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News, 22-29/11/02 (4) IMPLICATIONS OF WAR * The shape of future warfare * U.S. plan for post-Saddam Iraq reported * Western conceit of nation-building ignores culture and history of Arabia * If Saddam steps out of line we must go straight to war * Iraqi Cancers, Birth Defects Blamed on U.S. Depleted Uranium * Why it's now or never with Iraq * The First Military Resister in 2002 * War plan aims to balance old, new IMPLICATIONS OF WAR http://atimes.com/atimes/Front_Page/DK23Aa01.html * THE SHAPE OF FUTURE WARFARE by Sultan Shahin Asia Times, 23rd November Review of Resource Wars: The New Landscape of Global Conflict, by Michael T Klare The end of Cold War has not entirely brought the expected peace dividend. A unipolar world dominated by the only superpower, the United States of America, has been, and continues to be, embroiled in new conflicts. But what is the nature of these conflicts? Why would wars be fought in the future? Theories abound. US President George W Bush's good versus evil theory in his famous axis of evil speech has not cut much ice. In the absence of world-wide acceptability for the clash of good and evil theory, Samuel Huntington's older theory of the clash of civilizations has received the most publicity, perhaps because at least that's how the powers-that-be in our world want us to see these conflicts, thus putting a veil over their real nature. The biggest casualty of this attempt to gloss over the real causes of new conflicts is what has been set out in a seminal work by an American security expert, Michael T Klare, who considers these wars in the book under review to be resource wars. As against Huntington, whose Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (1996) maintained that cultural differences, such as those between Muslim and Christian, for instance, would drive post-Cold War international politics, Klare presents a new landscape of global conflict. He predicts that conflicts will now be fought over diminishing supplies of our most precious natural resources. In his view, power struggles over petroleum, water, gems and timber will be the new engines of war. In Resource Wars, Klare looks at the growing impact of resource scarcity on the military policies of nations, from the barren oil fields of Central Asia to the lush Nile delta, from the busy shipping lanes of the South China Sea to the uranium mines and diamond fields of sub Saharan Africa. He contends that in the early decades of the 21st century, wars will be fought not over ideology but over resources, as states battle to control dwindling supplies of precious natural commodities. The political divisions of the Cold War, Klare argues, are giving way to an immense global scramble for essential materials such as oil, timber, minerals and water. And as armies throughout the world define resource security as their primary mission, widespread instability is bound to follow, especially in those places where resource competition overlaps with long-standing disputes over territorial rights. Klare gives an overview of the world's future resource crises and potential for warfare in the first chapter of his book entitled, "Wealth, Resources, and Power: The Changing Parameters of Global Security". The second chapter is on "Oil, Geography, and War: The Competitive Pursuit of Petroleum Plenty". In subsequent chapters he deals with various conflict scenarios, such as oil conflict in the Persian Gulf, energy conflict in the Caspian Sea Basin, oil wars in the South China Sea, and water conflicts in the Nile basin and in Jordan, the Tigris-Euphrates and the Indus river basins. The book concludes with a look at what it calls "A New Geography of Conflict". Already one can see marked increases in military activity, as Klare, too, notes, where oil and water are concentrated in Asia and Africa - the Persian Gulf, the Caspian Sea and the South China Sea in the former; the Nile, Jordan, Tigris-Euphrates and Indus river regions in the latter. Indeed, the US is geared up for an invasion of Iraq, forcing many, including Klare, to wonder, "Why is the Bush administration so determined to topple a government that has been effectively contained by American power for 11 years?" Klare's answer to this question explains the central theme of his thesis as well. He says, "The White House has offered several reasons to justify an attack on Iraq - Saddam Hussein is on the verge of obtaining nuclear weapons; an invasion is needed to prevent the transfer of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons to international terrorists, and so on. Another factor, however, may be of equal importance - oil. Two key concerns underlie the administration's thinking: first, the United States is becoming dangerously dependent on imported petroleum to meet its daily energy requirements, and, second, Iraq possesses the world's largest reserves of untapped petroleum after Saudi Arabia. "Iraq has yet another key attraction for US oil strategists: Whereas most of Saudi Arabia's major fields have already been explored and claimed, Iraq possesses vast areas of promising but unexplored hydrocarbon potential. These fields may harbor the world's largest remaining reservoir of unmapped and unclaimed petroleum - far exceeding the untapped fields in Alaska, Africa and the Caspian. Whoever gains possession of these fields will exercise enormous influence over the global energy markets of the 21st century. "Knowing this, and seeking allies for his confrontation with Washington, Saddam Hussein has begun to parcel out concessions to the most promising fields to oil firms in Europe, Russia and China. According to the International Energy Agency's World Energy Outlook for 2001, he has already awarded such contracts for fields with an estimated potential of 44 billion barrels of oil - an amount equal to the total reserves of the United States, Canada and Norway (the number-one European producer) combined. At current rates of about $25 per barrel, that makes these contracts worth an estimated $1.1 trillion. "And here's the rub: The Iraqi dissidents chosen by Washington to lead the new regime in Baghdad have threatened to cancel all contracts awarded to firms in countries that fail to assist in the overthrow of Saddam ... not surprisingly, US oil firms are expected to be awarded most of the Hussein-era contracts voided by the successor regime." But this is not surprising. The US has made it clear for long that energy resources are linked to its security strategy. President Jimmy Carter was the first to articulate this policy: any move by a hostile power to gain control of the Persian Gulf area would be regarded "as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America" and would be resisted "by any means necessary, including military force". This statement is now known as the "Carter Doctrine". It has governed US strategy in the Gulf ever since. It was to implement this new doctrine that Carter established the Rapid Deployment Force. This policy has been followed by all subsequent US presidents, though the end of the Cold War and the terrorist attacks of Sep 11 have added new dimensions to the energy wars being fought by the US. [.....] "Natural resources are the building blocks of civilization and an essential requirement of daily existence. The inhabitants of planet Earth have been blessed with a vast supply of most basic materials. But we are placing increased pressure on these supplies, and in some cases we face, in our lifetimes, or those of our children, the prospect of severe resource depletion. If we rely on warfare to settle disputes over raw materials, the human toll will be great. To avoid this fate, and to ensure an adequate supply of essential materials, we must work now to establish a global system of resource conservation and collaboration." Let us hope that a prediction made by the Publishers Weekly doesn't come true. It said, "Klare's message is important, but it probably won't be heard by many beyond readers of the handful of major newspapers that will review it." Resource Wars: The New Landscape of Global Conflict, by Michael T Klare, Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt and Company, 2001, New York. ISBN 0-8050-5575-4, US$26, 320 pages. http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/story.hts/world/1675126 * U.S. PLAN FOR POST-SADDAM IRAQ REPORTED Process would involve three phases Houston Chronicle, 24th November WASHINGTON (Reuters): A consensus is forming within the Bush administration on how to govern a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq that envisions an initial period of military rule, a news magazine reported Saturday. Senior Bush administration officials are mulling a three-stage plan for governing a post-war Iraq that was put together by an interagency task force, U.S. News and World report said. The magazine, citing unnamed senior U.S. officials, said that in the past several weeks debate on the details had moved up to a small group consisting of the No. 2 officials at the Pentagon, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the State Department, CIA, National Security Council and the vice president's office. The magazine said that under the first phase, Iraq would be ruled by the military, almost certainly an American general. It said the second phase would be some sort of international civilian administration, entailing a diminished U.S. military presence and an increasing amount of Iraqi responsibility in the government. Under the third phase, power would be transferred to a representative, multi-ethnic Iraqi government, according to the magazine. U.S. News said President Bush has been kept apprised of progress on the plan but had not yet been asked to approve any specific aspects of it. