Officials of the Bush Administration believe military action against Iraq may be necessary to eliminate threats posed by the Iraqi regime to the U.S. and international communities. In October 2002, Congress passed a joint resolution (H.J.Res. 114) giving the President authority to use force if necessary to eliminate threats posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Some Members of Congress, commentators, and analysts question the Administration's rationale for military action or favor delaying it to allow U.N. weapons inspectors more time to complete their findings in Iraq. This report summarizes arguments advanced by the Administration and by critics of the Administration's position. It will be updated as the situation continues to develop. For further reading, see CRS Report RL31339, Iraq: U.S. Efforts to Change the Regime, by Kenneth Katzman. Also, CRS Report RL31756, Iraq: The Debate Over U.S. Policy, by Richard P. Cronin, provides further background on the policy debate through February 2003.
CRS Report for Congress, RS21325