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Pentagon: US Contain. Removed Ir. Threat (2 Aug 00)

Copyright 2000 Agence France Presse   
Agence France Presse 
August 2, 2000, Wednesday 

SECTION: Domestic, non-Washington, general news item 
LENGTH: 339 words 
HEADLINE: Iraq "contained, no longer a threat to neighbors" -- Pentagon 
   Iraq under Saddam Hussein's rule remains "contained" and is "no longer a threat to (its) 
neighbors", 10 years after its invasion of oil-rich Kuwait, Defense Department spokesman Ken Bacon 
said here Tuesday. 

Saddam Hussein "is no longer a threat to his neighbors and is not seen as a threat to his 
neighbors. That's largely because of the containment that we have carried out," Bacon told a press 

Asked to comment on the fact that the Iraqi leader was still in power despite his country's defeat 
in the 1991 Gulf War, Bacon replied: "I think we are containing him every day from the depredations 
that made him a pariah in the Middle East in 1990, when he invaded Kuwait, 10 years ago tomorrow." 

"He has not been able to rebuild his military, in part because of our containment, but also in 
large part because of the United Nations' embargo on Iraq, which has prevented him from buying the 
military equipment he would like to buy," he added. 

Bacon accused the Iraqi leader of having "skimmed off a lot of money" and "built new palaces for 
his own benefit. 

But "he's in a sense a captive in his country. He can't leave. He seems to move around regularly, 
in order to avoid assassination or other attacks from forces that wish him ill," the spokesman 

Asked about the accomplishments of the US-led coalition during the Gulf War, Bacon noted: "Kuwait 
is free. It's rebuilt. It has a thriving economy. Iraq is contained. It has a broken economy. It is 
an isolated state... That's probably the fundamental accomplishment over the last 10 years." 

The spokesman said Iraq had been prevented from attacking its neighbors thanks to the establishment 
of western no-fly zones, which deny Iraq access to 60 percent of its airspace. 

"I think that has led to containing Iraq from attacking neighboring countries, as well as from 
attacking its own people on a regular basis, either in the north or in the south," he said 

Bacon put the number of US troops stationed in the Gulf today at around 24,000. 


LOAD-DATE: August 1, 2000

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