Tags: Powell: | Military | Action | Possible | Without | U.N.

Powell: Military Action Possible Without U.N.

Wednesday, 26 September 2001 12:00 AM

"At the moment, not withstanding all of the coalition building we have been doing, President Bush retains the authority to take whatever actions he believes are appropriate in terms of needs of self defense of the United States and the American people," Powell said Wednesday.

The issue is particularly sticky as a growing number of countries have quietly pushed for a greater role from the United Nations in any military action against Afghanistan, which is believed to harbor Osama bin Laden, the prime suspect in the Sept. 11 attacks on the New York and Washington.

In those attacks, the FBI says, 19 men, all with Muslim names, commandeered four commercial airliners. Two of them plowed into the World Trade Center, completely destroying the twin towers; a third hit the pentagon, destroying a part of it; the fourth crashed in rural Pennsylvania. More than 6,000 people are missing and feared dead in the attacks.

In many ways, Powell has already taken steps to build international support for U.S. action against the perpetrators of the Sept. 11 terrorist strikes. The European Union, the Organization of American States and the Organization of the Islamic Conference have all passed resolutions condemning the attacks.

The EU pledged to revamp a swath of laws, regulations and procedures to crack down on terrorism. And NATO has prepared to invoke Article V of its charter that states the attack on America was an attack on members of the alliance.

Nonetheless, there is momentum in the international community to take action through the United Nations.

Powell hinted at this in a Wednesday meeting with Irish Foreign Minister Brian Cowan. After the meeting, Powell noted Ireland was to assume the chair of the U.N. Security Council next month. That body passed a resolution on Sept. 12 calling the attack a threat to global stability.

On Sept. 19, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov told reporters after meeting Powell, "We believe that the United Nations shall continue to play a leading role in joining in concerting the efforts, in combining the efforts of the international community in the fight against international terrorism."

But the Russians have stopped short of saying the United Nations should bless any particular U.S. military action.

The Russian perspective is critical considering recent meetings in Moscow and Washington on the prospects of military cooperation on Afghanistan's northern border. Although Russia does not share a border with Afghanistan, three former Soviet states, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, do. Russia has military assets in all three countries.

Copyright 2001 by United Press International.

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At the moment, not withstanding all of the coalition building we have been doing, President Bush retains the authority to take whatever actions he believes are appropriate in terms of needs of self defense of the United States and the American people, Powell said...
Powell:,Military,Action,Possible,Without,U.N.
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2001-00-26
Wednesday, 26 September 2001 12:00 AM
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