Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright urged President Bush on Monday not to attack Iraq immediately, saying current pressure is forcing Baghdad to disarm.
Albright, speaking at a conference on women in politics, said the buildup of military force in the Middle East has led to new inspections and Iraq's decision to dismantle its outlawed Al-Samoud 2 missiles.
"We are actually accomplishing something," said Albright, secretary of State under President Clinton. President Bush "should take credit for the fact they are disarming."
As an alternative to war, she suggested more intrusive inspections and even a threat to destroy any suspected weapons facilities that Baghdad refuses to open to U.N. personnel.
"The momentum seems to be moving in the direction of war," Albright said. "We might get the war over, but we might not get the postwar over."
She said anti-American feelings overseas have risen in response to Bush's Iraq policy.
"There must be some way to do what we wanted without alienating everybody," she said.
Albright said her concern does not reflect any support for Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.