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/editorialsopinion/134582418_raban24.ht ml * WESTERN CONCEIT OF NATION-BUILDING IGNORES CULTURE AND HISTORY OF ARABIA by Jonathan Raban Seattle Times, 24th November Somewhere in the letters-home of Gertrude Bell, the doughty English archaeologist and colonial administrator, there's a description of a pleasant afternoon spent riding in the Mesopotamian desert in 1918 or 1919. Bell trails a walking stick in the sand. Behind her, Arab boys erect cairns to mark the future boundary between what will eventually become the states of Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Bell was one of the many British and French nation-builders who carved up Arabia in the years following the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916. The lines they drew in the sand rarely corresponded to any pre-existent historical, tribal, cultural or geographical reality. The nations they invented were arbitrary agglomerations, their borders thrown up around dozens of warring local sheikdoms. These fictional states were given kings (the British loved to create monarchies in their own image) and elegant written constitutions, as if the right sort of ceremonial language and regular 21-gun salutes could somehow transform the chaos of post Ottoman Arabia into a neat patchwork of Denmarks, Hollands and Swedens with date palms and minarets. A nation so fancifully constructed does not easily lend itself to governance. You need a warlord, with a loyal standing army and a far-flung force of secret policemen, to prevent the country from falling into the turmoil which is the natural state to which it is perpetually tending. The systems of government that have evolved in Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia are paranoid family dictatorships with ancestral roots in a single city or village. Thus the Assad family of Qurdaha, an Alawite village up in the hills behind Latakia, Syria's Mediterranean port. Thus the Saud family of Riyadh, an oasis-town in the Nejd desert, now the capital of Saudi Arabia. Thus the Husseins of Tikrit, a town 90 miles north of Baghdad, and the birthplace of Saladin. (Saddam's full name is Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti.) If the European inventors of these countries believed that generously drawn borders would encourage a commensurate enlargening of national as opposed to local consciousness, the effects have been quite the reverse. To be an army general, a security chief or a government minister in Arabia, it is necessary to come from Qurdaha, Riyadh or Tikrit, and better still to bear the name of Assad, Saud or Hussein. So the village, and the family, supply a tyrannical ruling class which treats the rest of the country as an unruly empire, to be held in place, as empires are, by regular shows of military and terroristic power. In the case of Syria and Iraq, the reigning families belong to religious minorities: the Assads are members of the eccentric Alawi sect, though most Syrians are Sunni Muslims; the Husseins are Sunnis, and Tikrit is a Sunni enclave in Shiite Iraq. The most nearly stable states in the Arab world are emirates that have survived intact from long before Picot and Sykes arrived on the scene. They too are family businesses. The al Sabahs of Kuwait, the al-Khaleifas of Bahrain, the al-Thanis of Qatar, the al-Nahyans of Abu Dhabi, and the al-Maktoums of Dubai have been in power for around 200 years. But these functioning political entities are tiny. Qatar, for instance, is roughly twice the size of King County, with a third of its population; its neighbor Saudi Arabia, by contrast, is three and a half times the size of Texas. The Sauds, Assads and Husseins practice a form of rule that works well enough in a Qatar sized country but is a disaster when applied on a larger scale. It fills prisons and graveyards, it breeds among its subjugated peoples the kind of impotent despair and fury that makes them natural candidates for conversion to Islamist totalitarianism. Consider the case of Hama in Syria, a city famous for its huge groaning waterwheels (they are said by the local poets to make a sound like that of women in orgasm). It is or was a center of Sunni conservative puritanism, always hostile to the secular Ba'athist regime of Hafiz al-Assad. In 1982, a group of Sunni militiamen ambushed an army patrol in the heart of the old city, and sparked an Islamic uprising against the provincial government. Assad sent in the Syrian army under Alawite commanders. Most of Hama was flattened. Somewhere between 10,000 and 25,000 Hamaites, most of them civilians, were slaughtered. It is an important axiom of the Bush administration that Saddam Hussein has used weapons of mass destruction "against his own people"; but the concept of "own people" in Arabia needs footnoting, as the Hama massacre illustrates. When Assad sent his army into Hama he was not moving against his "own people" so much as attacking his traditional enemies, whose base lay within his territorial jurisdiction. So it was with Saddam and the Kurds, and Saddam and the Shiites. From the perspective of Tikrit, the Kurdish city of Halabja and the floating villages of the Shiite Marsh Arabs did not contain Saddam's own people: they were, rather, insolent colonial outposts that needed to be taught a savage lesson. In the Middle East, the concept of nationality is understandably weak: It would be hard to feel patriotic allegiance to the capricious lines in the sand traced by Gertrude Bell and her kind. To say "I am a Syrian" or "I am an Iraqi" means a lot less than to say "I am a Damascene" or "I am a Baghdadi." For the ancient cities of Arabia-Cairo, Jerusalem, Damascus, Aleppo, Baghdad, Mecca, Medina and Sana'a used to have the character of Renaissance city-states, as grand or grander than Venice and Florence. Even now, when you go to, say, Aleppo or Sana'a, you can feel the place's political self-containment as a once great center of civilization and commerce. A powerful sense of the civic, as it relates to people's home towns, is matched by something very close to indifference to the national, and no amount of enforced flag-waving and protestations of fealty to the dictator in make believe elections is going to change or conceal that fact of Arab life. Yet one vastly potent nationalism haunts the Arab world the idea of the Ummah, the nation or community of believers. It is to the Ummah that Osama bin Laden addresses his calls for armed resistance to the West and its "puppet" dictators in the region. Notice that he never speaks of "Saudi Arabia," his own home country; he always refers to it as "the land of the two holy mosques," for to bin Laden and his followers the Saud family are usurpers, kept in place by the patronage and military might of the United States. In Osama's version of things, the country we know as Saudi Arabia exists only as a piece of arrogant colonial mapmaking. Notice that in his most recent audiotape he spoke of "our sons in Iraq" meaning not Saddam and his Tikriti henchmen, whose secular Baathist regime has long been on Osama's hit-list, but the faithful millions who live inside the artificial borders imposed on Mesopotamia by the Western powers when they summoned Iraq into being. It's hard for us to understand the intoxicating appeal of pan-Arab Islamic nationalism