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US Could Be Ready for War in Iraq This Year
Yahoo News ^ | 10/10/02 | Charles Aldinger - Reuters

Posted on 10/10/2002 8:23:39 AM PDT by NormsRevenge

US Could Be Ready for War in Iraq This Year
Thu Oct 10,10:33 AM ET

By Charles Aldinger

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military could be prepared for war with Iraq as soon as December even though President Bush (news - web sites) has not decided whether to pull the trigger on Baghdad, according to U.S. officials and analysts.

Photo
Reuters Photo

Experts in and out of government said five U.S. aircraft carriers with 350 warplanes could be off Iraq before year's end if ordered and tens of thousands of troops could be sent much more quickly than the six-months build-up to the 1991 Gulf War (news - web sites).

"We are not now on a war footing," stressed one of the U.S. officials, who asked not to be identified, in interviews with Reuters. "But this isn't 1991. We have tanks, lots of stuff in the region waiting for drivers and shooters."

"If there's a fight, winter would be better," a senior military officer said, referring to major discomfort that U.S. -- and perhaps British and other strike troops -- would suffer if forced to don bulky biological-chemical warfare protective suits in Iraq's summer desert heat.

A contrasting background of cold ground would also help heat-seeking missiles and bombs to find warm targets from anti-aircraft missile emplacements to tanks.

Even as the Bush administration presses the United Nations (news - web sites) and U.S. Congress to give strict disarmament deadlines to Baghdad, the White House and Pentagon (news - web sites) expect that President Saddam Hussein (news - web sites), who Washington accuses of developing chemical, biological and nuclear arms, will trigger a war by eventually halting unfettered U.N. arms inspections.

While the Pentagon is counting on major military help from Britain and other European and Gulf allies, officials said U.S. military preparations had been accelerated since August, including plans to send up to three aircraft carriers from bases in California and Japan if ordered.

POWERFUL PUNCH FROM CARRIERS

They could join the carriers Abraham Lincoln in the Gulf and the George Washington, now in the Mediterranean. Five battle groups would include several dozen cruisers and destroyers armed with long-range cruise missiles.

The carrier jets would join nearly 300 U.S. aircraft already in the region at bases from Turkey to a British airfield on the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.

The U.S. officials confirmed a New York Times report that some elite Special Operations forces have been told to separate temporarily from the military and join up with clandestine CIA (news - web sites) paramilitary units for any early "shadow" campaign against Saddam and his top supporters.

British newspapers have reported that Prime Minister Tony Blair (news - web sites)'s government is ready to offer at least 20,000 troops and dozens of warplanes to the war effort. And the Jerusalem Post reported last week that Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer predicted an American attack on Iraq by late November.

While media reports of U.S. war plans have varied widely from the use of 50,000 to 200,000-plus troops, officials and private experts have said an invasion would lean heavily on air power and not require the massive U.S.-led assault of 500,000 troops used to drive Iraqi forces from Kuwait 11 years ago.

"You could start a reasonably good war in December by getting at least a couple of heavy divisions (about 40,000 troops) into the region," said former Assistant Defense Secretary Larry Korb, now with the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

"You could start bombing them and initially send troops in from the south and see what happened. That could be accelerated, but if the Iraqi military quickly collapses from air strikes, it's going to take about 100,000 troops to hold down the country," Korb added.

FINAL BUILD-UP HARD TO HIDE

He and other analysts stressed that any unscheduled movement of carriers could not be kept secret and would signal a final build-up.

Bush, they said, would also have to use emergency powers to call tens of thousands of part-time U.S. military reserve and National Guard troops to active duty ahead of any action.

There are 60,000 such "weekend warriors" on active duty from a major call-up for the war on terrorism declared after last year's attacks on America. But many more would be needed for tasks from fighting and refueling attack planes to providing intelligence and directing traffic.

The U.S. Central Command, which would oversee fighting in Iraq, openly reported last month that it would move 600 members of its key headquarters staff from Florida to Qatar near Iraq for an exercise in November and was considering making that shift permanent.

Central Command chief Army Gen. Tommy Franks will take part in what is scheduled to be a three-week deployment to modern Al Udeid Air Base near Doha in friendly Qatar for command post exercise "Internal Look."

