The New York Times reports: "The Pentagon has barred French, German and Russian companies from competing for $18.6 billion in contracts for the reconstruction of Iraq, saying the step ’is necessary for the protection of the essential security interests of the United States.’
The directive, which was issued by the deputy defense secretary, Paul D. Wolfowitz, represents perhaps the most substantive retaliation to date by the Bush administration against American allies who opposed its decision to go to war in Iraq." This seems perfectly reasonable. Although given that former Secretary of State James Baker has become the President’s personal
envoy to the countries that Iraq owes, it seems to me to be possible to cut some deals--connecting debt forgiveness with reconstruction contracts--in the not-to distant future. This is just the sort of thing Baker knows how to do.