the dream of an Arabia without borders, united under a restored Caliphate, answerable only to Koranic law, the Sharia. To Western eyes, Sharia law, with its public stonings, beheadings, amputations, its male triumphalism, appears tyrannical in the extreme. How could anyone see in it the promise of liberation? The answer lies in the despotic tyranny under which most Arabs now live. President Bush said, "They hate us for our freedoms" but that's not true: Freedom is a rare commodity that Arabs would dearly like a lot more of. They hate us, rather, for the condition of humiliating subjection in which they find themselves, and for which, rightly or wrongly, they hold us responsible. They hate us for Sir Mark Sykes, for Georges Picot, for Gertrude Bell, for Arthur James Balfour; for America's steadfast support of what they perceive as corrupt and cruel regimes (like that of the Saud family in its glittering high-tech fortress of modern Riyadh) and for its bland indifference to the injustice suffered by the Palestinians. All this may be unreasonable of them, but that is why they hate us, and that is why in the poorest parts of Arabia the favorite name to give a baby boy at present is Osama the latest folk-hero of an impossible, idealized "Islamic nation" that will transcend the petty frontiers of the hopelessly divided and despotic Middle East. This is not meant to sound soft on Osama bin Laden: He is a monster, but a monster born of desperate dreams that are widely shared across an immense and unhappy tract of land. Now we're going nation-building in Arabia once again. No one in the present U.S. administration seems to have any useful memory of our earlier adventures in this department, and no one appears able to clearly distinguish between the two crucially different bad-hats with sallow complexions, Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. No one seems to have noticed that toppling Saddam though it ranks a good deal lower on the agenda than toppling the Sauds is a necessary part of Osama's larger game plan. We're on the brink of an intervention that will rank in Arabian history beside the Sykes-Picot Agreement and the Balfour Declaration, and we are bringing to that intervention a terrifying mixture of ignorance and amnesia. Jonathan Raban, a native of England who moved here in 1990, also has written "Bad Land" (1996) and "Passage to Juneau" (1999). His new book, "Waxwings," a novel set in Seattle, is scheduled to be published next year. http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,846814,00.html * IF SADDAM STEPS OUT OF LINE WE MUST GO STRAIGHT TO WAR by Bill Emmott The Guardian, 25th November There were three speakers on the panel - an American hawk, a European multilateralist and a Russian liberal MP - but it was the Russian who sprang the surprise. The topic was Iraq. The European audience was sceptical about George Bush's views, and expected the Russian to feel the same. Not so. "We Russians understand Saddam Hussein," he said, rather noisily. "He is a Stalin-like, totalitarian dictator who responds only to the threat of force. He must be surrounded by a military build-up, so that it is clear if he steps out of line he could be attacked within one hour." "One hour!" he repeated, banging the table in case anyone had not quite got the point. He is surely correct. It is the credible threat of war that has now made it possible that Saddam could be disarmed peacefully, under the terms of the new resolution the UN security council approved unanimously on November 8. That still, however, leaves a question hanging: if he calls the UN's bluff by making a fake declaration on December 8, should the threat be carried out? At this juncture in most debates, as in most columns on the topic in the Guardian, four notions pop up. One is that Saddam may be a bad man, but why single him out? Another is that America (and so now the other 14 members of the security council) is guilty of double standards for not also enforcing the many UN resolutions passed against Israel. A third is that the risks of war - civilian deaths, a wider conflict, more terrorism - exceed the potential benefits. And a fourth is that force should never be used to solve problems, except in direct self-defence. Since there is so much talk of American unilateralism and of law, let's start with "double standards". Saddam is the ultimate unilateralist. He signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and the chemical weapons convention, but then flouted both. He agreed to the UN's ceasefire agreement in 1991, under which he was to give up his nuclear, chemical and bio weapons programmes. He did not. The UN's inspectors found that he lied repeatedly and concealed large stocks of such weapons. After 16 resolutions and 11 years of sanctions, all admirably multilateralist, something more must be done to enforce the resolutions. Multilateralism needs to be defended. But what of Israel? Here critics are wrong about the UN resolutions. There are two sorts of security council resolution: those under "chapter 6" are non-binding recommendations dealing with the peaceful resolution of disputes; those under "chapter 7" give the council broad powers, including war, to deal with "threats to the peace ... or acts of aggression". All those relating to the Israeli-Arab conflict have been voted under chapter 6; those against Iraq have been under chapter 7. Moreover, the most famous resolution concerning Israel, number 242 of 1967, does not say what most people think it does. It calls on Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories, but only in the context of obligations set for both sides in the conflict, which neither has so far fulfilled. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict involves two sides. Saddam's regime is bad all on its own. As a brutal violator of the human rights of his own people, Saddam ranks at least among the world's five worst despots. He has invaded two of his neighbours, Iran and Kuwait, and has made no secret of his desire to dominate the region. Saddam may now be too old to fulfil that ambition personally, but his sons are just as brutal and ambitious as he is. He has used chemical weapons against the Kurds in Iraq and against Iran. His deception of the UN inspectors during the 1990s, well laid out in the book Saddam Defiant by Richard Butler, then the Australian head of the inspectorate, shows that he is desperate to have such weapons to boost his regional power. If he were to be allowed to develop them freely, he would plainly be willing to use them. Hawks often claim that there are links between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden's al Qaida network, and that Saddam might supply the terrorists with these terrible weapons. There is no evidence for this. The real argument is about example: he might supply weapons, as could any other government if the world were to make it clear, by ignoring Iraq, that such weapons could be developed with impunity. But there is also a broader, more important link to terrorism. This link concerns the root causes of that terrorism: resentment of the many dictatorial regimes in the Arab world, and of the role America has played in supporting some of them. The right long-term task is to encourage the spread of democracy and broad-based economic growth in the Arab world. The right short-term task is to remove direct sources of grievance. One of the biggest is the containment system set up in 1991 to control Saddam: a combination of economic sanctions and "no-fly" zones policed from bases in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf. This has not only failed to halt Saddam's weapons programmes; it has also fuelled hatred of the west. Sticking to it is a terrible option. The best way to get rid of it, and the grievances, is to remove the need for containment by forcing Saddam to disarm. Only then can the long-term project really begin. For sure, this is risky. No one is arguing for war against North Korea, even though its regime is as brutal as Saddam's, and is also seeking nuclear weapons, because in a war it is virtually certain that hundreds of thousands of South Koreans in Seoul, near the "demilitarised zone", would die in an artillery barrage by the North. In Iraq, too, there are risks. But they are much smaller. Saddam could slaughter hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, but it is hard to see why this calculating man would think that worthwhile. The unanimous vote at the UN, with even Syria in favour, makes a wider war extremely unlikely. And