The White House is working on a plan for Iraq if Saddam Hussein is overthrown.
The New York Times reports the plan involves establishing an American-led military government.
Senior administration officials who aren't identified said the plan also calls for war-crime trials for Iraqi leaders and the establishment of an elected civilian government. That process could take months or years.
The officials said American military rule would help to prevent the type of infighting that has erupted in Afghanistan since the Taliban were ousted.
The plan is based on the occupation of Japan following World War Two. The American military commander would assume the same role General Douglas MacArthur filled after Tokyo surrendered in 1945.
A White House spokesman isn't commenting on the plan. The Times said it has not been formally approved.