Ambassador Richard Butler outlined the dangers the United States or its coalition face if it attacks Iraq without the proper authorization of the United Nations Security Council.

“I have anxiety about it,” Butler told a packed room of IWCE attendees.

Those dangers include damage to the world economy, unrest in the Arab world that could lead to wider wars and increased terrorism, as well as a loss of good will toward the United States from many nations, including those who have been long time allies.

On the surface the current resolution before the U.N. Security Council may be simple, stating that Saddam Hussein’s regime has not complied with the conditions to disarm itself of weapons of mass destruction. Many nations, including several on the Security council have come to see it more as a question about the post Cold War relationships when the world has a single super power – the United States.

France Germany, Russia and China are resisting because “for them that is not what this issue is all about,” he said.

Butler is a former Australian ambassador to the United Nations and the former executive director of the Security Council’s inspection team for disarmament of Iraq.