there are bigger risks involved in doing nothing: that he rearms further, that resentment at the effect of sanctions and at the Saudi bases grows, that other dictators conclude that unilateralism pays. If there were only one reason to be willing to fight Saddam, it might not be convincing. But the reasons pile on top of one another: human rights, defending multilateralism, ending a resented containment scheme, deterring the spread of deadly weapons, and, in the longer term, starting to spread democracy in the Middle East. You can oppose the ultimate use of force in this very special case if you are a true pacifist. But do not call on foreign troops to be used to stop genocides in Rwanda, or ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, or to promote democracy elsewhere if you are not willing to have them used to deal with this genocidal, ethnic-cleansing, power-hungry dictator. Otherwise, you are a hypocrite. Bill Emmott is editor of the Economist http://commondreams.org/headlines02/1112-01.htm * IRAQI CANCERS, BIRTH DEFECTS BLAMED ON U.S. DEPLETED URANIUM by Larry Johnson Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 12th November SOUTHERN DEMILITARIZED ZONE, Iraq -- On the "Highway of Death," 11 miles north of the Kuwait border, a collection of tanks, armored personnel carriers and other military vehicles are rusting in the desert. They also are radiating nuclear energy. In 1991, the United States and its Persian Gulf War allies blasted the vehicles with armor piercing shells made of depleted uranium -- the first time such weapons had been used in warfare -- as the Iraqis retreated from Kuwait. The devastating results gave the highway its name. Today, nearly 12 years after the use of the super-tough weapons was credited with bringing the war to a swift conclusion, the battlefield remains a radioactive toxic wasteland -- and depleted uranium munitions remain a mystery. Although the Pentagon has sent mixed signals about the effects of depleted ura nium, Iraqi doctors believe that it is responsible for a significant increase in cancer and birth defects in the region. Many researchers outside Iraq, and several U.S. veterans organizations, agree; they also suspect depleted uranium of playing a role in Gulf War Syndrome, the still unexplained malady that has plagued hundreds of thousands of Gulf War veterans. Depleted uranium is a problem in other former war zones as well. Yesterday, U.N. experts said they found radioactive hot spots in Bosnia resulting from the use of depleted uranium during NATO air strikes in 1995. With another war in Iraq perhaps imminent, scientists and others are concerned that the side effects of depleted uranium munitions -- still a major part of the U.S. arsenal -- will cause serious illnesses or deaths in a new generation of U.S. soldiers as well as Iraqis. Depleted uranium, known as DU, is a highly dense metal that is the byproduct of the process during which fissionable uranium used to manufacture nuclear bombs and reactor fuel is separated from natural uranium. DU remains radioactive for about 4.5 billion years. Uranium, a weakly radioactive element, occurs naturally in soil and water everywhere on Earth, but mainly in trace quantities. Humans ingest it daily in minute quantities. DU shell holes in the vehicles along the Highway of Death are 1,000 times more radioactive than background radiation, according to Geiger counter readings done for the Seattle Post Intelligencer by Dr. Khajak Vartaanian, a nuclear medicine expert from the Iraq Department of Radiation Protection in Basra, and Col. Amal Kassim of the Iraqi navy. The desert around the vehicles was 100 times more radioactive than background radiation; Basra, a city of 1 million people, some 125 miles away, registered only slightly above background radiation level. But the radioactivity is only one concern about DU munitions. A second, potentially more serious hazard is created when a DU round hits its target. As much as 70 percent of the projectile can burn up on impact, creating a firestorm of ceramic DU oxide particles. The residue of this firestorm is an extremely fine ceramic uranium dust that can be spread by the wind, inhaled and absorbed into the human body and absorbed by plants and animals, becoming part of the food chain. Once lodged in the soil, the munitions can pollute the environment and create up to a hundredfold increase in uranium levels in ground water, according to the U.N. Environmental Program. Studies show it can remain in human organs for years. Dr. Khajak Vartaanian, a radiation expert, holds a Geiger counter next to a hole in an Iraqi tank destroyed by depleted uranium weapons in the Persian Gulf War in 1991. The shell holes show 1,000 times the normal background radiation level. The U.S. Army acknowledges the hazards in a training manual, in which it requires that anyone who comes within 25 meters of any DU-contaminated equipment or terrain wear respiratory and skin protection, and states that "contamination will make food and water unsafe for consumption." Just six months before the Gulf War, the Army released a report on DU predicting that large amounts of DU dust could be inhaled by soldiers and civilians during and after combat. Infantry were identified as potentially receiving the highest exposures, and the expected health outcomes included cancers and kidney problems. The report also warned that public knowledge of the health and environmental effects of depleted uranium could lead to efforts to ban DU munitions. But today the Pentagon plays down the effects. Officials refer queries on DU munitions to the latest government report on the subject, last updated on Dec. 13, 2000, which said DU is "40 percent less radioactive than natural uranium." The report also said, "Gulf War exposures to depleted uranium (DU) have not to date produced any observable adverse health effects attributable to DU's chemical toxicity or low-level radiation. . . ." In response to written queries, the Defense Department said, "The U.S. Military Services use DU munitions because of DU's superior lethality against armor and other hard targets." It said DU munitions are "war reserve munitions; that is, used for combat and not fired for training purposes," with the exception that DU munitions may be fired at sea for weapon calibration purposes. In addition to Iraq and Bosnia, DU munitions were used in Kosovo and Serbia in 1999. Also in 1999, a United Nations subcommission considered DU hazardous enough to call for an initiative banning its use worldwide. The initiative has remained in committee, blocked primarily by the United States, according to Karen Parker, a lawyer with the International Educational Development/Humanitarian Law Project, which has consultative status at the United Nations. Parker, who first raised the DU issue in the United Nations in 1996, contends that DU "violates the existing law and customs of war." She said there are four rules derived from all of humanitarian law regarding weapons: Weapons may only be used in the legal field of battle, defined as legal military targets of the enemy in war. Weapons may not have an adverse effect off the legal field of battle. Weapons can only be used for the duration of an armed conflict. A weapon that is used or continues to act after the war is over violates this criterion. Weapons may not be unduly inhumane. Weapons may not have an unduly negative effect on the natural environment. "Depleted uranium fails all four of these rules," Parker said last week. On Oct. 17, 2001, Rep. Cynthia McKinney, D-Ga., introduced a bill calling for "the suspension of the use, sale, development, production, testing, and export of depleted uranium munitions pending the outcome of certain studies of the health effects of such munitions. . . ." More than a year later, the bill -- co-sponsored by Reps. Anibal Acevedo-Vila, Puerto Rico; Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis.; Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio; Barbara Lee, D-Ca.; and Jim McDermott, D-Wash. -- remains in committee awaiting comment from the Defense Department. Hamdin and his brother Amhid are receiving follow-up treatment after being treated successfully for leukemia two years ago at the Basra Hospital for Maternity and Children. (November 12, 2002) Paul Kitagaki Jr. / P-I Gulf War veterans faced a wide array of potentially toxic materials during the war: smoke from oil and chemical fires, insecticides, pesticides, vaccinations and DU. Of the 696,778 troops who served during the recognized conflict phase (1990-1991) of the Gulf War, at least 20,6861 have applied for VA medical benefits. As of May 2002, 159,238 veterans have been awarded service-connected disability by the Department of Veterans Affairs for health effects collectively known as the Gulf War Syndrome. There have been many studies on Gulf War Syndrome over the years, as well as on possible long-term health hazards of DU munitions. Most have been inconclusive. But some researchers said the previous studies on DU, conducted by groups and agencies ranging from the World Health Organization to the Rand Corp. to the investigative arm of Congress, weren't looking in the right place -- at the effects of inhaled DU. Dr. Asaf Durakovic, director of the private, non-profit Uranium Medical Research Centre in Canada and the United States, and center research associates Patricia Horan and Leonard Dietz, published a unique study in the August issue of Military Medicine medical journal. The study is believed to be the first to look at inhaled DU among Gulf War veterans, using the ultrasensitive technique of thermal ionization mass spectrometry, which enabled them to easily distinguish between natural uranium and DU. The study, which examined British, Canadian and U.S. veterans, all suffering typical Gulf War Syndrome ailments, found that, nine years after the war, 14 of 27 veterans studied had DU in their urine. DU also was found in the lung and bone of a deceased Gulf War veteran. That no governmental study has been done on inhaled DU "amounts to a massive malpractice," Dietz said in an interview last week. Dr. Doug Rokke was an Army health physicist assigned in 1991 to the command staff of the 12th Preventive Medicine Command and 3rd U.S. Army Medical Command headquarters. Rokke was recalled to active duty 20 years after serving in Vietnam, from his research job with the University of Illinois Physics Department, and sent to the Gulf to take charge of the DU cleanup operation. Today, in poor health, he has become an outspoken opponent of the use of DU munitions. "DU is the stuff of nightmares," said Rokke, who said he has reactive airway disease, neurological damage, cataracts and kidney problems, and receives a 40 percent disability payment from the government. He blames his health problems on exposure to DU. Rokke and his primary team of about 100 performed their cleanup task without any specialized training or protective gear. Today, Rokke said, at least 30 members of the team are dead, and most of the others -- including Rokke -- have serious health problems. Rokke said: "Verified adverse health effects from personal experience, physicians and from personal reports from individuals with known DU exposures include reactive airway disease, neurological abnormalities, kidney stones and chronic kidney pain, rashes, vision degradation and night vision losses, lymphoma, various forms of skin and organ cancer, neuropsychological disorders, uranium in semen, sexual dysfunction and birth defects in offspring. "This whole thing is a crime against God and humanity." Speaking from his home in Rantoul, Ill., where he works as a substitute high school science teacher, Rokke said, "When we went to the Gulf, we were all really healthy, and we got trashed." Rokke, an Army Reserve major who describes himself as "a patriot to the right of Rush Limbaugh," said hearing the latest Pentagon statements on DU is especially frustrating now that another war against Iraq appears likely. "Since 1991, numerous U.S. Department of Defense reports have said that the consequences of DU were unknown," Rokke said. "That is a lie. We warned them in 1991 after the Gulf War, but because of liability issues, they continue to ignore the problem." Rokke worked until 1996 for the military, developing DU training and management procedures. The procedures were ignored, he said. "Their arrogance is beyond comprehension," he said. "We have spread radioactive waste all over the place and refused medical treatment to people . . . it's all arrogance. "DU is a snapshot of technology gone crazy." At the Saddam Teaching Hospital in Basra, Dr. Jawad Al-Ali, a British-trained oncologist, displays, in four gaily colored photo albums, what he says are actual snapshots of the nightmares. The photos represent the surge in birth defects -- in 1989 there were 11 per 100,000 births; in 2001 there were 116 per 100,000 births -- that even before they heard about DU, had doctors in southern Iraq making comparisons to the birth defects that followed the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in WWII. There were photos of infants born without brains, with their internal organs outside their bodies, without sexual organs, without spines, and the list of deformities went on and on. There also were photos of cancer patients. Cancer has increased dramatically in southern Iraq. In 1988, 34 people died of cancer; in 1998, 450 died of cancer; in 2001 there were 603 cancer deaths. On a tour of one ward of the hospital, doctors pointed out boys and girls who were suffering from leukemia. Most of the children die, the doctors said, because there are insufficient drugs available for their treatment. There was one notable exception, a young boy whose family was able to buy the expensive drugs on the black market. Al-Ali said it defies logic to absolve DU of blame when veterans of the Gulf War and of the fighting in the Balkans share common illnesses with children in southern Iraq. "The cause of all of these cancers and deformities remains theoretical because we can't confirm the presence of uranium in tissue or urine with the equipment we have," said Al-Ali. "And because of the sanctions, we can't get the equipment we need." OTHER LINKS U.S. Department of Defense: www.defenselink.mil/ The National Gulf War Resource Center, Inc.: www.ngwrc.org/Dulink/du_link.htm Uranium Medical Research Centre: www.umrc.net/ Dr. Doug Rokke, a U.S. Army health physicist assigned to help clean up depleted uranium after the Persian Gulf War, will speak in Seattle on Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. at University Baptist Church, Northeast 47th Street and 12th Avenue Northeast. Rokke is on a six-state speaking tour sponsored by The Interfaith Network of Concern for the People of Iraq, and co-sponsored by the Traprock Peace Center in Deerfield, Mass. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,71456,00.html * CHEMICAL WARFARE SUIT IS A STIFLING LIFESAVER Fox News, 26th November WASHINGTON Imagine the heat of the Iraqi desert, then add the bulkiness of wearing five pairs of cotton sweat pants. For U.S. soldiers, fighting the enemy there while wearing a chemical protection suit may feel as uncomfortable. U.S. troops wore the protective outfits during the 1991 Persian Gulf War because of concern that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein might arm Scud missiles with dangerous agents from his chemical weapons stash. Eleven years later the concern remains as President Bush looks toward a possible new war with Iraq. Known as a "MOPP" suit, for Mission Oriented Protective Posture, the bulky lifesavers consist of pants, a coat, rubber boots and gloves, a face mask and a hood all worn over regular combat fatigues. The suit has a layer of charcoal to absorb and neutralize any chemical or biological substances soldiers may be exposed to, and can be used for up to 30 days. They can be stifling. When the Army demonstrated the suits under the heat of television lights this month, a sergeant wearing one collapsed from the platform into a row of chairs. Just how effective they are under all circumstances is unclear. Iraq is known to possess powder needed to make "dusty" chemical weapons capable of penetrating the tiniest gaps in suits; whether it has those weapons is not known. One old remedy for dusty weapons is to wear rain ponchos on top of the suits. The Pentagon concluded several years ago that the suits were effective but had shortcomings, including weight and bulk that "degraded combat performance and made even simple tasks onerous." Development of new suits is under way. The armed forces have about 4.5 million sets of protective gear, including 1.5 million of the latest version, known as the Joint Service Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology, or JSLIST. They cost about $200 each, weigh just under six pounds and have a durable, water-repellent finish with an inner layer of carbon to absorb chemical agents, which Saddam is known to have used against Iran and Kurds in Iraq. They're no fun. Body heat buildup inside the garment can