"On November 8, 2002, the United Nations Security Council, acting at U.S. urging, adopted Resolution 1441, giving Iraq a final opportunity to "comply with its the disarmament obligations" or "face serious consequences." During January 2003, the U.S. military buildup in the Persian Gulf continued, amid reports that U.S. forces would be ready to launch a war by mid-February or early March. President Bush, other top U.S. officials, and British Prime Minister Tony Blair have indicated that Iraq has little time left to offer full cooperation with U.N. weapons inspectors. However, the inspectors themselves, with leaders of France, Germany, and other countries, are urging that the inspections process be allowed more time. The Administration asserts that Iraq is in defiance of 16 Security Council resolutions requiring that it fully declare and eliminate its weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Skeptics, including many foreign critics, maintain that the Administration is exaggerating the Iraqi WMD threat. [...] This CRS [Congressional Research Service] report summarizes the current situation and U.S. policy with respect to the confrontation with Iraq, and reviews a number of war-related issues.
CRS Report for Congress, RL31715
United States. Dept. of State. Bureau of Public Affairs. Foreign Press Centers: http://fpc.state.gov/