"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 and February 2003, the U.S. military buildup in the Persian Gulf continued, and analysts speculated that mid-March seemed the most likely time for U.S. forces to launch a war. President Bush, other top U.S. officials, and British Prime Minister Tony Blair have repeatedly indicated that Iraq has little time left to offer full cooperation with U.N. weapons inspectors. However, leaders of France, Germany, Russia, and China, are urging that the inspections process be allowed more time. The Administration asserts that Iraq is in defiance of 17 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 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/