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has flatly refused to discuss any war plans and denounced detailed media reports on military options being studied by Bush to end Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs and perhaps oust Saddam.

But he suggested to reporters who traveled with him to a NATO (news - web sites) meeting in Warsaw last month that any invasion of Iraq would directly target Baghdad's "dictatorial, repressive" government while attempting to spare the Iraqi people.

The Washington Post reported that massive U.S. air strikes and simultaneous ground attacks could concentrate on "regime targets" such as Saddam's palaces, bodyguards, bunkers and hometown power center of Tikrit.

There are more than 250 U.S. attack jets based in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Turkey and being used to patrol "no-fly" Zones over northern and southern Iraq. The Saudis have indicated that jets based on their territory could not be used for an invasion of Iraq unless it was fully supported by the United Nations.

But a large number of warplanes could be flown out of al Udeid in Qatar, and the United States is discussing with Britain permission to build shelters for bat-wing B-2 stealth bombers on Diego Garcia.



TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Germany; Government; Israel; Politics/Elections; Russia; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: bush; iraq; letsroll; war
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1 posted on 10/10/2002 8:23:40 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge
Oh cmon. "President has not yet decided

He HAS decided to launch war, and within the next few weeks. The American military ramp up that anyone can notice, in addition to 'training' in areas near Gulf, and other call ups, and the Senate and House votes, shows that we are in fact going to war. The worldwide press knows this as well.

2 posted on 10/10/2002 8:49:36 AM PDT by AmericanInTokyo
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The U.S. military could be prepared for war with Iraq as soon as December, according to U.S. officials and analysts. Experts in and out of government said five U.S. aircraft carriers with 350 warplanes could be off Iraq before year's end if ordered and tens of thousands of troops could be sent much more quickly than the six-months build-up to the 1991 Gulf War (<a href='http://rd.yahoo.com/DailyNews/manual/*http://search.news.yahoo.com/search/news?p=%22Gulf%20War%22&c=&n=20&yn=c&c=news&cs=nw'>news</a> - <a href='http://rd.yahoo.com/DailyNews/manual/*http://search.yahoo.com/bin/search?cs=nw&p=Gulf%20War'>web sites</a>). An F-16CJ patrols the Northern No-Fly Zone over Iraq in an undated photo. (Vincent A. Parker/USAF via Reuters)
Thu Oct 10,11:28 AM ET

The U.S. military could be prepared for war with Iraq as soon as December, according to U.S. officials and analysts. Experts in and out of government said five U.S. aircraft carriers with 350 warplanes could be off Iraq before year's end if ordered and tens of thousands of troops could be sent much more quickly than the six-months build-up to the 1991 Gulf War (news - web sites). An F-16CJ patrols the Northern No-Fly Zone over Iraq in an undated photo. (Vincent A. Parker/USAF via Reuters)

3 posted on 10/10/2002 9:11:24 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge
To do this right, I would say the activation of at least 50,000 more reservists would be required. Perhaps more. You're talking a huge reliance on airpower and air mobility. The biggest chunk of pilots and support crews for MAC (and even combat fighters) is reservists.

And if they take in more than a couple divisions (which they should), that number could be as high as 100,000 reservists.

4 posted on 10/10/2002 11:43:06 AM PDT by fogarty
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To: NormsRevenge
United States is discussing with Britain permission to build shelters for bat-wing B-2 stealth bombers on Diego Garcia.

I thought that was a done deal!

5 posted on 10/10/2002 11:56:19 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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Comment #6 Removed by Moderator

To: clodhopper
He doesent need an excuse. It all for oil money, aint that right, shill? He can make his friends rich!! Even a simpleton like yourself can figure that out! Then, afterwards, you can have him impeached!! Yaaay!
7 posted on 10/10/2002 1:57:39 PM PDT by Nonstatist
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To: clodhopper
All he needs now is an excuse to attack. The lies put forward up to now by Bush's admin. wouldn't fool a simpleton!

Excuse? Try breach of 16 UN resolutions, or attempted assassination of G.H.W. Bush.

