Allusion to nuclear weapons

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Mon Sep 23 17:11:02 MDT 2002

(I've read the following item at least 10 times today and I still can't
get past the sentence "Rumsfeld's allusion was to nuclear weapons, which
would be needed to blow up deeply buried bunkers." This is a reference
to nuclear weapons used by the *USA*, not Iraq. Have I misread this
apocalyptic declaration? I hope so.)

Experts Analyze Iraq Attack Options

Filed at 2:56 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- No matter what war plan President Bush chooses, if he
decides to attack Iraq, the assault is almost certain to start from above.

Strikes from U.S. warplanes and Tomahawk cruise missiles would aim first
to destroy Iraq's relatively sophisticated air defenses, war strategists
believe. The strikes would focus not on the surface-to-air missile
batteries and anti-aircraft guns themselves but on the radar and
communication networks that tie them together.

``You don't have to break every piece of an air defense system,'' said
retired Gen. Merrill McPeak, who commanded the Air Force during the
Persian Gulf War.

The U.S. goal would be to own the skies; to be able to bomb Iraqi sites
and provide air support to ground forces with impunity.

The airstrikes would be aimed at isolating or killing President Saddam
Hussein and other Iraqi leaders and damaging Saddam's elite Republican
Guard units and the internal security mechanism around him. Rumsfeld
said during the weekend that U.S. military action would focus on Saddam,
not Iraq's infrastructure.

Initial airstrikes also would try to destroy Saddam's nuclear, chemical
and biological weapons facilities and his long-range missiles, targets
on which the United States has intelligence but are easy to hide.

Thus, many experts agree that removing Saddam and getting rid of Iraq's
banned weapons programs almost certainly would require ground troops,
possibly entering Iraq as early as days after bombing started.

``You're not going to be able to deal from the air with weapons of mass
destruction,'' Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told lawmakers last
week. ``It would take deep penetrators and would require capabilities
that would have some effects that would not be nice.''

Rumsfeld's allusion was to nuclear weapons, which would be needed to
blow up deeply buried bunkers.



Louis Proyect

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