Thursday, October 10, 2002

Q Can I just ask a question about coalition building? There was a sense a few weeks ago that the U.S. was willing to act against Iraq. Then in the last few days we've seen that there would be no way that the U.S. would act unilaterally because it had an ally in the U.K. And now today you say that it would have a large coalition. Who else is there that's going to be part of this large coalition if it doesn't go the U.N. route?

MR. FLEISCHER: Well, I think that I'll let various nations speak for themselves. There was a description earlier of the types of things that people are hearing that other nations around the world may engage in as part of a military coalition. But I think it's fair to say that it would not be small, a coalition, that -- a coalition of the willing to protect freedom. And the United States, the United Kingdom and others have been working to talk to other nations about this. Again, we hope that this will be done because the United Nations will act. But there's no assurance. And so to assure the peace, the President has said that if the U.N. fails to act, we will work with our coalition.

Q You can't give us any more sense of who these others are?

MR. FLEISCHER: I think it's only proper to let other nations speak for themselves. It's not the role of the American spokesman to do that for other countries.