lead to heat exhaustion in warm weather. The mask and hood interfere with seeing, hearing and speaking. Rubber gloves restrict air circulation and limit the sense of touch and the ability to do delicate tasks. Plus, the Pentagon acknowledged, wearing the suit and all its components can cause claustrophobia or similar stress. They "did provide some warmth when it got cold, which was at night," said David Feller, of Waukesha, Wis., a Gulf War veteran from the Army's 3rd Armored Division. "Then, at day, as the temperature rose, they could become a bit uncomfortable." Trent Barton of Woodbridge, Va., said it was like wearing five pairs of sweats. "It's very restrictive and it's extremely hard to move around," said Barton, who served in the 82nd Airborne Division in the Gulf War. The military is using lessons learned from the Gulf War to develop the next generation of chemical warfare suits. The bulky charcoal layer will be replaced with a "selectively permeable membrane" that is lighter and will block harmful substances, rather than absorb them. More perspiration will also be able to escape. "It's technology in progress," said Capt. Ben Kuykendall, an Army spokesman. The new suit, still years from battlefield deployment, is about half the weight of existing versions and is a one-piece unit with a zip front that resembles a baby's footed sleeper. A protective mask completes the ensemble. It can be used for 45 days. Until then, soldiers are making do with suits that have had a variety of problems. About 800,000 were recalled two years ago because of holes, bad stitching and foreign objects embedded in the fabric. http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/commentary/story/0,4386,156996,00.html? * WHY IT'S NOW OR NEVER WITH IRAQ by Fareed Zakaria Straits Times, possibly from Newsweek, 26th November HAVING gotten the inspectors back into Iraq with unfettered access, the Bush administration had better brace itself for the most likely outcome - they will find nothing. Don't get me wrong. Iraq is surely producing weapons of mass destruction. The United Nations and the United States have accumulated powerful evidence of this over the past decade, including testimony from President Saddam Hussein's son-in-law, Mr Hussein Kamal, about Iraq's biological weapons. But Iraq has become increasingly expert at dispersing and hiding these facilities, which are often small enough to fit into a bathroom or a van. >From 1994, with the exception of finds related to tips from Mr Hussein Kamal, the inspectors looked at more than 700 sites and got nothing. And for the past four years, Iraq has been inspection-free, giving it time to devise new ways to hide its wares. Mr Saddam Hussein understands this advantage. Dr Kenneth Pollack of the Brookings Institution notes that Iraq's leader has not moved any army divisions, is not encircling Baghdad and is not building fortifications. 'Saddam is not preparing for war; he's preparing to derail America's plans diplomatically.' Earlier this month, in his first interview in 12 years, Mr Saddam said: 'No doubt time is working for us. We have to buy some more time and the American-British coalition will disintegrate.' Mr Saddam is planning to 'cooperate' for months, maybe years. If he does so, the momentum for genuine disarmament and war will slip away, and Russia and France will begin clamouring for economic sanctions against him to be lifted. To stop events going down this road, the administration must force a crisis. Its first opportunity will come after Dec 8, by which time Iraq has to provide a 'full, final and complete declaration' relating to its weapons of mass destruction. Of course, like its previous ones, this declaration will likely be neither full, final nor complete. Washington's task will be to prove this to the world. It isn't as easy as it sounds. American evidence, gathered from the sky, is largely circumstantial - photographs of buildings that appear to be chemical-weapons factories and such. Today, those buildings are probably either empty or manufacturing baby aspirin. (They could, in a few days, be turned into chemical-weapons facilities.) Still, it's worth showing evidence as detailed as possible. More importantly, the US should declassify and release the testimony of Iraqi defectors and their detailed accounts of Iraq's weapons programmes. But a false declaration will not, by itself, be sufficient grounds for war. This was part of the compromise that got the administration the 15-0 vote in the Security Council. Iraq also has to fail to 'comply and cooperate' with the inspections process. Showing that is Washington's real challenge. The White House's strategy: After Dec 8, it will create tests designed to determine whether the Iraqi regime really means to cooperate fully and disarm itself. Based on Washington's intelligence, the inspectors will ask to see specific facilities, interview specific Iraqi scientists and be given specific documents. And Iraq will have to comply within a concentrated period of time - probably a few weeks after Dec 8. Washington's hope is that in one of these many tests, Iraq will show it is not cooperating, and thus pave the way for military action. The inspectors will not find weapons but they might well find non-compliance. If events do not come to a head soon after Dec 8, the pressure for action will dissipate and the weather will make conflict impossible until next fall. And you cannot replay this movie. America's Arab allies, like Qatar and Kuwait, will not find credible Washington's renewed bellicosity, and will not stick their necks out yet again; the inspections process will have become more political; and France and Russia will have gained support in the Security Council. At home, the continuing uncertainty, high oil prices and low business investment will cripple the economy. The administration has set its course. It's now or never. NO URL (sent through list) * THE FIRST MILITARY RESISTER IN 2002 Portside Moderator, no date During 1990-91's US military build-up in the Gulf, more than 13,000 US soldiers refused to serve or went AWOL. Some were court-martialed and went to jail, others just "disappeared" -- as George W. Bush did for over a year when his unit was called up to active duty in the 1960s. Last week, the first public resister of the new Gulf War stepped forward, US Army Private Wilfredo Torres from Rochester New York. Our support goes out to Mr. Torres, a man of tremendous courage and moral fiber. We need to spread the word about such acts of resistance to the horror throughout the military bases in our areas. - Mitchel Cohen AWOL GI Refuses Service in 'Gulf War II' (CNSNews.com) - U.S. Army Private Wilfredo Torres stepped forward this past Monday to say he was absent without leave for nearly a year because he wanted no part of a U.S. invasion of Iraq. The announcement from Torres, a 19-year-old from Rochester, N.Y., came on Veteran's Day and just three days after the United Nations Security Council approved a resolution authorizing the use of American force to disarm Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Torres surrendered Monday afternoon to U.S. military police at Fort Myer, Virginia, was incarcerated overnight on an AWOL charge and was to be transferred to Fort Knox, Ky., Tuesday morning, according to his attorney Tod Ensign, who is also the director of a veterans' rights advocacy group called Citizen Soldier. Torres was participating in basic training at Fort Benning, Ga., when he left without permission shortly after Thanksgiving last year. Monday, he told CNSNews.com he is ready to accept the consequences for his actions even if it means a dishonorable discharge from the Army. "I am returning to the military today so my case can be resolved. If I am punished, then I am ready," he said. "Since I left Fort Benning, Georgia, last November, I thought about our country's foreign policy and my potential role as a soldier. I have decided that it will be wrong for our country to attack Iraq on its own, without working as part of the U.N.," said Torres. Even after Friday's unanimous vote by the U.N. Security Council, authorizing the use of force against Iraq, Torres said he is still convinced the United States wants to invade Iraq on its own. "I'm no expert, but I think that such an attack will undermine the U.N. and affect America's standing in this world," Torres said. "If we do [attack], I won't be going with them," he added. While turning himself in on Veterans Day, Torres denied he meant any disrespect to military veterans. "I have the greatest