A prominent Republican in the U.S. Senate says the Bush administration should seek a new United Nations resolution on Iraq. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard Lugar says a U.N. resolution would promote greater international backing for reconstruction and peacekeeping efforts.
Senator Lugar said a new resolution would convince more countries to get involved in Iraq. "We really do need help from other countries. It is regrettable that some countries still believe that this is our mission entirely. And the U.N. legitimacy, and reaching out to these other countries, is of the essence, not only in the short term, but in the intermediate term," he said.
During a televised interview, the Indiana Republican called on the Bush administration to draw up a five-year funding plan for Iraq that takes into account contributions from other nations.
Senator Lugar told NBC's Meet the Press that the war is not yet over and needs to be won. "We need a budget for five years that indicates our resolve. That is money for Iraq. It could come from other countries," he said. "We must be vigorous in trying to get that and a U.N. resolution to give us more legitimacy, but at the same time recognize we are going to have an obligation. It is a war that is underway still."
Also appearing on Meet the Press was former Senator Sam Nunn, a Democrat who once chaired the Armed Services Committee and worked with Mr. Lugar on key foreign policy issues. He joined the call for a new U.N. resolution. "That will open up all sorts of resources. But most importantly, it will allow us to have commercial contracts," he said. "There has got to be a contracting authority with legitimacy to get the oil contracts and the infrastructure-building that really needs to go on."
White House officials have said recently that they are willing to discuss a new U.N. resolution on Iraq with those who feel it might be necessary. But they also make clear they think the existing Security Council resolution is sufficient.