Iraq war not about new arms evidence: Rumsfeld
Last Updated Wed, 09 Jul 2003 18:40:04
WASHINGTON - The United States didn't declare war on Iraq because of new evidence of banned weapons, U.S. Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld said on Wednesday.
Rumsfeld said the U.S. declared war because it saw existing evidence of Iraqi arms programs in "a dramatic new light" following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Rumsfeld made the comments in an appearance before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee.
On Tuesday, the White House acknowledged that U.S. President George Bush's claim that Iraq tried to buy uranium from Africa was based on forged information.
Though Bush justified the invasion to topple former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein largely by referring to his alleged possession of chemical and biological weapons and possible pursuit of nuclear weapons, such arms have not been found in the 10 weeks since the war ended.
FROM JUNE 3, 2003: Report says no weapons of mass destruction
Congressional committees are evaluating whether the administration may have used faulty or exaggerated intelligence on Iraq's weapons to justify the war.
Rumsfeld also told the committee that talks were under way to increase NATO involvement in Iraq peacekeeping efforts.