respect for them, but from what I have read lately, our government has not done a good job of caring for Gulf War and Vietnam Vets," he said. Torres said he realizes he could be court-martialed or receive a dishonorable discharge but those are chances he is willing to take. Ensign and other activists are already labeling any military action against Iraq, "Gulf War II." Then- President George H.W. Bush launched the first Persian Gulf War in 1991 to expel Iraqi troops from Kuwait. Now, the former president's son is America's commander- in-chief. "If the war goes ahead and my own reading is that [President George W.] Bush thinks he can go ahead without any further need for a further U.N resolution, I think we will hear from dozens and even hundreds of young people," said Ensign. "I've been getting calls already from reservists who are asking about their options. "I think this movement will grow, if [Bush] goes ahead with the war there, " he said. Fort Knox, Ky., is the Army's main facility for AWOL GIs. A dishonorable discharge, according to Ensign, could bar Torres from future Army and other veterans' benefits. According to the Uniform Code For Military Justice, if a soldier goes AWOL for 30 days, the government changes the status to desertion. Both are violations under the code. When the status is changed to desertion, according to the code, the military contacts family members and issues an arrest warrant to all of the law enforcement agencies in the United States. If police then stop the individual, he/she will be arrested and returned to military control. An AWOL soldier, under article 86 of the Uniform Code For Military Justice, faces a maximum punishment of "a dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement at hard labor for 18 months." Article 85 of the code, dealing with desertion, establishes that "the maximum punishment is a dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement at hard labor for three years. In times of war, the maximum punishment for desertion is death by lethal injection." The U.S. Army had no comment on the Torres case. The offices of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) were closed Monday in honor of Veterans Day. But in a Veterans Day message, American Legion National Commander Ronald Conley made it clear that any invasion of Iraq would mean an increase in the number of active duty troops. "An invasion of Iraq could result in the mobilization of about 300,000 members of Reserve and National Guard units," said Conley. "Increasing the active-duty force, from its current 1.35 million to at least 1.6 million, is a more sensible way to correct the undersized total force than demanding long-term deployments from Reserve and Guard personnel." Conley said those in military uniform should be proud to serve America. "It's a privilege to wear this nation's uniform and to serve under this nation's flag, which is an international symbol of freedom, justice and democracy. On the other hand, one must be prepared to make the Supreme Sacrifice to defend freedom, as more than one million U.S. citizen-soldiers have done," he said. http://www.msnbc.com/news/840503.asp?0cv=NA01 * WAR PLAN AIMS TO BALANCE OLD, NEW by Greg Jaffe MSNBC.com, from The Wall Street Journal, 27th November The first thing Saddam Hussein's field commanders would discover in the opening moments of a U.S. attack is that they could no longer track enemy aircraft, after their radar installations were decimated by helicopter-fired Hellfire missiles and laser-guided bombs. SHORTLY AFTER that, 2,000-pound satellite-guided bombs would slam into radio-relay stations and cut fiber-optic communications lines, destroying the Iraqi commanders' ability to get orders from top bosses in Baghdad. Then the lights in their command posts would flicker and fade as electricity-conducting carbon filament rained down on the country's power plants, shorting out transformers. This opening-night scenario is emerging as a central part of the Pentagon's war plan should President Bush decide to attack Iraq. Although the outlines of how the U.S. might carry out such an attack have been discussed for months, consensus has begun to coalesce around a war plan that calls for a quicker buildup of forces in the region and an attack aimed at bringing a swifter end to the conflict. Pentagon officials expect U.S. ground troops to be able to start pushing into Iraq less than two weeks after the start of the high-tech air campaign. The invading force, guided by better surveillance and communications gear, would be smaller and much faster moving than in the 1991 Gulf War, in which large columns of troops advanced in tight formations. In that earlier conflict, the U.S. bombed Iraq for 40 days before starting the ground invasion, and less than 10% of the bombs dropped were precision munitions, which are guided to their targets by satellite or laser signals. By contrast, Pentagon officials say more than 80% of the bombs in a new Iraq war would be precision munitions, allowing the military to strike far more targets throughout Iraq in the opening days of a campaign than in the Gulf War. The current plan for a quick, powerful strike is driven by new technology that has advanced significantly since the last time the U.S. went to war against the Persian Gulf nation more than a decade ago. It's also driven by a largely untested theory of warfare that has as one of its biggest proponents Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld but has provoked unease among some senior ground commanders. The new theory, known as effects-based operations, argues that a rapid, highly precise and meticulously coordinated air attack aimed at critical targets can temporarily shatter an enemy's ability to fight back as a coherent force. Fast-moving ground troops should then be able to defeat the enemy quickly before it has a chance to regain its bearings. The goal of traditional warfare is to deplete an enemy's forces and destroy its military infrastructure; in effects-based warfare, the goal is to paralyze it. The new approach "allows you to accomplish objectives quicker, with less cost in lives, money and personnel," says Air Force Maj. Gen. David Deptula, who was a key architect of the air campaigns in the Gulf War and Afghanistan and has written frequently in Air Force publications to promote effects-based warfare. The problem with the theory, say critics, is that it has never been employed on a large-scale and there is no guarantee it will work. Aspects of effects-based operations were employed in wars in Afghanistan and Kosovo, but these were fought on a far smaller scale than the war now being planned for Iraq. Not surprisingly, the biggest skeptics of effects-based warfare are in the Marine Corps and Army the services that stand to lose the most if they rush into the fight with fewer troops and discover that precision air strikes haven't disrupted the enemy as much as planners had hoped. "I think we've given our ability to acquire and then use intelligence about an enemy far more credit than we should," warns retired Col. Richard Sinnreich, who frequently plays the enemy commander in Army war games. Defenders of the new approach point to specific advances in technology that they say would make success more likely. During the Gulf War one aircraft carrier could destroy 162 targets in a day. Today, that same carrier, armed with far more precise satellite- and laser guided bombs, can strike nearly 700 targets in the same time period. Unmanned surveillance planes, such as the Globalhawk and Predator, can circle over the battlefield for as long as 48 hours taking pictures of the enemy's every move. New satellite communications allow the surveillance planes to transmit those pictures in a matter of seconds to attack helicopters, bombers and advancing ground troops. Armed with that information, helicopters and planes can pummel enemy forces before they can get in range of U.S. ground troops. Smaller, faster U.S. ground forces can steer around enemy front-line formations and mount far more focused attacks on key units deep behind enemy lines. The concept of effects-based operations got its start in a place known as the Black Hole, the top secret Air Force planning cell in Saudi Arabia that orchestrated the Gulf War air campaign. Only a fraction of the bombs dropped in that war were precision munitions. But the Black Hole planners, led by then-Lt. Col. Deptula, quickly realized that even a small number of the weapons could have a devastating psychological effect on the enemy. In the Gulf War, one