In the end, the Bush administration's decision to limit the contract bidding is important since it signifies the further erosion of current norms of world order and international law. In fact, the war began in much the same manner: foreign countries such as France and Russia that already had contracts in Iraq were told by the Bush administration that their contracts wouldn't be honored by the new U.S.-controlled Iraqi government unless these countries supported a United Nations Security Council resolution authorizing a U.S. invasion.
This establishes a dangerous precedent: if a state is powerful enough, it can invade another, install a puppet government -- whether interim or permanent -- and then decide that country's economic future and structure. Indeed, Wolfowitz admitted as much, asserting, "Limited competition for prime contracts will encourage the expansion of international cooperation in Iraq and in future efforts."
Wolfowitz's statements not only acted as an attempt to dangle an economic carrot in front of the world's eyes, but also foreshadowed possible U.S. interventions in the future that would be undertaken using similar methods, without the involvement of the United Nations or other international bodies.
Best New Blog finalist - 2003 Koufax Awards
A non-violent, counter-dominant, left-liberal, possibly charismatic, quasi anarcho-libertarian Quaker's take on politics, volleyball, and other esoterica.
Lo alecha ha-m'lacha ligmor, v'lo atah ben chorin l'hibateyl mimenah.