I know who the simpleton is. He signed up 28 Sep. 2002 on FR.

8 posted on 10/10/2002 2:24:53 PM PDT by truth_seeker
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To: NormsRevenge
It'll be by the end of October. One of two scenarios:

1. UN Resolution passes next week. Iraq spouts defiance. We go in.

2. UN Resolution vetoed by PRC and France. We go in to take down al-Qaida members hiding there, pointing out the findings in the Congressional Resolution.

Either way, the clock's ticking, and it's really a matter of days.
9 posted on 10/10/2002 2:35:36 PM PDT by hchutch
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To: NormsRevenge
"You could start a reasonably good war in December by getting at least a couple of heavy divisions (about 40,000 troops) into the region," said former Assistant Defense Secretary Larry Korb

Stress on "former." It's going to be dangerous even if the enemy sits on their country estates and watches the parade go by. There are tons of chemicals and biologicals that would be hard to deal with and dispose of in the best of times.

10 posted on 10/10/2002 2:43:45 PM PDT by RightWhale
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To: fogarty
The best public guesstimate I've seen is an Oct. 1 Congressional Budget Office letter. They developed two planning assumptions -- Heavy Ground and Heavy Air. The Heavy Air scenario estimates 2 2/3 divisions (2 1/3 Army, 1/3 Marines); 16 air wings (10 Air Force, 5 Navy & 1 Marines); and 5 carrier battle groups, 1 surface action group, and 1 amphib ready group. A total of 253,000 troops in theater (202K active, 51K reserves) -- 93K Army, 63K Navy, 60K Air Force, 25K Marines, 12K Special Ops. Plus the Brits are going to furnish a brigade, a carrier battle group, and 2 RAF combat squadrons -- 21K troops. Personally, that sounds like overkill to me.

What many Americans don't realize is that much of this force is already in theater, including Iraq. We've got a brigade in Kuwait, and a Marine brigade afloat. We've got Army engineers building airfields in northern Iraq to take C-141 & C-130 transports and we've Special Ops people operating in northern and western Iraq with the Turks and Jordanians respectively. We've got enough equipment for a 2nd Army brigade in Kuwait, a second Marine MEB afloat, and a 3rd Army brigade enroute. There are 2 carrier battle groups in theater with their air wings to be joined by 2 others in early December. There are 2 Air Force wings in theater. CENTCOM is moving its operational headquarters to Qatar next week. And the Brits have planned "exercises" that will "coincidentally", bring a carrier battle group, the Desert Rats and SAS/SBS in theater. Yesterday, the Coalition conducted 38 combat sorties against the Iraqis.

There are rumors of Iraqi generals ready to switch sides in northern Iraq at the first shot.

I've read estimates that the force necessary could be in theater a couple weeks after Presidential authorization. command decision.








11 posted on 10/10/2002 4:18:45 PM PDT by Man of the Right
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To: truth_seeker
Try breach of 16 UN resolutions...

So we're going to war for the UN, huh?

...or attempted assassination of G.H.W. Bush

According to Bill Clinton, that is.

12 posted on 10/10/2002 4:41:07 PM PDT by inquest
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To: NormsRevenge
Figure this gets kicked around for another few months in the UN, with more weapons inspections hoopla to kill time, then military action cranks up sometime in the spring of 2003. Anthrax vaccine will be on hand to protect the civilian population by early 2004, so figure that Bush will time things so that Saddam's back is to the wall about six months before the next Presidential election -- and not before.
13 posted on 10/10/2002 4:47:12 PM PDT by The Great Satan
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Comment #14 Removed by Moderator

Comment #15 Removed by Moderator

To: clodhopper
The people of the world are beginning to cry for a regime change

Only they dont vote in the US elections or give money to U.S. candidates since Bill Clinton left office (at least not as often)

So.. who cares what they think? And who cares what you think besides Michael Moore, Barbie Streisand and Noam Chomsky??

16 posted on 10/11/2002 1:54:25 PM PDT by Nonstatist
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To: clodhopper
Bush is in problems.

What planet are you hopping your clods on?

Yesterday the house and senate passed what Bush asked for by better than a 2 to 1 margin. That to you is problems?

