UNITED NATIONS -- The Security Council voted unanimously Friday to expand the United Nations' presence in Iraq to help tackle political, economic and humanitarian problems that have eluded the U.S., British and Iraqi governments.
The resolution directs the United Nations to help reconcile rival factions and to mediate territorial disputes, such as in the northern Kurdish territory where there is a pending referendum on the future of oil-rich Kirkuk. The U.N. mission also should promote talks with Iraq's neighbors on border security and refugee issues, and rally international support for rebuilding the country, the resolution says.
This may not necessarily help Iraqis a great deal, given the U.N.'s spotty track record. However, it might help silence critics (Democrats and anti-war activists) given the U.N.'s expanded role and greater responsibilities.
It is difficult to continue arguing for a withdrawal, and to declare defeat in a country when the United Nations has decided to commit more manpower and resources.