Chance of Invasion
Today: 67 percent
France and Germany ratchet up their opposition to a U.S.-led war in Iraq, postponing a NATO decision on whether to lend “indirect military assistance” (i.e., to protect Turkey) during such a conflict. Non-permanent members of the Security Council, including Pakistan, are balking, too. Meanwhile, Blair cites a “massive amount of intelligence” showing that military buildup has Iraqi leadership “rattled.” A U.S. military spokesman hesitantly agrees there are “hints” of unrest. Reports indicate that Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations, anxious to avoid a destabilizing war, are angling to oust Saddam via coup or exile, though Saudi and Egyptian spokesmen deny those reports, insisting that change should originate in Iraq. Blix demands that Iraq allow U.N. inspectors to use a U-2 spy plane. Bush, facing diminished American support for invasion, says Iraqi soldiers who use WMDs will face war-crimes charges, and Fleischer promises that Bush will make a full case to the nation before choosing war. Peace spin: With pressure from Blair, Bush, Blix, and his neighbors, Saddam—or his cronies—will crack before war begins. War spin: If they don’t, war will begin.