Bush continues to enjoy extremely favorable ratings. That to you is problems?

What does Israel have to do with the current agenda, by the UN and by the US for Iraq? Or for you, does Israel ALWAYS pop up as a principle subject?

Noting your signup date 28 Sep. 2002.

17 posted on 10/11/2002 3:09:16 PM PDT by truth_seeker
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To: clodhopper
Well, what WOULD it take to fool you?
18 posted on 10/11/2002 3:14:53 PM PDT by Mr. Lucky
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Comment #19 Removed by Moderator

Comment #20 Removed by Moderator

To: clodhopper
Who Cares what the whole world thinks? And why should we, clod? Europe is not going to wake up until their native populations are the minority and the Islamists have completely raken over. We should do the sam? Just go along to get along and to hell with the Oath the President takes to defend the US?
21 posted on 10/12/2002 6:31:32 AM PDT by Trust but Verify
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Comment #22 Removed by Moderator

Comment #23 Removed by Moderator

To: Man of the Right
When is it officially winter in Iraq?
24 posted on 10/12/2002 6:38:39 AM PDT by demkicker
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To: clodhopper
While I'm not convinced there will be an 'invasion', I am convinced Bush has the guts to go it alone if he is convinced it is in our interests to do so. so many people have underestimated Bush every step of the way. This is just another example.

My guess is that he is going to eliminate every other conceivable option before mounting a so-called 'invasion'. There is a lot more here than meets the eye. In addition to trying to rally the world, there is a lot going on within Iraq and Iran covertly to attempt an overthrow using opposition groups and encouraging the military to revolt. That is why I don't think direct military action on our part is imminent.

25 posted on 10/12/2002 8:10:45 AM PDT by Trust but Verify
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To: inquest
Try breach of 16 UN resolutions...
So we're going to war for the UN, huh?
...or attempted assassination of G.H.W. Bush
According to Bill Clinton, that is.

Umm, in addition, there are also the small matters of shooting at US warplanes;
the desperate race to get a nuclear bomb or two, most likely for DC and Tel Aviv;
the murdering of thousands of Iraqis with chemical weapons;
the invasions of two neighboring nations for economic gain;
and the harboring, support, training, and coordination of terrorists (abu nidal, al-qaeda, hezbollah, etc)...

maybe you've heard of those? They made the news once or twice.

The truth is that the world is far safer without Saddam. We made the mistake of supporting this trained assassin and helping him gain more power and influence a few decades back. Now we're fixing that mistake. We are not going to go after EVERY dictator who kills his own people... but the ones that have been and continue to be a threat to their neighbors, the US, and to massive number of innocent civilians just might get on the list.

26 posted on 10/12/2002 8:14:51 AM PDT by Teacher317
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To: Nonstatist; clodhopper
The people of the world are beginning to cry for a regime change
Only they dont vote in the US elections or give money to U.S. candidates since Bill Clinton left office (at least not as often)

Actually, they DO vote in US elections. House Minoirty Leader Gephardt just offered amnesty to illegals if they vote in sufficient numbers to give the Dems a majority in the House.

Democrat Congressmen are encouraging massive law-breaking (by those who have already broken the law) for their own political benefit. How nice. Clod, you must be SO proud!

27 posted on 10/12/2002 8:20:59 AM PDT by Teacher317
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To: demkicker
Officially, December of course. In reality, Baghdad has a one-month (January)winter. Best campaigning months are February and early March. The fighting season is November-March. The reason of course is that wearing a chemical warfare suit in the Iraqi summer would be fatal. Oprah & Rosy would be size twos after an hour.

Of course, the media didn't remind the American public that to delay the campaign beyond the Winter is to ensure there will be no campaign, at least in 2003. And forever if Saddam can access weapons-grade uranium next year.







28 posted on 10/12/2002 11:03:08 AM PDT by Man of the Right
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Comment #29 Removed by Moderator

To: clodhopper
You will be on your own as well--

I'll be on my own doing what? I'm not going anywhere. I'm in pretty good physical shape but how many 40+ year-old non military women are going to Iraq?

