- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Washington, Nov. 9, 1998 (The New York Times) — As the Clinton administration once again considers using force against Iraq, the Pentagon has drafted separate plans for a sharp, swift strike that could begin at any time, and a larger, more punishing assault that would require sending more forces to the region, officials say.

President Clinton met for two hours Sunday with his senior national security aides at the presidential retreat at Camp David, Md., to discuss strategies for responding to the new defiance by Iraq’s president, Saddam Hussein, of the U.N. weapons inspections.

Officials emphasized that Clinton had not yet decided to use force in the latest confrontation with Saddam and that the plans could change.

But with no 11th-hour diplomatic initiative in sight and with frustration over Iraq growing not only within the administration but among allies in Europe and the Persian Gulf, the possibility of a strike has loomed larger than at any point since the showdown last winter with Saddam.

Administration officials also said they had not decided whether to issue an ultimatum before acting. One official said the administration did not foresee a new diplomatic appeal to Iraq, like the one the U.N. secretary-general Kofi Annan made in February to avert a U.S.-led strike.

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