Blackwill, NSC tapped to take over Iraq from Rumsfeld
Reliable diplomatic sources in New York have told al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper that the Bush administration has decided to reduce the role of the Department of Defense in Iraq and to gradually give that responsibility to the National Security Council and the White House. They said that one outcome of the recent consultations at the White House with Ambassador Paul Bremer was the decision to appoint Robert Blackwill, head of the political section in the National Security Council, as Bremer’s deputy. Blackwill is a former ambassador to India, and is presently in Iraq. He will have the same prerogatives as Bremer does, and will oversee political affairs in Iraq.
UPI had reported on Nov. 11, “The future of the Iraq governing council will be on the agenda of talks that U.S. National Security Council official Robert Blackwell will be conducting with Bremer soon. According to sources in Baghdad Blackwell will visit Iraq to explore the possibility of enlarging the Iraq council, or dissolving it and setting up a new body.“