All the things you state are just silly. You haven't learned a thing from the past, have you? What countries say publicly and what they do privately are often two completely different things.

Just keep underestimating Bush and his Administration. If the time comes for a war with Iraq (and, again, I'm not too sure that is going to happen) we will have plenty of support.

30 posted on 10/13/2002 5:19:57 AM PDT by Trust but Verify
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Comment #31 Removed by Moderator

To: clodhopper
Where are you? It might help me understand the perspective you are coming from.
32 posted on 10/13/2002 8:03:04 AM PDT by Trust but Verify
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To: clodhopper
BTW, you don't know GWB very well if you think for a minute he will put the wishes or demands of the UN ahead of his duty to the MAerican people.

Europe is a stinkhole full of appeasers who didn't learn a frickin' thing from the past Century. As far as I'm concerned, they deserve whatever they get.

33 posted on 10/13/2002 8:07:48 AM PDT by Trust but Verify
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Comment #34 Removed by Moderator

Comment #35 Removed by Moderator

To: clodhopper
You are from Britain or nearby. I can tell from your previous posts.

We'll see if you bed-wetting Euroweenies change your tune when your Parliament building takes a car bomb or hijacked plane. Maybe the heads will come out of the sand tehn, but probably not

Your bias toward the UN tells me what a 'simpleton' you are. The UN can't even enforce it's own resolutions, yet it thinks it should tell the US how and when she can defend herself.

As I have said many time, I'm not convinced there will be a war against Iraq. Bush is playing his hand masterfully. Watch and learn.

36 posted on 10/13/2002 8:23:25 AM PDT by Trust but Verify
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To: inquest
Try breach of 16 UN resolutions...

So we're going to war for the UN, huh?

No dufus, the 16 resolutions were passed in an attempt to protect innocents from terrorist murder. Those 16 resolutions have been breached, meaning the innocents aren't being protected... do you recall WTC I, WTC II, or any of the other world-wide terrorist attacks?

Perhaps you're one of the radicals who believe Iraq has nothing to do with terrorisism?

Idiot.

37 posted on 10/13/2002 8:28:16 AM PDT by Principled
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To: Man of the Right
....What many Americans don't realize is that much of this force is already in theater....

This is the correct assessment of the situation. You left out Afganistan. No one much knows what is really there. You also omitted Saudi Arabia. ditto as far as prepositioned equipment.

38 posted on 10/13/2002 8:28:51 AM PDT by bert
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Comment #39 Removed by Moderator

To: clodhopper
They saw no reason to attack Germany in 1938 either. Not a good track record.
40 posted on 10/13/2002 8:34:41 AM PDT by SoCal Pubbie
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To: Trust but Verify
.....Where are you?....

In a corner sulking and trying despertately to remove the blood stains of Vietnam dead from his hands and the constant stench of guilt for urging the war to be lost.

41 posted on 10/13/2002 8:35:48 AM PDT by bert
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To: clodhopper
In otherwards be held hostage to a vague presumption, you fool.

We will feign a posture of indecision and confusion, then strke Hussein and decapitate the regime. No way we will allow the UN to go on in this charade which has weakened this country of our for way too long. ALL BLUFFS WILL BE CALLED. I will be on this board when we are victorious, and you are not (on this board)

42 posted on 10/13/2002 8:39:03 AM PDT by Helms
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To: clodhopper
No,you don't get it newbie.Go back to Du where the uninformed and the unwilling cower in the shadows.Look at what has happened in Bali the last 24 hours and then tell us radical islam doesn't need to be addressed.I don't know where you live but,if islam is left unchecked than jihad is coming to a location near you also.There goal is to consume the world,by there own teachings.Grow up,open your eyes and join the fight.
43 posted on 10/13/2002 8:45:13 AM PDT by eastforker
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To: clodhopper
You are just like the lefties in this country. NO plan of your own except to attack those with a plan. Funny how Blair seemed quite popular as long as he was appeasing the enemy within and without. Now that he has taken up with a strong American President, rather than the weak, pathetic one of the 90's, you are against him. Simpleton.

Britain is a breeding ground for Islamists. All of Europe is for that matter. Go ahead, see if you can appease them out of their fanatical views. Try to 'understand' their grievances. If we could all just get along! Ha!

44 posted on 10/13/2002 8:46:41 AM PDT by Trust but Verify
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To: Trust but Verify
BTW, great screen name. Describes you to a T.
45 posted on 10/13/2002 8:47:24 AM PDT by Trust but Verify
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To: bert
Yeah.

Deployment of the V Corps and 1st Marine Expeditionary Force staffs gives average Joes like me the first signal how Bush is going to fight the war.

V Corps is based in Heidelberg, Germany. That's a better than even bet we're going to pull 1st Armored Division and the 1st Mechanized division out of Germany to fight the Iraq campaign, joined by the 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored, and 1st Brigade, of the Big Red One, which are based at Ft. Riley. I'd bet at least one of the those divisions does not return to Germany after the campaign and probably both. FU Gerhard Schroeder.

The Marine 1st Expeditionary Force consists of the 1st, 5th and 7th Marines based at Camp Pendleton and the 3rd Marine Air Wing based at El Toro. From one to three Marine regiments and elements of the 3rd Marine Air Wing will form the Marine contingent.

That tells us the Administration doesn't think the Chinese or North Koreans will try anything in the next year.

I think the DOD has leaked the supposed war plan to fool the Iraqis. Putting 2 and 2 together, the supposed plan is for V Corps, including the two Germany-based divisions, an armored cavalry regiment, and at least one and possibly two British armored brigades (including the 7th Desert Rats, forming the 1st British Armored Division), and possibly a French light armored brigade to advance on Baghdad out of Kuwait and for the Marines to cut off and secure the southern oil fields, Basra and the Shatt al Arab. The 101st Air Assault Division will land directly on air fields being prepared in northern Iraq, secure the northern oil fields and Kurdistan and advance on Baghdad from the North, possibly assisted by the Turks, who will occupy Kurdistan. The 75th Rangers Regiment, the 5th Special Forces Group, and probably a second Special Forces group and a couple of British SAS troops will secure Scud launching centers in western Iraq, possibly assisted by the Jordanians, and then advance on Baghdad, securing the western flank. If urban combat is required, the Marines and Special Ops Forces will support the Iraqi Army and the air forces.

They're going to bomb the hell out of Saddam's command and control and "palaces." From 5 to 10 Air Force wings, 5 Navy air wings/carrier battle groups, 1 British carrier battle group, the 3rd Marine air wing, possibly a French squadron, and elements of an Italian squadron.

Yes, at the last minute there's a good chance the French will join the fighting.

If Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfield have the cujones and feel the U.S. Armed Forces are up to it, they could try a "coup de main" -- a blitzkreig involving landing the 101st Air Assault Division and possibly a brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division directly on the outskirts of Baghdad, while V Corps blows out of Kuwait, flanks be damned. Spec ops and the paras would prepare and secure the landing fields after the Air Force and Navy blast Saddam. This could be the last brigade-size airborne combat assault in history.



46 posted on 10/13/2002 11:06:50 AM PDT by Man of the Right
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To: Principled
The only idiots and doofuses (it's spelled "doofus", by the way) on this forum are the ones who can't make a coherent argument and think that they've made a point by acting like a spoiled child.

As to my argument, if we're going to war to protect innocents, then I'll give it a fair hearing. If we're going to war to enforce UN dictates, then I'll reject it every time, "Principled". Simple as that.

47 posted on 10/13/2002 11:51:32 AM PDT by inquest
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To: Man of the Right
Wow!! Thanks for your comprehensive report.

It is bookmarked for posterity....

48 posted on 10/13/2002 12:35:43 PM PDT by bert
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To: clodhopper
So how many screen names you got here, newbie?

How does it feel to shill for mass murderers and the enemies of the United States?
49 posted on 10/13/2002 12:47:40 PM PDT by EternalVigilance
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To: inquest
As to my argument, if we're going to war to protect innocents, then I'll give it a fair hearing.

But inquest, you already asserted otherwise. Changing one's mind when convenient is what a spoiled child would do, eh?

50 posted on 10/13/2002 5:23:35 PM PDT by Principled
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