iraq and depose Saddam Hussein? The immediate cause of any war is likely to be Saddam’s failure to comply with UN inspectors to the Bush administration’s satisfaction. But this failure is not the real reason Saddam and the US have been on collision course over the past year.

The deeper root of the conflict is the US view that Saddam must be toppled because he cannot be deterred from using weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Advocates of preventive war use many arguments to make their case, but their trump card is the charge that Saddam’s…

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