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[casi] FW: Wolfowitz, US Forces Almost Ready, Wash Times

-----Original Message-----
From: Laurie Mylroie []
Sent: Sunday, November 17, 2002 12:45 PM
To: Laurie Mylroie
Subject: Wolfowitz, US Forces Almost Ready, Wash Times

The Washington Times
November 17, 2002
U.S. forces almost ready for Saddam, Wolfowitz says
By Bill Gertz

PALM BEACH, Fla. - U.S. military forces are close to being ready to take
military action against Saddam Hussein if the president calls on them,
Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said yesterday.
     "We're in good shape," Mr. Wolfowitz said of military preparations
an interview with reporters after a speech at a conference sponsored by
Center for the Study of Popular Culture.
     "We're making preparations every day," he said. "I don't want to
saying exactly when we're at peak readiness, but it would be a terrible
mistake for anyone to underestimate our ability to act if needed."
     The deputy defense secretary also said that, regardless of U.N.
to conduct disarmament inspections in Iraq, the Bush administration is
to use force, if necessary, to prevent the Iraqi dictator from sharing
chemical, biological or nuclear weapons with terrorists.
     "I think the president has made it clear [that] if we can get the
support of the United Nations, that's great, and if we can't get it,
not going to have our hands tied."
     Mr. Wolfowitz said he did not know when Saddam would violate the
U.N. resolution demanding that he fully cooperate with weapons
but "he's been doing it for 11 years."
     Asked about a recent report in The Washington Times that Iraq is
about 7,000 liters of deadly anthrax biological weapons, Mr. Wolfowitz
"I have no doubt he has anthrax."
     When also asked whether chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix
forcefully carry out the arms inspections in Iraq, Mr. Wolfowitz said,
guess we'll have to see." Some critics within the administration have
that Mr. Blix, an international lawyer, would not be forceful enough in
demanding that Baghdad give up its weapons of mass destruction.
     Regarding recent U.S. government warnings of terrorist attacks, Mr.
Wolfowitz said, "We've been concerned for a year." The warnings followed
release of an audiotape believed to be the voice of bin Laden
attacks on the United States and its allies if the United States invades
     "The public shouldn't expect that we're going to get precise
of things," Mr. Wolfowitz said, "and we've had a lot of warnings of a
lot of
things. Fortunately, most of them have not come true. We take them all
seriously. When bin Laden makes a tape like that, you have to take it
     He said that the war on terrorism will be a protracted battle.
     "The real point is this is going to be a long war," Mr. Wolfowitz
"So, people should really be discouraged from the idea that there is a
and easy solution. We are in danger."
     Retired Army Col. Jack Jacobs, a military analyst, said during the
conference that the U.S. military is in the first phase of preparations
a conflict against Iraq and that future phases will involve the call up
military reservists.
     Military personnel involved in critical functions, such as crew
who fly B-52 bombers, have had their retirement plans canceled, Col.
said. U.S. military forces would also need 30 to 60 days to build up
near Iraq before an attack, he said.
     Defense sources said U.S. military forces are prepared to conduct
operations against Saddam's regime on short notice and have large
of weapons near Iraq.
     Mr. Wolfowitz said the ideological front is a vital component in
winning the war on terrorism.
     "I do believe that regime change in Afghanistan helped us, and I
regime change in Iraq would help us even more," he said. "I think some
our strongest allies in the Muslim world are the people who are enslaved
the regimes that hate us so that there is not a simple separation
the ideological struggle and the rest of it."
     He also said that disarming Saddam, either by force or through the
United Nations, would not distract from the war on terrorism.

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