of the air planners' first jobs was to take out the Iraqi air defenses by destroying five key command-and-control facilities scattered around the country. The sites were buried 37 feet below the ground. Initially the planners calculated they would have to put 16 precision bombs on each command facility to destroy them. But Col. Deptula insisted that just a handful of bombs would convince whoever was inside to give up and go home. So he amended the attack plan to hit each facility with one or two bombs. When the Iraqis returned the following evening they were struck again. By the third night, the rattled Iraqis had abandoned the still-functioning sites entirely. The precision weapons had shattered the Iraqis' will to resist, now-Maj. Gen. Deptula says. Another advantage: His plan freed up 12 of the Air Force's 16 stealthy F-117 bombers to mount simultaneous attacks on other key targets. He became convinced that smart bombs, used in greater numbers, could change the nature of warfare. Back in the U.S., Maj. Gen. Deptula became the chief proselytizer for this new theory. Fiercely opinionated, he sometimes rankled Army and Marine Corps generals. In one paper, entitled "Firing for Effects" and published shortly after the Gulf War, he wrote that the gap between old-style war planners and effects-based planners was like the difference between the views of Ptolemy, the ancient astronomer who held that the universe revolved around the Earth, and those of Copernicus, who described the Earth revolving around the sun. When Defense Secretary Rumsfeld took office two years ago with a mandate to make the military more nimble, he quickly embraced the concept. Mr. Rumsfeld used it to guide procurement decisions and the crafting of the Bush administration's overall defense strategy. The swift defeat of the Taliban in Afghanistan, with a high-tech air campaign and only a few thousand ground troops, cemented Mr. Rumsfeld's commitment to effects-based war. Despite the Army's strenuous objections, Mr. Rumsfeld killed the service's Crusader howitzer. At 84 tons, the Crusader was too cumbersome for a fast-moving fight. But its biggest failing, the defense secretary insisted, was that it couldn't fire precision munitions, essential to effects-based battles of the future. Over the last three months, Mr. Rumsfeld ordered all of the military's four-star commanders, who oversee regions throughout the world, to rewrite their contingency plans to capitalize on precision weapons, better intelligence and the effects-based concept. Over the last three months, Mr. Rumsfeld ordered all of the military's four-star commanders, who oversee regions throughout the world, to rewrite their contingency plans to capitalize on precision weapons, better intelligence and the effects-based concept. According to senior defense officials, Mr. Rumsfeld insisted that the changes should allow the U.S. military to begin combat operations with fewer troops and on less notice than previously thought possible or safe. No war plan received more attention than Gen. Tommy R. Franks's plan for an invasion of Iraq, which differed from Mr. Rumsfeld's vision of a swift, punishing attack. With the likelihood of war with that country growing, Gen. Franks, the commander of all U.S. troops in the Middle East, had settled on a somewhat smaller version of the 1991 Gulf War plan: 300,000 troops in the Gulf region built up over a three-month period. Many senior Army generals supported Gen. Franks's call for such a large invasion force. Rather than viewing the Afghan war as a triumph of high-tech weaponry, as Mr. Rumsfeld did, those Army officers believed the conflict underlined technology's shortcomings. Those weaknesses were most apparent in Operation Anaconda the largest, bloodiest land battle of the war, those officers argued. Fought in March, months after the Taliban government crumbled, Anaconda was supposed to rout out about 250 al Qaeda fighters from a mountainous region in eastern Afghanistan. The U.S. forces used high-tech surveillance, precision bombs and about 1,500 ground troops. But a fight that was supposed to conclude in three days lasted two weeks. A stronger-than expected force of about 1,000 al Qaeda fighters fought back fiercely from their hideouts in caves, undetected by all the high-tech surveillance. By the end of the battle seven U.S. soldiers were killed and dozens more injured. Many al Qaeda fighters escaped. Anaconda had a big impact on senior ground commanders in the Army, who worried that the U.S. could run into similar problems on a far grander scale in Iraq if enemy soldiers there didn't crumble quickly the way the air-power advocates predicted, say Army officials. Over the summer and early fall Mr. Rumsfeld continued to push Gen. Franks to come up with a faster-moving war plan for Iraq that could start before the full complement of troops was on the ground in the region. The current plan is a compromise. Following an air attack, the U.S. would move into Iraq quickly with a relatively small ground force. How many troops would be in that first assault would depend on how much time the U.S. had to build up its force and the success of the air campaign, say defense officials. Although the total force deployed could still build to as many as 260,000 troops half the number that fought in the Gulf War many of the ground troops wouldn't move into Iraq unless they were needed. Rather, they would be held back at regional bases in some instances a few days from the fight in case the invading force encountered stiffer-than expected resistance. Those backups also could be called in if the fighting spilled into cities, where the enemy could neutralize the U.S. technological advantage by hiding in buildings and sewers. "Effects-based operations gives you the ability today to do the running start with a smaller force," says one senior defense official familiar with the plan. But the official also acknowledged that spotty intelligence could still create dangerous surprises on the battlefield. Some of the new military technology and effects-based strategy were on display in September in a massive U.S. military exercise in Poland, dubbed "Victory Strike." The exercise began when 20 helicopters from the U.S. military's V Corps one of the first Army units likely to be deployed for a war in Iraq set off to destroy a half dozen simulated radar and missile sites hidden near a mock child-care center and hospital. Hugging the rolling Polish countryside, the black Apache Longbow helicopters sped toward their targets deep behind enemy lines. As they flew they received updates every few seconds from a RC-135 surveillance plane that was scouring the area for electronic emissions from enemy radar. They also received live video of the battlefield from a circling Predator unmanned plane. Thirty minutes after takeoff, the Apaches had destroyed the enemy radar, opening the skies up for F-16 pilots to begin a massive attack with satellite-guided, 2,000-pound bombs on the mock enemy's forces. About 1,500 helicopter-borne infantry soldiers simultaneously swept in to seize an airfield that was then used to funnel in thousands more U.S. troops. In his command post 90 miles from the fight, Lt. Gen. Scott Wallace, commander of the Germany-based V Corps, watched the fight unfold on video screens carrying more than a dozen separate feeds from the battlefield. He could get imagery from satellites and surveillance planes taking pictures from far above the battlefield. If the general wanted to zoom in on a particular piece of terrain he could pull up live video from a Predator that delivers a clear picture of individual tanks and artillery cannons. In the next few weeks, using new technology to be delivered to his unit, the general will have the ability to see the location of all of his ground units updated every two minutes. "All that information ... makes us much quicker and more agile," Gen. Wallace says. As a commander, it also allows him to spread his troops out more widely across the battlefield and to "to take more risk," he says. Gen. Wallace's new high-tech command post will be sent to Kuwait early next month. There his troops will test out the technology to make sure there is enough satellite bandwidth to receive and pass along the vast stores of information that their surveillance systems can collect. When the exercise is done, most of the troops will return to their base in Germany. The equipment likely will remain in Kuwait, to be used in the event of a war with Iraq. _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk