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|11-21-2002||Colin Powell: Warns Saddam against "false hope" that military action wouldn't happen after March, 2003 |
MR. RATHER: Mr. Secretary, does or does not anyone in the Bush Administration believe, really believe, that Iraq will meet the December 8 deadline or that the inspectors will be able to uncover whatever weapons of mass destruction Saddam Hussein has?
SECRETARY POWELL: If he cooperates in a way that is clear and visible and we can let the inspectors do their job, then war can be avoided. But if the declaration is patently false and everybody can see it, if he does not let the inspectors do their job, then the President is fully ready to take the necessary step, which is military force....
MR. RATHER: The clock is running on us, Mr. Secretary, but one of the things that you and General Schwarzkopf and others taught us during the Gulf War was that the moon, the tides, the desert temperatures make some time between January 15th and, say, the middle of March the ideal time to strike. Are we dealing with that kind of window this time, or not?
SECRETARY POWELL: Many battles have been fought in the heat of summer and the United States Armed Forces are very effective at night, when it is much cooler. So if Saddam Hussein or anyone else thinks that once this ideal window passes then they are safe for another year, I suggest that may be a false hope.CBS - Evening News, published 11-21-2002
|11-21-2002||US begins to quietly recruit a 5,000 man force in Northern Iraq|
With promises of $3,000 and a trip to America, the US is quietly recruiting - inside northern Iraq - part of a new 5,000-man force to help topple Saddam Hussein. President Bush signed a presidential directive authorizing the combat training, and approved the use of $92 million remaining from the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act to create a force of local scouts, interpreters, forward spotters to call in laser-guided bombs, and even guards for prisoner-of-war camps.
Most of those recruited for the new army so far are being drawn from Iraqi exiles living abroad, from lists supplied by the INC, but some fresh recruiting is now taking place here in northern Iraq.Christian Science Monitor, published 11-21-2002
|11-23-2002||Bush: Iraq - a "unique and urgent threat"|
Good morning. I'm speaking to you from Europe where, this week, I am meeting with NATO allies and friends to discuss terrorism and other threats to our shared security. ...
On my trip this week here in Europe, I'm consulting with our friends and NATO allies about the new threats to freedom that we face together. Today, the United States is joined by more than 90 nations in a global coalition against terrorism, sharing intelligence, cutting off terrorist finance and pursuing the terrorists where they plot and train. The world is also uniting to answer the unique and urgent threat posed by Iraq, whose dictator has already used weapons of mass destruction to kill thousands. We must not and will not permit either terrorists or tyrants to blackmail freedom-loving nations.President Recaps Historic Week in Domestic and Foreign Affairs - Radio Address, published 11-23-2002
|12-02-2002||Bush: Saddam with history of seeking WMD and nuclear weapons|
|12-02-2002||US sets up "test" headquarters in Qatar|
A long-heralded US military exercise in Qatar will soon be under way. Code-named Internal Look, this is what the Americans call a command post exercise. Tanks and armoured vehicles will not be churning up the desert sand.
Essentially, the US will be establishing an expeditionary headquarters in Qatar and trying to test out all of the communications and command systems that might be needed in the event of a war.BBC News, published 12-02-2002
|12-02-2002||No win situation - If Saddam says he has no WMD, 'he's misleading the world.'|
Q: You're assuming in your answer that they have weapons of mass destruction which they are hiding. They say they do not; you say that they do.
MR. FLEISCHER: I think the history of people who accept Saddam Hussein at face value and take his word for accurate is one of disappointment because they have been deceived. Saddam Hussein does not exactly have a track record of telling the world the truth. So he, on December 8th, has to indicate whether or not he has weapons. Let's see what he says. If he declares he has none, then we will know that Saddam Hussein is once again misleading the world.
Q: How will you know?
MR. FLEISCHER: We have intelligence information about what Saddam Hussein possesses.
Q: So you say that you do have information that he has these weapons.
MR. FLEISCHER: It's no secret. We've said many times -- you've heard the President say repeatedly that he has chemical and biological weapons, and he has missiles that can reach an access of 150 kilometers, all three of which are violations of his sworn commitments to the United Nations.White House Press Briefing - Ari Fleisher, published 12-02-2002
|12-03-2002||US does not need UN approval for war|
WASHINGTON, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- If Iraq does not confess to having chemical, biological and nuclear weapons development programs by its Dec. 8 deadline, the United States and United Kingdom have intelligence to show it is lying, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Tuesday....
If the United States is not satisfied with Iraq's declaration, it does not need the Security Council's approval to take military action against Saddam Hussein....
"The United States knows that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. The U.K. knows that they have weapons of mass destruction. Any country on the face of the earth with an active intelligence program knows that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction," Rumsfeld said.United Press International, published 12-03-2002
|12-03-2002||USS Harry S. Truman Battle Group to deploy|
More than 8,000 Sailors and Marines from the ships and squadrons that comprise the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Carrier Battle Group will depart on a regularly scheduled deployment Dec. 5.
Most of the Sailors and Marines will deploy from the Hampton Roads area and relieve the USS George Washington (CVN 73) Carrier Battle Group, whose return date has not yet been announced.
The entire battle group has prepared for deployment over the last eight months through a series of increasingly demanding exercises and operations, culminating in the recently completed Joint Task Force Exercise 03-1, which certified them as ready to deploy.US Navy News, published 12-03-2002
|12-04-2002||British Ministry of Defense reveals 300% rise in ordnance dropped over southern no-fly zone |
The total amount of bombs dropped by British and American aircraft on targets in southern Iraq has increased dramatically over the past few months, in a clear indication that the no-fly zone is being used to destroy the country's air defence systems in anticipation of an all-out attack.
Ordnance dropped on southern Iraq in response to threats has increased by 300% since March this year, according to figures released by the Ministry of Defence today in response to questions from the Liberal Democrat spokesman on foreign affairs, Menzies Campbell.The Guardian, published 12-04-2002
|12-06-2002||Fleisher: The President and Secretary of State would not say there were WMD if there was no solid basis for saying it|
The Bush administration says it has solid evidence that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction even as Iraq issues firm denials.
The United States is turning up the pressure on Iraq before the Sunday deadline by which Baghdad must reveal all its weapons programmes to the United Nations to comply with a resolution. ...
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer refused to give details on what evidence the US had, but said intelligence would be passed on to the inspectors in Iraq.
"The president of the United States and the secretary of defence would not assert as plainly and bluntly as they have that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction if it was not true, and if they did not have a solid basis for saying it," he said.BBC News, published 12-06-2002
|12-07-2002||Iraq presents UN with 12,000 page dossier|
Saddam Hussein risked a devastating US-led war yesterday when he delivered a 12,000-page declaration on Iraq's arms capability, which he insists proves his regime 'retains no weapons of mass destruction.'
General Hassam Mohamed Amin, head of Iraq's National Monitoring Directorate, displayed the documents and accompanying CDs to journalists in Baghdad and insisted that his country was clean of weapons of mass destruction.
'I reiterate here Iraq has no weapons of mass destruction,' he said. 'I think if the United States has the minimum level of fairness and braveness, it should accept the report and say this is the truth.'
The insistence that Iraq has no weapons of mass destruction, however, appears to set the country on a collision course with the US - and its closest ally, Britain - both of which claim they have 'solid evidence' that it retains banned weapons systems.The Guardian, published 12-08-2002
|12-07-2002||US edits out more than 8,000 crucial pages of Iraq's 11,800-page dossier|
The United States edited out more than 8000 crucial pages of Iraq's 11,800-page dossier on weapons, before passing on a sanitised version to the 10 non-permanent members of the United Nations security council.
The full extent of Washington's complete control over who sees what in the crucial Iraqi dossier calls into question the allegations made by US Secretary of State Colin Powell that 'omissions' in the document constituted a 'material breach' of the latest UN resolution on Iraq.
Last week, Secretary General of the UN Kofi Annan accepted that it was 'unfortunate' that his organisation had allowed the US to take the only complete dossier and edit it. He admitted 'the approach and style were wrong' and Norway, a member of the security council, says it is being treated like a 'second-class country'. ...
A UN source in New York said: 'The questions being asked are valid. What did the US take out? And if weapons inspectors are supposed to be checking against the dossier's content, how can any future claim be verified. In effect the US is saying trust us, and there are many who just will not.'
Current and former UN diplomats are said to be livid at what some have called the 'theft' of the Iraqi document by the US. Hans von Sponeck, the former assistant general secretary of the UN and the UN's humanitarian co- ordinator in Iraq until 2000, said: 'This is an outrageous attempt by the US to mislead.'Sunday Herald - Glasglow, Scotland, published 12-22-2002
|12-09-2002||US begins war game in Qatar in possible preparation for Iraq war|
A U.S. war game believed to be a rehearsal for an invasion of Iraq began Monday in Qatar with senior commanders and battle planners conducting a computer-assisted exercise to improve their ability to fight a war in the region.
Led by Gen. Tommy Franks, the chief of U.S. Central Command, exercise Internal Look involves officers from all four branches of the military, Franks' permanent office in Florida and the Pentagon, a Central Command official said.
The seven-to-10-day exercise started shortly after 7:30 a.m.USA Today, published 12-09-2002
|12-11-2002||Qatar, US sign pact to upgrade bases|
DOHA, Qatar -- The United States and Qatar signed a pact today to upgrade Qatari military bases that the Americans could use in any conflict with Iraq.U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani signed the agreement, which Rumsfeld said was an indication of the importance of their defense cooperation.
"The agreement is something that will improve military readiness," Rumsfeld said.
He said it would allow the United States to upgrade facilities on bases in Qatar that it has been using for the past year under a 1992 defense pact.
Analysts say Qatar is rapidly acquiring new importance in U.S. strategy for the region as war looms with Iraq. Some 5,000 U.S. troops are currently in Qatar, where U.S. Gen. Tommy Franks, seen as a possible commander of any attack on Iraq, has established a mobile headquarters.
[Original web page no longer available]Reuters, published 12-11-2002
|12-11-2002||Douglas Feith: Review of Iraq's declaration "will probably take weeks"|
At a media roundtable in Rome following a conference of Southeast European Defense Ministers, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith said the United States will review "very meticulously" Iraq's declaration concerning its weapons of mass destruction and that the review "will probably take weeks."
"We intend to consult with other countries that have intelligence and insights into the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction programs, and consult with the countries on the United Nations Security Council and other countries and develop as broad a base as possible, and as solid a base as possible, for whatever conclusions we are going to come to about the truthfulness of that Iraqi declaration," Feith said December 11.State Dept - Transcript of Media Roundtable at the US Embassy Rome, published 12-12-2002
|12-12-2002||B-2 base ready for Iraq action |
The US Air Force has set up a forward operating base for its 'bat-winged' B-2 Stealth bombers, which would spearhead any strike against Baghdad, on the British-owned Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia.
Satellite imagery published by the globalsecurity.org arms control website this week shows two of the portable 'climate controlled' hangers, needed to support the B-2s when they are deployed away from their home base in Missouri, set up on the 67 acre aircraft ramp at Diego Garcia's giant airbase.
The hangers protect the top-secret stealth coatings of the B-2s that help make them 'invisible' to detection by radar from being damaged by rain or tropical humidity. Huge air conditioning systems are fitted to the hangers to keep the bombers in tip-top condition.
[Original web page no longer available]Financial Times, published 12-12-2002
|12-12-2002||US experts decry Iraqi Declaration as 'nothing new'|
U.S. experts on Iraq and weapons of mass destruction expressed skepticism December 12 over Iraq's December 7 declaration to the United Nations on its weapons programs.
Briefing at the Brookings Institution in Washington, former U.N. weapons inspector David Kay said that on the basis of the nine-page table of contents of the Iraqi declaration that has been circulated, plus "a few side conversations" with people who are examining the declaration, "[i]t looks very much like it is the same old stuff that we've had before."
Kay, Kenneth Pollack and Michael O'Hanlon briefed on Iraq's declaration and the Iraq inspections process at a Brookings panel discussion. Kay is a senior fellow at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies as well as a former chief of the U.N. Special Commission (UNSCOM), which conducted weapons of mass destruction (WMD) inspections in Iraq from 1991 through 1998. Pollack is director of research at Brookings' Saban Institute for Middle East Policy, a former CIA analyst, and a former National Security Council official. O'Hanlon is a senior fellow in foreign policy studies at Brookings.
Kay said the nuclear section of the new Iraqi declaration in particular "looks identical" to what Iraq declared in 1998.State Dept - Washington File, published 12-12-2002
|12-15-2002||Secret operation to buy off Iraqi sheikhs to rise against Saddam |
Dozens of teams of elite American soldiers and intelligence specialists have been sent into Iraq with millions of dollars in cash to woo key tribal leaders away from Saddam Hussein.
The secret campaign, based on tactics used successfully in Afghanistan last year, has been under way for several weeks and is a critical part of the military and political strategy being pursued by the US and its closest ally, Britain, to strip Saddam of weapons of mass destruction and, if this is not possible, to bring about a 'regime change'.The Guardian, published 12-15-2002
|12-15-2002||British navy sends 2,600-man task force to the Gulf|
"The Royal Navy will dispatch a task force to the Gulf at the start of next month as Britain launches its military build-up to a war with Iraq.
The aircraft carrier Ark Royal will lead a six-vessel fleet that includes a destroyer, a frigate and a submarine. The ships will sail directly to the Middle East.
The deployment is the first British contribution to the military build-up in the region being assembled by the United States to confront Saddam Hussein"The Telegraph , published 12-15-2002
|12-16-2002||Pentagon considers Propaganda Campaign|
Pentagon officials are debating whether to use the military to conduct covert propaganda operations in allied nations, ten months after disbanding a controversial office that had the same goal....
The proposal to use the military to influence public opinion in friendly nations has simmered for a year, with both uniformed and civilian officials split on the idea, the officials said....
The debate over the directive was first reported in Monday editions of The New York Times.
There has been world disapproval of a number of positions taken by the United States, including Arab opposition to aspects of the war on terror and other opposition to a possible war against Iraq.
In a broad international survey released early this month, the Pew Global Attitudes Project found that the United States is falling out of favor in 19 of 27 countries where a trend could be identified.CBS News, published 12-16-2002
|12-17-2002||Colin Powell picks holes in Iraq's dossier|
Colin Powell, the US secretary of state, gave a hint yesterday that the White House will reject the Iraqi weapons declaration, saying there were problems with the 12,000-page document.
"We said at the very beginning that we approached it with scepticism and the information I have received so far is that the scepticism is well founded," he said.The Guardian , published 12-17-2002
|12-17-2002||UN report: al Qaeda still active in Afghanistan and able to operate globally|
Al Qaeda is still able to receive money despite global efforts to combat the financing of terrorism and its members are still able to travel widely, according to a report released Wednesday by a U.N. Security Council panel of experts.
The panel was established to monitor efforts against Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda, the Taliban and their associates.
The report also said al Qaeda is setting up new training camps in Afghanistan. And the chairman of the monitoring group said it could find no connection between al Qaeda and Iraq.
The report said recent intelligence reports show al Qaeda is "regrouping and setting up simple training facilities inside Afghanistan, close to the Pakistan border."
Michael Chandler, the group's chairman, told reporters the camps are in a remote region of eastern Afghanistan and indicated the United States is aware of them.CNN, published 12-17-2002
|12-18-2002||US Army to train 1,000 Iraqi exiles|
The United States has accepted 1,000 Iraqi exiles for military training as guides and go-betweens for U.S. forces in a war with Iraq, a contingent that exile leaders hope will grow into the core of a new Iraqi army after President Saddam Hussein is ousted, Iraqis familiar with the training program said today.
[Original web page is a placeholder
only.]Washington Post, published 12-18-2002
|12-18-2002||Hungary agrees to let US train Iraqi exiles at US base|
Hungary's socialist-led government has approved Wednesday an American request to use a U.S. military base in Hungary for training up to 3,000 Iraqi exiles.
Hungarian government spokesman Zoltan Gal said that the Iraqi exiles will be allowed to receive training at a United States military base in the village of Taszar, about 200 kilometers southwest of Budapest.
Under current plans, the Iraqis will arrive in two waves, starting in January or February, for training programs that will last about three months.
According to the Hungarian defense ministry, the Iraqis will be accompanied by about 2,000 U.S. military personnel.Palestine Chronicle, published 12-18-2002
|12-18-2002||The Iraqi dossier missing pages and list of suppliers for Iraqi development of WMD|
Iraq [dossier] has identified Germany as the country whose companies did most to help Baghdad in its drive to acquire weapons of mass destruction, said a German newspaper
The leftwing Berlin daily, die tageszeitung, said it had obtained a copy of part of the document handed by Baghdad to the UN earlier this month which supplied details of its weapons programmes. The extract included a list of foreign companies, of which more than half - 80 - were German. ...
Die tageszeitung said the list featured British companies, too, although it did not say how many or name them.
It said there were 24 companies from the US - the second-highest tally.
Global Policy Forum, Fair Use article of above;
The Guardian, published 12-18-2002
|12-19-2002||Additional Military deployments to the Gulf|
The USNS Pilalaau (TAKR 304) was loading equipment in Beaumont, Texas on 19 December 2002, probably associated with the 1st Cavalry Division and the 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized). The USNS Yano (TAKR 297) was loading 3rd Infantry Division equipment on or about December 20 at Charleston, SC.GlobalSecurity.org , published 2004
|12-19-2002||100,000 troops poised to leave for Persian Gulf|
The United States is planning to accelerate the flow of U.S. forces into the Persian Gulf region to prepare for a possible invasion of Iraq, according to senior U.S. officials.
Up to 100,000 American troops, along with additional naval and air forces, could begin moving immediately after the holidays and be in place by the end of January or early February, according to a senior administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The U.S. forces could be joined by some 20,000 British troops and forces from other countries willing to fight Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.Houston Chronicle, published 12-08-2002
|12-19-2002||IAEA Says It Has No Evidence of Prohibited Iraqi Nuclear Activities|
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Mohamed ElBaradei said his agency has made a preliminary assessment of Iraq's declaration concerning nuclear related materials and so far has found "no evidence of prohibited activities."
Speaking at a briefing to the United Nations Security Council December 19, ElBaradei said IAEA inspectors have conducted a total of 74 inspections since November 27, and plan to expand the scope of inspections in order to include "a detailed investigation of Iraq's activities over the last four years."
ElBaradei said the IAEA will update the Security Council in January with a detailed assessment of Iraq's declaration after two months of inspections.
In Iraq's declaration to the Security Council, it said that all of its nuclear program activities were "practically terminated and abandoned during April 1991," said ElBaradei. However, he mentioned that the objective of the IAEA inspections was not only to verify that Iraq was not carrying out prohibited activities, but also to "re-establish knowledge of Iraqi nuclear capabilities."International Atomic Energy Agency, published 12-19-2002
|12-21-2002||Bush: ‘Nice try, but that isn't gonna sell Joe Public.' - Tenet: ‘Don't worry, it's a slam dunk case.’|
on Dec. 21, 2002, Woodward says CIA Director George Tenet brought his deputy, John McLaughlin, to the oval office to show the president and the vice president their best evidence that Saddam really had weapons of mass destruction.
”McLaughlin has access to all the satellite photos, and he goes in and he has flip charts in the oval office. The president listens to all of this and McLaughlin's done. And, and the president kind of, as he's inclined to do, says ‘Nice try, but that isn't gonna sell Joe Public. That isn't gonna convince Joe Public,’” says Woodward.
In his book, Woodward writes: "The presentation was a flop. The photos were not gripping. The intercepts were less than compelling. And then George Bush turns to George Tenet and says, 'This is the best we've got?'"
Says Woodward: “George Tenet's sitting on the couch, stands up, and says, ‘Don't worry, it's a slam dunk case.’" And the president challenges him again and Tenet says, ‘The case, it's a slam dunk.’CBS - 60 Minutes, published 04-18-2004
|12-22-2002||Pentagon negotiates Turkey staging area|
The Pentagon is drawing up plans to helicopter thousands of U.S. soldiers into Iraq from Turkey in the early days of an invasion, establishing a northern front that war planners increasingly see as a key part of any U.S. military action against Saddam Hussein's regime.
Designed partly to address Turkish opposition to basing large numbers of U.S. troops on its soil, the plans call for ferrying soldiers into Turkish bases and transferring them quickly to helicopters that would deposit them in northern Iraq, senior defense officials said.
[Original web page no longer available]Los Angeles Times, published 12-22-2002
|12-22-2002||Iraq invites CIA to visit and track down weapons of mass destruction|
Baghdad fought back in the highly charged propaganda battle with the US and Britain yesterday by inviting its arch-enemy, the CIA, to enter Iraq and track down the country's elusive weapons of mass destruction....
After four days of diplomatic pounding, Iraq hit back yesterday, accusing the Bush administration of rehashing old lies.
'We have told the world we are not producing these kind of weapons, but it seems that the world is drugged, absent or in a weak position, President Saddam Hussein said.
At a press conference in Baghdad yesterday, General Amir al-Sadi, scientific adviser to the president, issued a challenge to the US and British intelligence to offer up hard evidence that Iraq has any biological, chemical or nuclear weapons....
Both the US and Britain claim, against Iraqi denials, that they have evidence that Iraq has continued to develop weapons of mass destruction.
The UN chief weapons inspector, Hans Blix, said at the end of last week that if the US and Britain had such evidence, they should hand it over....
British government officials have already privately admitted that they do not have any 'killer evidence' about weapons of mass destruction. If they had, they would have already passed it to the inspectors.The Guardian, published 12-23-2002
|12-23-2002||"United on the Risk of a War with Iraq" by Paul Wolfowitz|
Every significant aspect of the military planning has been the subject of intense discussion among Rumsfeld, Franks, Gen. Richard B. Myers and the president. They have no differences concerning the size or nature of the military forces required, should it become necessary to disarm Iraq by force. Nor do they have any false sense that anyone can predict the course of events. It has never been so....
No course open to the United States is free of risk. The question is how to weigh the risks of action against the risks of inaction and to be fully aware of both.
One risk that is often exaggerated is the risk of what might happen in Iraq after the removal of the Saddam Hussein regime. It is hard to believe that the liberation of the talented people of one of the most important Arab countries in the world from the grip of one of the world's worst tyrants will not be an opportunity for Americans and Arabs and other people of goodwill to begin to move forward on the task that the president has described as "building a just and peaceful world beyond the war on terror."State Dept Press Release - Reprint of op-ed in Washington Post by Paul Wolfowitz, published 12-23-2002
|12-23-2002||Rumsfeld 'plan for a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq' continues|
Rumsfeld said that among other things, the United States and coalition war planes continue patrolling the northern and southern no-fly zones in Iraq that were created in the aftermath of the 1991 Persian Gulf War, and "we've continued developing a humanitarian relief and reconstruction plan for a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq."
At a Pentagon news briefing December 23, Rumsfeld and General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the United States continues working with the Iraqi opposition and making plans for a post-Saddam transition along with keeping up the military pressure.
"We're taking prudent and deliberate steps with respect to alerts and mobilizations and deployment of U.S. forces -- active, [National] Guard and Reserves," he said. "These include alerting Reserve combat, combat support and combat service support forces, deployment of combat and combat support forces needed to pave the way for future deployments in the event that that becomes necessary."
Rumsfeld added that none of these steps reflects a decision by President Bush or the United Nations to use force, saying the United States will continue working with the U.N. member states to encourage Iraqi compliance.
Myers said the United States continues "our deliberate and steady force build-up in the region. It's important to posture our forces appropriately to complement our diplomatic efforts."Dept of Defense Press Briefing , published 12-23-2002
|12-23-2002||US Order of Battle: 52K troops in CENTCOM area|
Excluding forces deployed in direct support of Operation Enduring Freedom, there are probably about 52,000 military personnel in the CENTCOM area of responsibility, including about 400 aircraft of all types. The number of troops deployed in the area fluctuates on a daily basis, and has averaged between 20,000 and 25,000 in recent years, with typically about 200 aircraft in the region. Forces in the region include a mix of special operations forces deployed in support of US Central Command operations. To enhance force protection throughout the region, additional military security personnel are also deployed.
Ground forces include a variety of units that are normally deployed in the region, which total about 3,700 troops. Forces in the region include a Patriot missile task force with two batteries deployed in Saudi Arabia and two in Kuwait. The Army Intrinsic Action / Desert Spring training exercises routinely deploy 1,500 to 5,000 troops for rotations of several months. As of early-December 2002 a brigade rotation was virtually complete. Nearly all of the 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division had returned to the United States, though comments made by 3rd Division officials to the press have made it clear that the 3rd BDE could redeploy to the region if so ordered. It is believed that the total Army presence in the region is nearly 10,000 soldiers.GlobalSecurity.org, published 08-2005
|12-24-2002||Rumsfeld signed deployment order for the Persian Gulf|
"Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has signed a deployment order to send "significant" ground forces, combat aircraft and logistics support to the Persian Gulf, a move that marks the beginning of a final buildup for a possible war against Iraq, senior defense officials said yesterday.
The classified order, a 20-plus-page document ... identifies an array of forces and capabilities -- such as mechanized infantry units, midair refuelers and medical facilities -- that will be shipped and airlifted to Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and other Gulf nations in the coming weeks.
The document leaves it up to the individual military services to decide what specific units will fulfill Rumsfeld's force requirements. The Navy, for instance, issued "prepare to deploy" orders yesterday to two aircraft carrier battle groups and activated a hospital ship, the USNS Comfort, based in Baltimore, and ordered its crew to prepare a 1,000-bed trauma center.
"It's a little bit of everything, and it's very comprehensive," said one official, who declined to specify how many individuals would be affected by the order. "It's heavy on the logistics side."
The U.S. military has been deploying troops, aircraft, tanks, other heavy equipment and supplies to the Persian Gulf for months in anticipation of possible military action against Iraq. Currently, there are about 60,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines in the region and 400 aircraft at bases in Turkey, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain.Washington Post, published 12-28-2002
|12-25-2002||Turkey gives approval for US to keep using air base|
Turkey on Wednesday approved a six-month extension of the mandate that allows U.S. warplanes to use its Incirlik air base to patrol a "no-fly" zone over northern Iraq.Houston Chronicle, published 12-25-2002
|12-27-2002||Air Force units receive deployment orders|
The Air Force units receiving deployment orders are scattered across the United States, reflecting the multifaceted air power Rumsfeld intends to amass in the Persian Gulf. The orders also show why it will be hard to conceal the final buildup for a possible Iraq war, since dozens of communities in five states will be immediately affected.
The units are the 1st Fighter Wing, an F-15C fighter unit based at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia; the 4th Fighter Wing, an F-15E unit at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina; the 28th Bomb Wing, a B-1B unit at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota; HH-60 combat search-and-rescue helicopters and Predator reconnaissance drones assigned to the 57th Wing at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, and the 347th Rescue Wing, an HC-130 unit, at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia.Washington Post, published 12-28-2002
|12-27-2002||Guard units to head overseas |
Nevada soldiers from two Army National Guard units in the Reno area received mobilization orders Thursday for overseas deployment, joining a growing list of states that have activated National Guard and Reserve troops for the nation's war on terrorism.
On Dec. 14, Pentagon officials said the Army and Navy would alert about 27,000 National Guard and Reserve forces nationwide for probable duty in the Persian Gulf region.
On Sunday, National Guard and Reserve troops from military police and combat support units in Kentucky, Georgia and Alabama had begun to mobilize, and two Oklahoma units were preparing for a six-month deployment to Kuwait and Egypt in January.
The alert was interpreted by defense analysts as a sign that U.S. leaders are preparing for a military operation against Iraq.
Should President Bush decide military force is necessary, as many as 100,000 National Guard and Reserve forces would be needed for a war aside from the 51,000 already on active duty, mainly for homeland defense.Las Vegas Review-Journal, published 12-27-2002
|12-28-2002||Members of Florida National Guard mobilized|
The 2nd and 3rd battalions of the 124th Infantry Regiment, a Florida National Guard unit, have been instructed to report to Fort Stewart in 10 days for mobilization.Washington Post, published 12-28-2002
|12-29-2002||US Army tank and mechanized infantry units receive deployment orders|
Soldiers from some units of the 3rd Infantry Division stationed at Fort Stewart and Fort Benning, Georgia, have received their deployment orders, although no departure date has been disclosed.
The brigade's roughly 5,000 soldiers are equipped with M1A1 Abrams heavy tanks, self-propelled artillery and Bradley armored troop carriers.
The unit conducted training exercises in Kuwait, which borders Iraq, in October. Much of its equipment is already in position in the Persian Gulf, with more on the way or scheduled to be shipped overseas.
The Associated Press reported the military personnel are being ordered to stand ready for deployment to Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain, among other locations, reinforcing the 50,000 U.S. military personnel already in the Gulf region.CNN - US, published 12-29-2002
|12-30-2002||US gives UN Inspectors evidence of Iraqi Weapons Programs|
The United States is providing intelligence concerning Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs to United Nations weapons inspectors, said State Department Deputy Spokesman Philip Reeker.
Speaking at the December 30 State Department briefing, Reeker said that after the United States found Iraq's declaration concerning its WMD programs to be "insufficient," it began providing additional intelligence to the inspectors.
"I think UNMOVIC, Dr. Blix's organization, has put into place ways to protect intelligence sources and methods, and that's enabled us to obviously work with them and other countries as well in sharing that intelligence," said Reeker.
Reeker added that the United States and other countries have provided information to the public concerning Iraq's development or possession of WMD, and "we're always considering when we're in a position to provide more information."State Dept - Washington File, published 12-31-2002
|12-31-2002||Bush: "I hope we're not headed to war in Iraq."|
Q. Mr. President, looking ahead here, with a possible war with Iraq looming, North Korea nuclear conflict, as well as Usama bin Laden still at large, is the world safer as we look ahead to 2003?
The President. Yes, it's a lot safer today than it was a year ago, and it's going to be safer after this year than it was this year because the United States of America will continue to lead a vast coalition of freedom-loving countries to disrupt terrorist activities, to hold dictators accountable, particularly those who ignore international norm and international rule....
You said we're headed to war in Iraq -- I don't know why you say that. I hope we're not headed to war in Iraq. I'm the person who gets to decide, not you. I hope this can be done peacefully.President Discusses Iraq and North Korea with Reporters, Crawford, Texas, published 12-31-2002
|01-2003||Bush Administration's 3rd missed opportunity to get terrorist Abu Musab Zarqawi|
In January 2003, the threat [from Zarqawi] turned real. Police in London arrested six terror suspects and discovered a ricin lab connected to the camp in Iraq.
The Pentagon drew up still another attack plan, and for the third time, the National Security Council killed it.
Military officials insist their case for attacking Zarqawi’s operation was airtight, but the administration feared destroying the terrorist camp in Iraq could undercut its case for war against Saddam.
The United States did attack the camp at Kirma at the beginning of the war, but it was too late — Zarqawi and many of his followers were gone. “Here’s a case where they waited, they waited too long and now we’re suffering as a result inside Iraq,” Cressey added.
And despite the Bush administration’s tough talk about hitting the terrorists before they strike, Zarqawi’s killing streak continues today.NBC News - Jim Miklaszewski, published 03-04-2004
|01-2003||CIA notifies White House officials: Al Qaeda detainee claims raises questions of detainee's truthfulness|
A CIA document shows the agency in January 2003 raised questions about an Al Qaeda detainee’s claims that Saddam Hussein’s government provided chemical and biological weapons training to terrorists—weeks before President George W. Bush and other top officials flatly used those same claims to make their case for war against Iraq.
The CIA document, recently provided to Congress and obtained by NEWSWEEK, fills in some of the blanks in the mysterious case of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, a captured Al Qaeda commander whose claims about poison-gas training for the Qaeda group by Saddam’s government formed the basis for some of the most dramatic arguments used by senior administration officials in the run up to the invasion of Iraq. [...]
The claim about poison-gas training resurfaced four months later in greatly expanded form during a particularly dramatic portion of then Secretary of State Colin Powell’s Feb. 5, 2003, speech to the UN Security Council that refers exclusively to al-Libi—although he is not actually identified by name. Towards the end of his speech, just after a passage that talked about Al Qaeda’s interest in acquiring weapons of mass destruction, Powell said he wanted to “trace the story of a senior terrorist operative telling how Iraq provided training in these weapons to Al Qaeda. Fortunately, this operative is now detained, and he has told his story,” said Powell. “I will relate to you now, as he himself, described it. [...]
The administration’s drumbeat citing the claims from al-Libi continued the next day when President Bush gave a brief talk at the Roosevelt Room in the White House with Powell by his side. “One of the greatest dangers we face is that weapons of mass destruction might be passed to terrorists who would not hesitate to use those weapons,” Bush said. “Iraq has bomb-making and document forgery experts to work with Al Qaeda. Iraq has also provided Al Qaeda with chemical and biological weapons training.”Newsweek, published 10-10-2005
|01-2003||Bush to Blair: First Iraq, then Saudi|
George Bush told the Prime Minister two months before the invasion of Iraq that Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran and North Korea may also be dealt with over weapons of mass destruction, a top secret Downing Street memo shows.
The US President told Tony Blair, in a secret telephone conversation in January 2003 that he "wanted to go beyond Iraq". [...]
The revelation that Mr Bush told the Prime Minister Iraq should be seen as a first step comes in the American edition of Lawless World, a book by the leading international lawyer Philippe Sands QC, who is also a professor of law at University College London and senior barrister at Matrix chambers, which he shares with Cherie Blair.
"The conversation seems to indicate that Iraq was not seen as an isolated issue but as a first step in relation to a broader project," he said. "What is interesting is the mention of Saudi Arabia, which to the best of my knowledge had not at that time been identified particularly as a country with WMD. An alternative view is that the mention of Saudi Arabia indicates that the true objectives were not related exclusively to WMD." The Independent, published 10-16-2005
|01-2003||Bush reads Presidential Summary that intelligence agencies unanimously agreed that Saddam was not an imminent threat|
The second classified report, delivered to Bush in early January 2003, was also a summary of a National Intelligence Estimate, this one focusing on whether Saddam would launch an unprovoked attack on the United States, either directly, or indirectly by working with terrorists.
The report stated that U.S. intelligence agencies unanimously agreed that it was unlikely that Saddam would try to attack the United States -- except if "ongoing military operations risked the imminent demise of his regime" or if he intended to "extract revenge" for such an assault, according to records and sources.
The single dissent in the report again came from State's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, known as INR, which believed that the Iraqi leader was "unlikely to conduct clandestine attacks against the U.S. homeland even if [his] regime's demise is imminent" as the result of a U.S. invasion.
On at least four earlier occasions, beginning in the spring of 2002, according to the same records and sources, the president was informed during his morning intelligence briefing that U.S. intelligence agencies believed it was unlikely that Saddam was an imminent threat to the United States.Murray Waas - The National Journal, published 03-02-2006
|01-2003||Rumsfeld forbade military strategists from developing plans for securing a post-war Iraq|
FORT EUSTIS -- Months before the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld forbade military strategists from developing plans for securing a post-war Iraq, the retiring commander of the Army Transportation Corps said Thursday.
In fact, said Brig. Gen. Mark Scheid, Rumsfeld said "he would fire the next person" who talked about the need for a post-war plan.
Rumsfeld did replace Gen. Eric Shinseki, the Army chief of staff in 2003, after Shinseki told Congress that hundreds of thousands of troops would be needed to secure post-war Iraq.
Scheid said the planners continued to try "to write what was called Phase 4," or the piece of the plan that included post-invasion operations like occupation.
Even if the troops didn't stay, "at least we have to plan for it," Scheid said.
"I remember the secretary of defense saying that he would fire the next person that said that," Scheid said. "We would not do planning for Phase 4 operations, which would require all those additional troops that people talk about today.
"He said we will not do that because the American public will not back us if they think we are going over there for a long war."
Note: On August 1, 2003, Donald Rumsfeld replaced General Shinseki as Army Chief of Staff with General Peter J. Schoomaker after Shineski "questioned the cakewalk scenario, and told Congress (that February) that we would need several hundred thousand soldiers in Iraq to put an end to the violence against our troops and against each other." SourceWatch
The Daily Press, published 09-08-2006
|01-02-2003||US to send 11,000 desert-trained soldiers to Persian Gulf |
The Bush administration has ordered another 11,000 elite ground troops to the Persian Gulf, signalling that the U.S. may be preparing to use force to disarm Saddam Hussein.
The soldiers are part of the 3rd Infantry Division and will join 4,000 troops from the same division who have been training in Kuwait for the past four months.
The troop movement is the largest concentration of U.S. ground troops in the region since the Gulf War ended more than 10 years ago.CBC News, published 01-02-2003
|01-06-2003||Constellation Battle Group joins 5th Fleet in Gulf|
ABOARD USS CONSTELLATION, At sea (NNS) -- San Diego-based aircraft carrier USS Constellation (CV 64) and its battle group recently arrived in the 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AOR), where it is serving in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
To welcome the Constellation Battle Group to the AOR, Vice Adm. Timothy J. Keating, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and U.S. 5th Fleet, visited Constellation and USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), another battle group ship.
Other ships in the Constellation Battle Group include Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Valley Forge (CG 50); Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Milius (DDG 69) and USS Higgins (DDG 76); Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate USS Thach (FFG 43); Supply-class fast combat support ship USS Rainier (AOE 7); and Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Columbia (SSN 762).
Constellation is conducting its second deployment to the area in 15 months.US Navy News, published 01-06-2003
|01-06-2003||Military hospital ship departs from Baltimore |
Amid a swirl of snow flurries, the hospital ship USNS Comfort left Monday morning to aid in a possible war in IraqThe 1,000-bed Comfort is readying for duty at the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia. It has 12 operating rooms and is equipped to handle troops injured in biological and chemical attacks.
The Comfort last deployed for war during the Gulf war of 1990 and 1991. It also sailed to New York to assist emergency crews after the collapse of the World Trade Center.
Since Christmas, the Pentagon has begun alerting units around the United States and overseas to prepare for deployment as possible war with Iraq looms. The Navy has been ordered to prepare two aircraft carrier battle groups and two amphibious assault groups to be ready to head to the region sometime in January.
[Original web page requires a fee
to view]Associated Press, published 01-06-2003
|01-08-2003||Dept of Defense announces newest deployments|
WASHINGTON, Jan. 8, 2003 -- Thousands of American service members are deploying to the U.S. Central Command area of operations.
The largest deployment is that of the Army's 16,500-man 3rd Infantry Division to Kuwait.
The division's 2nd Brigade is already in Kuwait. The 3rd Brigade, based at Fort Benning, Ga., flies out this week for Southwest Asia. The 1st Brigade, based at Fort Stewart, Ga., aviation assets and other support elements will follow later this month.
The Army troops will draw pre-positioned equipment in the region and be ready for any eventuality, DoD officials said. Certain division assets must be shipped to the region, however. Helicopters and certain other pieces of equipment will be shipped from Georgia and South Carolina, officials said.
Some 3,500 sailors and Marines of the Tarawa Amphibious Ready Group left San Diego Jan. 6. The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit will join almost 1,000 members of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force already in the region. The amphibious assault ship USS Tarawa and the dock landing ships USS Mount Vernon and USS Rushmore form the core of the ready group.
The Air Force is also deploying personnel and aircraft to the region. Some base officials would release the numbers of personnel involved in the deployments, while others would say only the types of aircraft deploying.
About 400 airmen from the 1st Fighter Wing at Langley Air Force Base, Va., will deploy with F-15Cs.
Moody Air Force Base, S.C., is deploying HH-60 helicopters and C-130 airlifters to the region.
The 4th Fighter Wing of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., will deploy with F-15Es to Southwest Asia.
About 100 airmen from Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., will deploy with 15th Reconnaissance Squadron (Predator unmanned aerial vehicles), the 58th Rescue Squadron and the 66th Rescue Squadron.
The 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., will deploy about half its B-1B bombers and "500-plus people" beginning this week.
Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System aircraft from Robins Air Force Base, Ga., will deploy to the region, as will F-16CJ "Wild Weasels" from the 52nd Fighter Wing at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany.
Special operations aircraft, such as AC-130 gunships, MC- 130 Combat Talons and MH-53 helicopters, will deploy from Hurlburt Field, Fla.
In addition, KC-10 and KC-135 tankers from around the world will support the effort, Air Force officials said.Dept of Defense - American Forces Press Service , published 01-08-2003
|01-08-2003||CENTCOM moving to Qatar|
Battle planners from Central Command are heading from their permanent headquarters in Tampa, Florida, to Camp As Sayliyah in Qatar to be in position to carry out any attack order from President George W. Bush, senior officials said Tuesday.
The officials stressed that the move to Qatar does not mean war is imminent or inevitable. But it is an important step in the assembling of troops, weapons, supplies and technology needed to carry out an invasion.
The same Central Command planners were at the command post last month for a weeklong exercise before returning to their headquarters in Florida, but this time it is not an exercise.
A senior official who discussed the matter on condition of anonymity said the movement of Central Command battle planners, which began this week, is part of an accelerating buildup of forces in the Gulf region. Tens of thousands more combat forces are scheduled to flow into the region over the next few weeks.
Among the forces expected to deploy from U.S. bases in the next several days are F-15E and F-15C fighters and B-1B bombers.
Jim Wilkinson, the Central Command director of strategic communications, confirmed the decision to send the battle planners to Qatar, but declined to provide details on when they would arrive or when the command post would be ready to kick off a war.Associated Press, published 01-08-2003
|01-09-2003||"We know for a fact that there are weapons there."|
|01-09-2003||Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei brief the U.N. Security Council on Iraq's weapons declaration|
Summary: Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei brief the U.N. Security Council on Iraq's weapons declaration. Blix tells reporters afterward that weapons inspectors have yet to find a "smoking gun" that would prove Iraq has violated U.N. resolutions.United Nations, published 01-09-2003
|01-09-2003||Miami-based infantry unit put on alert, largest South Florida unit to be called up |
More than 500 soldiers in a Miami-based Army National Guard infantry unit were being alerted Thursday that they are about to be mobilized, making them the largest South Florida military contingent to be called up in the growing build-up of troops.
The group was not told where it is being sent. However, unlike most of the Guard personnel and reservists who have been called up from South Florida, this is a combat unit that takes and holds land.
About two-thirds of the soldiers in the First Battalion, 124th Infantry are based in Miami-Dade and Broward, with the rest living north as far north as Cocoa Beach. Thursday they were told that 564 of their soldiers are being called to active duty later this month.
[Original Miami Herald web page no longer available]Miami Herald, published 01-09-2003
|01-09-2003||Bolton stresses North Korea, Iraq Situations "Different"|
U.S. policies toward Iraqi and North Korean possession of weapons of mass destruction differ because "the factual circumstances of the two cases are different," says Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton. ...
With regard to North Korea, Bolton said the Bush Administration has been in consultation "with a number of countries in the region, particularly China and Russia, urging them to urge the North Koreans to withdraw from this course of action, and that remains our policy."
"Our determination on Iraq, the centerpiece of our policy for over 12 years now, has been that Iraq must give up its weapons of mass destruction in a comprehensive, verifiable way," he said.State Dept - Washington File, published 01-10-2003
|01-10-2003||US troops in Hungary to train Iraqi Opposition|
Gen Meyers: "Let me also give you a quick update on where we stand with the Iraqi opposition training. Several hundred U.S. Army trainers arrived in Hungary late last week to prepare for the training of Iraqi opposition who have volunteered for possible action in Iraq. The training task force led by Major General Dave Barno is located at Taszar Air Base in Hungary. He is there to coordinate with the Hungarian Ministry of Defense prior to the arrival of any potential volunteers. And I'd like to take this opportunity to publicly thank our friends in Hungary for use of their facilities. The use of Taszar Air Base emphasizes a rather long-standing relationship between the U.S. and Hungary, and we thank them very much."Dept of Defense News Briefing , published 01-15-2003
|01-11-2003||US orders 35,000 more troops to Persian Gulf|
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld signed a deployment order Friday to send an additional 35,000 U.S. troops to the Persian Gulf region.
It is the largest deployment order since the United States began a buildup of forces last month in case of a war against Iraq.
The orders affect about 7,000 Marines from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, who had already been ordered aboard three ships -- the USS Saipan, the USS Ponce and the USS Gunston Hall -- which left from their home port of Norfolk, Virginia, on Friday.
Friday's order brings the number deployed to the gulf region to around 80,000.CNN - World, published 01-11-2003
|01-11-2003||Australian troops will begin heading for the Gulf|
Australian troops will begin heading for the Gulf within weeks after the Prime Minister announced yesterday he had approved an advance deployment ahead of any declaration of war against Iraq.
Speaking after a meeting of the National Security Committee, Mr Howard said a squadron of 14 F/A-18 jet fighters was marked for the Gulf, along with an SAS regiment of 150, likely to take part in sabotage, reconnaissance and advance incursions. PC-3 Orion surveillance aircraft and three naval vessels are also likely to be dipatched.
The number of personnel to go to the Gulf is about 2000, compared with 1500 at the peak of the Afghanistan conflict.
But he added that it could take months for United Nations weapons inspectors to finish their work in Iraq and vowed strong support for their efforts to find a peaceful solution.
But Mr Howard did not confine Australia to military action endorsed by the UN Security Council.Sydney Morning Herald, published 01-11-2003
|01-11-2003||Prince Bandar is shown secret war plans before Bush tells Powell about decision to go to war|
Saturday, Jan. 11, with the president's permission, Cheney and Rumsfeld call Bandar to Cheney's West Wing office, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Myers, is there with a top-secret map of the war plan. And it says, ‘Top secret. No foreign.’ No foreign means no foreigners are supposed to see this,” says Woodward.
They describe in detail the war plan for Bandar. And so Bandar, who's skeptical because he knows in the first Gulf War we didn't get Saddam out, so he says to Cheney and Rumsfeld, ‘So Saddam this time is gonna be out, period?’ And Cheney - who has said nothing - says the following: ‘Prince Bandar, once we start, Saddam is toast.’"CBS - 60 Minutes , published 04-18-2004
|01-12-2003||Rumsfeld orders more troops to Persian Gulf, total of 62,000 over last two days|
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld signed two major deployment orders over the past 48 hours to send 62,000 more Marines, Army soldiers and Air Force personnel to the Persian Gulf region, where there are already about 60,000 U.S. military personnel at bases in Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain.
With 7,000-member amphibious task forces from the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton, Calif., and the 2nd Marine Division at Camp Lejeune, N.C., preparing to ship out, the Pentagon's plan for assembling as many as 250,000 troops in the region continued without pause even as key U.S. allies have signaled that they want to put the brakes on planning for a possible war with Iraq.
Four amphibious assault ships used to transport Marines -- the Bataan, Ashland, Portland and Kearsarge -- also received deployment orders yesterday and were preparing to set sail from Norfolk within days. Three other ships used for transporting Marines, the Saipan, the Gunston Hall and the Ponce, set sail from Norfolk on Friday.Washington Post, published 01-12-2003
|01-13-2003||Iraq weapons inspectors 'need a few months'|
"Mohammed el-Baradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), today said that UN weapons inspectors would need 'a few months' to finish their work in Iraq.
Speaking as the US and UK military build up accelerates ahead of the monitors' January 27 report to the security council - once seen as a likely trigger for war - Mr el-Baradei acknowledged a "great deal of anxiousness that we need to finish our job.' But he said the inspections would not be over by the end of the month.The Guardian, published 01-13-2003
|01-13-2003||Bandar tells Bush he will lower oil prices in the months before the election to ensure the US economy is strong|
Prince Bandar enjoys easy access to the Oval Office. His family and the Bush family are close. And Woodward told 60 Minutes that Bandar has promised the president that Saudi Arabia will lower oil prices in the months before the election - to ensure the U.S. economy is strong on election day.
Woodward says that Bandar understood that economic conditions were key before a presidential election: “They’re [oil prices] high. And they could go down very quickly. That's the Saudi pledge. Certainly over the summer, or as we get closer to the election, they could increase production several million barrels a day and the price would drop significantly.”CBS - 60 Minutes, published 04-18-2004
|01-13-2003||No Bush "Timetable" on UN Inspections in Iraq|
"The President has not put any type of artificial timetable on how long he believes is necessary for Saddam Hussein to prove to the world that he's going to comply," with United Nations Security Council demands that Iraq disarms itself of any weapons of mass destruction, Fleischer said.
Bush "has made it very clear that the role of the inspectors is a very important part of this process. The inspectors need to be in Iraq to do the job that the world has asked them to do. And they're in the middle of their work," said Fleischer.
The inspection process, he pointed out, "included a series of dates that the inspectors would report back" to the U.N. Security Council. "We're not even through those dates yet. An important one is coming up January 27th. So, I think, frankly, other than it's a slow news day, nothing really has changed about the timing in Iraq," Fleischer said.White House Press Briefing - Ari Fleisher, published 01-13-2003
|01-14-2003||Tony Blair raises the stakes in the campaign to disarm Saddam|
"Tony Blair raised the stakes in the campaign to disarm Saddam Hussein by warning British voters that they face a direct threat from weapons of mass destruction which will find their way into the hands of terrorist groups unless firm action is taken now."
"My view is that the December 8 declaration (Baghdad's weapons inventory), as we said at the time, is a false declaration because we believe he has these weapons of mass destruction and he is saying he doesn't."
Unlike Mr Bush, he did not call it a formal breach of UN security council resolution 1441 which would, the White House says, justify an attack without further resolution.
"But the inspectors are in there in order to find out the truth and what they find is then put before the United Nations security council. And all I'm saying is if what they find amounts to a breach of the UN mandate then Saddam will be disarmed by force," Mr Blair said several times. He was adamant that evidence of President Saddam's deceit will be found.The Guardian , published 01-14-2003
|01-15-2003||Donald Rumsfeld says US seeks NATO assistance on Iraq|
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, briefing at the Pentagon January 15, confirmed that U.S. diplomatic representatives have asked NATO for indirect military assistance in the event of military operations in Iraq....
"In any case, obviously we have to begin with the fact that the president has made no decision to use force, but it does take time to plan, and just as we're planning with individual countries it seemed appropriate, to the extent NATO wished to, to begin that planning process," he said.Dept of Defense News Briefing , published 01-15-2003
|01-18-2003||CIA: No chemicals in Iraqi warheads|
The CIA believes that 11 of 12 chemical warheads discovered Thursday in Iraq by UN weapons inspectors never contained lethal chemicals and a former inspector said the incident probably has little significance in demonstrating Iraqi noncompliance with a UN mandate to destroy weapons of mass destruction.
The Iraqis "don't normally fill [the warheads] until they are ready to fire," said a senior administration official familiar with the CIA's reports on the discovery of the shells and artillery rockets. "And these rockets haven't been fired, so there may be no trace of chemicals in them."
Unlike conventional munitions, warheads that are designed to carry chemical weapons have a special nozzle and reservoir that allow the toxic agent to be put in - a giveaway to UN inspectors.
[Original web page requires a fee
to view.]Newsday, published 01-18-2003
|01-19-2003||UK mobilizes tanks in Gulf build-up|
Geoff Hoon, the Defence Secretary, will this week order the full mobilisation of the 7th Armoured Brigade to the Gulf.
The decision to send another 7,000 troops - on top of the 10,000 already committed - and more than 120 tanks to the region comes after speculation about the precise level of Britain's military commitment in the Gulf.
The brigade will be composed of two tank regiments, the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment and the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, and two armoured infantry regiments, the Black Watch and the 1st Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.
It will be supported by artillery, engineers and medics. The Telegraph understands that about 3,000 forces from the 16 Air Assault Brigade, composed mainly of paratroopers, will also receive mobilisation orders soon.The Telegraph, published 01-19-2003
|01-19-2003||Rumsfeld says Iraq still not cooperating with UN Inspectors|
Stephanopoulos: The chief U.N. weapons inspectors are in Baghdad this morning with very tough words for Iraq. But they've also said in recent days that they need more time, perhaps several months, to finish their job. And French president Jacques Chirac has backed that call. Is there any harm in taking that time?
Rumsfeld: Well, you know, it's interesting. It would be logical to take time if one actually believed that we were sending in not inspectors, but finders, discoverers, people who were going to go out and go through that vast country and climb through tunnels and catch things that someone didn't want them to see.
Stephanopoulos: But isn't that what they're doing?
Rumsfeld: Oh, no. My goodness, no! The test here is not whether they can find something. The test is whether or not Iraq is going to cooperate. The reason -- only reason for inspections is if a country is willing to say, "yes, we're ready to go along with what the world community wants and show you what we have and you can come in and we'll destroy it." Now, think of it: South Africa did that. Kazakhstan did that. Ukraine did that. We know what an inspection operation looks like.
Stephanopoulos: But Iraq isn't doing that?
Rumsfeld: Of course not. They've submitted a fraudulent declaration. There are great gaps between their records with respect to anthrax and botulism and sarin and VX. They are not submitting the list of scientists that could be taken out of the country. They have systematically not done things in a cooperative way. Now, the inspectors have every right in the world to be concerned about that.State Dept Transcript - ABC's This Week, published 01-19-2003
|01-19-2003||Powell says time is running out for Iraq to comply with UN|
MR. BLITZER: Oh, thank you very much. A quick question everybody in the country, people around the world, want to know: Will there be a war with Iraq?
SECRETARY POWELL: We're still hoping for a peaceful solution, but it is up to Saddam Hussein and Iraq to make that decision. Dr. Blix and Dr. ElBaradei are in Baghdad today. I hope they will make it clear to Saddam Hussein that he is running out of time, he has got to cooperate; moreover, he has got to disarm and he has got to do it in a way that the inspectors don't have to go hunt-and-peck looking for things, but that Iraq comes forward and meets the will of the international community that it must disarm of its weapons of mass destruction. If they do that, there is still a chance for a peaceful solution.
MR. BLITZER: How much time do the Iraqis have?
SECRETARY POWELL: Well, we'll see. I think time is running out. We can't keep this up forever.State Dept Transcript - CNN's Late Edition, published 01-19-2003
|01-20-2003||UK sends 31,000 troops to Gulf|
Up to 31,000 UK military personnel - including 29,000 ground troops - are being sent to the Gulf in preparation for possible action against Iraq, Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon has told MPs.
The defence secretary detailed the deployment, which will include 120 Challenger tanks and 150 Warrior armoured personnel carriers, during a statement in the Commons.
Mr Hoon told MPs that an additional 26,000 troops would be joining some 5,000 service personnel in the Gulf.
The deployment, which includes the Desert Rats, is the most significant step so far in the British military build-up and far exceeds all predictions by military observers.
British armoured troops will be now stationed in Kuwait by the middle of February.BBC News, published 01-20-2003
|01-20-2003||US general meets with Turkish officials|
ANKARA, Turkey (CNN) -- Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Monday called Turkey a "very cooperative partner" in U.S. policy toward Iraq.
"I would not agree that the United States government has conveyed to the Turkish government impatience," Myers told reporters. "I'm leaving here with a sense that Turkey will continue to be a very important, strategic partner for the United States."
President Bush has threatened military action against Iraq if it refuses to abide by United Nations resolutions calling for it to disarm itself of weapons of mass destruction. Baghdad has repeatedly denied possessing such weapons -- chemical, nuclear or biological.
The United States has sought the use of Turkish airspace, air bases, airports and seaports in the event of war with Iraq and has asked to station some 80,000 U.S. troops in the country.
But there has been concern in the United States that Turkey, which provided staging areas for attacks on Iraq during the Persian Gulf War, is not an eager participant on the current Iraq issue.
Turkey does not favor such a large force, but it possibly would allow some troops to be based there.CNN - World, published 01-20-2003
|01-20-2003||Rumsfeld: Time running out for Iraq|
Time is running out for Saddam Hussein to disarm, and any military solution is likely to draw heavily from the Guard and Reserve, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said today.
"No one wants war, but as the president has said, Iraq will be disarmed and the decision between war and peace will be made not in Washington, D.C., and not in the United Nations in New York, but rather in Baghdad," Rumsfeld told a group of reserve officers in Washington today. "It is their decision. Either they will cooperate or they won't, and it will not take months to determine whether or not they are cooperating."Dept of Defense - American Forces Press Service , published 01-20-2003
|01-20-2003||Turkey hosts top general for talks on US force|
Turkey continued its zigzagging between private preparations for a possible war in Iraq and high-profile diplomacy aimed at averting it, hosting the United States' top soldier today while laying plans for a summit of regional leaders preaching peace.
Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, met with his Turkish counterpart to discuss the size of the force that Turkey would accommodate in a U.S. effort to open a northern front against Iraq and its president, Saddam Hussein. Officials have said that in the face of public opinion against the war, Turkey is willing to discuss hosting a force only about a quarter as large as the 80,000 troops the United States originally requested.
Myers declined to discuss specifics at a brief news conference in Ankara, the capital, where he met with Gen. Hilmi Ozkok, Turkey's chief of general staff. But the American visitor denied reports that U.S. war planners have been frustrated by the amount of time Turkey is taking to decide how much help it will be.
"Any idea that I'm impatient, or that we made demands here, is not the case," Myers said. "Turkey has been very cooperative in all of this. I'm leaving Ankara, as many Americans have done in the past, very sure of our strategic partnership and very sure of the vision that we both have in terms of what we want for the region, and that is peace and stability."
Diplomats and U.S. officials complained privately this month that Turkey's reluctance to make decisions was threatening to undo the Pentagon's hopes of preparing an attack from north of Baghdad to complement a strike by forces massing to the south in Kuwait. Turkey shares a 250-mile border with Iraq's northernmost reaches, where ethnic Kurds have operated with unofficial autonomy thanks to U.S. and British warplanes enforcing a "no-fly" zone north of the 36th parallel.
Moments after Myers spoke, Prime Minister Abdullah Gul again raised Turkey's most immediate worry about war. "A possible war with Iraq would be a very great burden for the economy," Gul told reporters. "We want to use whatever resources we have to prevent this war from breaking out."Washington Post, published 01-21-2003
|01-20-2003||US Order of Battle: 57K troops in CENTCOM area|
Excluding forces deployed in direct support of Operation Enduring Freedom, there are probably about 57,000 military personnel in the CENTCOM area of responsibility, including about 400 aircraft of all types. The number of troops deployed in the area fluctuates on a daily basis, and has averaged between 20,000 and 25,000 in recent years, with typically about 200 aircraft in the region. Forces in the region include a mix of special operations forces deployed in support of US Central Command operations. To enhance force protection throughout the region, additional military security personnel are also deployed.
Ground forces include a variety of units that are normally deployed in the region, which total about 3,700 troops. Forces in the region include a Patriot missile task force with two batteries deployed in Saudi Arabia and two in Kuwait. The Army Intrinsic Action / Desert Spring training exercises routinely deploy 1,500 to 5,000 troops for rotations of several months. As of early-December 2002 a brigade rotation was virtually complete. Nearly all of 3rd Brigade has redeployed and much 1st Brigade is on its way. It is believed that the total Army presence in the region is nearly 15,000 soldiers.GlobalSecurity.org, published 08-2005
|01-21-2003||26,000 British troops prepare for Gulf deployment|
Preparations for possible military action against Iraq have moved into a higher gear as 26,000 British troops prepare to leave for the Gulf.
Over the next few days equipment will start to be moved to ports in Britain and Germany, from where they will be shipped out to the region.
It is expected that troops and other personnel will be flown out and stationed in Kuwait by mid-February.
US troop numbers in the region are also swelling, with another 37,000 troops being sent to join the 150,000 Americans already stationed in and around the Gulf.BBC News, published 01-21-2003
|01-21-2003||Bush: Iraq is not disarming as required by the UN|
Q: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. President. The French are saying they would block a U.N. resolution authorizing force on Iraq. Are you frustrated by these comments? Can you still reach a consensus?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, Adam, first of all, it's important for the American citizens and the citizens around the world to understand that Saddam Hussein possesses some of the world's deadliest weapons. He poses a serious threat to America and our friends and allies. The world came together, including the French, to say he must disarm. He's not disarming. As a matter of fact, it appears to be a rerun of a bad movie. He is delaying, he is deceiving, he is asking for time. He's playing hide-and-seek with inspectors.
One thing is for certain, he's not disarming. So the United States of America, in the name of peace, will continue to insist he does disarm, and we will keep the pressure on Saddam Hussein....
This business about, you know, more time -- you know, how much time do we need to see clearly that he's not disarming? As I said, this looks like a rerun of a bad movie and I'm not interested in watching it.President Bush Meets with Leading Economists, published 01-21-2003
|01-22-2003||20,000 National Guard reserve forces report for active duty|
More than 20,000 National Guard and reserve forces reported for active duty this week as the Pentagon continued its buildup for a possible war with Iraq.
It was the biggest one-week jump in mobilizations for overseas or domestic duty since the 2001 terrorist attacks.
Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters that more reserves would be called but that the number would not rise dramatically unless President Bush decides to go to war to topple Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. The president says he has made no decision.
Under an order signed by Mr. Bush three days after the 2001 terrorist attacks, up to 1 million guard and reserve forces can be called to serve for up to two years. But Myers said that if war is averted the mobilization total would not exceed 100,000.CBS News, published 01-22-2002
|01-22-2003||Iraq claims to have shot down unmanned US plane|
Iraq claimed on Wednesday to have shot down an unmanned U.S. aircraft that entered its airspace from Kuwait, but the U.S. military disputed the report, saying it appeared to be untrue.
If the report were confirmed, it would be the second time in a month that Iraqi defenses had brought down one of the American reconnaissance drones.
A spokesman for U.S. Central Command said no Predators — or any other aircraft operating in the region — were known to have gone missing.
An unnamed spokesman for Iraq’s air defense command, quoted by the official Iraqi News Agency, said Wednesday that the downed aircraft was a Predator but did not say where or when it was shot down.
“The spy plane that breached the sanctity of Iraq’s international airspace is used by the American enemy to spy on our civilian and military installations,” the spokesman said.
After Iraq brought down a Predator on Dec. 23, U.S. officials called it a “lucky shot” and did not treat it as a significant hostile act. In that encounter, Iraqi warplanes penetrated the southern no-fly zone and fired at the $3.7 million Predator, the Pentagon reported.Associated Press, published 01-22-2002
|01-22-2003||British "Desert Rats" head to Gulf|
"The fir-tree forests and flat plains of northern Germany reverberated yesterday to the boom of gunfire as the troops of 7 Armoured Brigade carried out their last live firing exercises before they go to the GulfThe Brigade, also known as The Desert Rats, and consisting of 120 tanks, artillery and troops from four battalions of mechanised infantry, received its marching orders two days ago.
"We were all relieved to have finally got the go-ahead," said 19-year-old Pte Matthew Macmanus of the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment.The Telegraph, published 01-22-2003
|01-22-2003||Michigan Guard and reserves called up|
A number of Army National Guard soldiers, from across the state, are being called to active duty and are expected to serve for up to one year.
Approximately 180 Army National Guard soldiers from Kingsford, Menominee and Pontiac, Mich., received word that they will mobilize, together, as the 1775th Military Police Company. The MPs arrived yesterday and today at the Pontiac armory for initial in-processing. They are expected to depart for their mobilization station at Fort McCoy, Wis., sometime next week. Their final destination has not yet been confirmed.
Guardsmen from Sault Ste. Marie, Midland and Jackson are also in the process of receiving active duty orders.
The 1437th Engineer Company, Sault Ste. Marie will report to Camp Grayling, Mich., on January 22 for initial processing. They are then expected to depart for their mobilization station at Fort Campbell, Ky., on January 26. This call-up involves approximately 180 Michigan Guard soldiers. Their final destination has not yet been confirmed.
The 1460th Transportation Company from Midland and additional soldiers from the 1461st Transportation Company, Jackson, will also depart for initial in-processing at Camp Grayling on January 22. The approximately 140 soldiers are then expected to depart for their mobilization station at Fort McCoy, Wis., on January 26. Their final destination has not yet been confirmed.
On Monday, January 27, approximately 70 soldiers from the 126th Armor Battalion, headquartered in Wyoming, Mich., with units stationed in Manistee, Cadillac, South Haven, Dowagiac and Three Rivers, will report to Fort Custer, near Battle Creek, Mich., for four days of in-processing. From there, they report to the Armor Battalion’s headquarters (Wyoming, Mich.), for a February 1 departure to their mobilization station at Fort McCoy, Wis. After approximately one week of in-processing and additional training, the 126th will report to the Selfridge Air National Guard Base, in Mount Clemens, Mich., and the Battle Creek Air National Guard Base, to provide security there. They are replacing soldiers and airmen, many of whom have been on duty for more than a year.
Meanwhile, approximately 300 soldiers from the 144th Military Police Company, Owosso, Mich., and the 1776th Military Police Company, Taylor, Mich., are expected to return home in mid-February after providing security at military installations in the Washington D.C. area for one year.
One other Military Police unit, the 210th Military Police Battalion, also from Taylor, with approximately 60 soldiers, is nearly six months into their expected one year deployment in Washington D.C.
The 745th Ordnance Company, from Grayling, Mich., was called-up in December to back-fill active duty Army soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, who have been deployed. The 22 member unit is expected to be deployed for one year.
The Michigan Army National Guard has approximately 8,800 members, in 119 units across the state.Dept of Military and Veterans Affairs, published 01-22-2003
|01-23-2003||Rice says Iraq fails to explain their efforts to obtain uranium|
"For example, the [Iraqi] declaration fails to account for or explain Iraq's efforts to get uranium from abroad, its manufacture of specific fuel for ballistic missiles it claims not to have, and the gaps previously identified by the United Nations in Iraq's accounting for more than two tons of the raw materials needed to produce thousands of gallons of anthrax and other biological weapons.
Many questions remain about Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and arsenal and it is Iraq's obligation to provide answers. It is failing in spectacular fashion. By both its actions and its inactions, Iraq is proving not that it is a nation bent on disarmament, but that it is a nation with something to hide. Iraq is still treating inspections as a game. It should know that time is running out."New York Times - 'Why We Know Iraq is Lying' by Condoleezza Rice, published 01-23-2003
|01-23-2003||Navy doubles number of battle groups in Gulf|
The Navy is doubling the number of aircraft carrier battle groups within striking distance of Iraq, and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is contemplating sending still more troops.
Gen. Tommy Franks, the Central Command commander who would run a war against Iraq, was departing his Tampa, Fla., headquarters Tuesday night for a weeklong visit to the Persian Gulf region, officials said. Details of his trip were being withheld for security reasons. He was last in the Gulf in December, when he oversaw a computerized war game staged from his new command post near Doha, Qatar.
The USS Constellation battle group already is operating in the northern Persian Gulf and the USS Harry S. Truman is in the Mediterranean. They will be joined by the USS Abraham Lincoln, originally scheduled to return this month to its home port at Everett, Wash., and the Norfolk, Va.-based USS Theodore Roosevelt, which is undergoing training exercises off the coast of Puerto Rico in preparation for deployment.CBS News, published 01-23-2003
|01-23-2003||Australian troops leave for Middle East|
Australian troops will start heading to the Middle East tomorrow in preparation for a possible war against Iraq.
Defence Minister Robert Hill announced today the transport carrier HMAS Kanimbla would be farewelled by Prime Minister John Howard in Sydney tomorrow.
On board will be a Sea King helicopter, an army landing craft, army air defence detachment and a specialist explosives ordnance disposal team.
Members of the elite SAS will be farewelled on Friday from their base in Perth, although exactly when they will head to the Middle East is not being released.
And a small Royal Australian Air Force reconnaissance team, which will look after up to 14 F/A-18 Hornets that may be deployed to the region, will also be sent.
The government has also told the Australian Defence Force to prepare a series of special forces support elements for potential forward deployment.
The support elements for potential deployment include CH-47 troop-lift helicopters, C-130 transport aircraft, a navy clearance diver team and a quick reaction support force drawn from the Sydney-based 4RAR commando unit.
Senator Hill said the government had not made any decision to commit defence personnel to war against Iraq.
But the build-up, on top of the large troop movements made by the United States and Britain in recent days, signals growing fears that war against Iraq is inevitable.The Age , published 01-23-2003
|01-23-2003||Transport ships head to port of Corpus Christi to move troops and equipment from Ft. Hood|
The Port of Corpus Christi is gearing up for the influx of military ships, equipment and personnel that will precede a massive deployment of troops from Fort Hood.
More than six military ships will be loaded at the port, said Maj. Wilmer Moore, public affairs officer for Military Traffic Management Command in Virginia. The equipment will include tanks, vehicles, and weapon systems that will support 12,500 Fort Hood troops awaiting deployment, Lt. Col. Dan Baggio said.
The ships are expected within a week, according to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times’ Thursday editions. The equipment is scheduled for shipment in support of the 4th Infantry Division.Associated Press, published 01-23-2003
|01-23-2003||White House Report details Iraq's efforts to block UN Inspections|Conclusion
Iraq’s behavior contrasts sharply with successful disarmament stories.
Instead of a high-level commitment to disarm, Iraq’s concealment efforts are led by Saddam’s son Qusay. The inspectors are labeled spies and treated as the enemy, not as a partner in disarmament.
Instead of national initiatives to disarm, Iraq’s SSO and National Monitoring Directorate are national programs involving thousands of people to target inspectors and thwart their duties.
Instead of cooperation and transparency, Iraq has chosen concealment and deceit best exemplified by a 12,000 page declaration which is far from “currently accurate, full, and complete,” as required by the United Nations Security Council.White House Report - 'What Does Disarmament Look Like?', published 01-23-2003
|01-24-2003||Pre-war findings worried analysts|
On Jan. 24, 2003, four days before President Bush delivered his State of the Union address presenting the case for war against Iraq, the National Security Council staff put out a call for new intelligence to bolster claims that Saddam Hussein possessed nuclear, chemical and biological weapons or programs.
The person receiving the request, Robert Walpole, then the national intelligence officer for strategic and nuclear programs, would later tell investigators that "the NSC believed the nuclear case was weak," according to a 500-page report released last year by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
It has been clear since the September report of the Iraq Survey Group -- a CIA-sponsored weapons search in Iraq -- that the United States would not find the weapons of mass destruction cited by Bush as the rationale for going to war against Iraq. But as the Walpole episode suggests, it appears that even before the war many senior intelligence officials in the government had doubts about the case being trumpeted in public by the president and his senior advisers.Washington Post , published 05-22-2005
|01-24-2003||Allied brass pay court to anxious Turkey|
TURKEY, whose military bases would be pivotal to any American attack on Iraq, was strenuously courted by supporters and opponents of military action yesterday as it urgently sought a solution that would prevent its having to choose sides.
Admiral Sir Michael Boyce, Chief of the Defence Staff, flew in to lobby General Hilmi Ozkok, his Turkish counterpart. He followed General Richard Myers, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, who visited on Monday, and General James Jones, Nato’s Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, who arrives today.
Joschka Fischer, the German Foreign Minister, also flew in for talks with Abdullah Gul, the Turkish Prime Minister, yesterday.Times - UK, published 01-24-2003
|01-24-2003||Bolton: US has evidence Iraq has Weapons Program|
The United States has "very convincing evidence" that the Iraqi regime maintains "an extensive program for the production and weaponization of weapons of mass destruction and long-range ballistic missiles that have been forbidden to it since the time of the Gulf War Ceasefire Resolution 687 in 1991," according to Under Secretary of State John Bolton. ...
Bolton said the United States would "at an appropriate time" explain publicly "a good deal of what we know about Iraq's program, because it's important that people understand that whatever the inspectors are able to find, Iraq for the twelve years since the end of the Persian Gulf War has engaged in a systematic campaign of denial and deception in an effort to conceal its weapons of mass destruction from the inspectors."State Dept - Washington File, published 01-27-2003
|01-26-2003||Powell says US will soon show evidence against Iraq|
|01-26-2003||Dan Bartlett: "Saddam Hussein possesses thousand of chemical warheads..."|
BLITZER: So the basic imminent threat, and that's what a lot of Americans are concerned about, what is the imminent threat right now that can't wait, in other words, for the U.S. to start deploying troops and putting young men and women in harm's way?
BARTLETT: As it was described in more than 16 resolutions over the last decade, what we know from U.N. inspectors over the course of the last decade is that Saddam Hussein possesses thousands of chemical warheads, that he possesses hundreds of liters of very dangerous toxins that can kill millions of people. ...
BLITZER: But the question is, he's a threat based on what the information you're suggesting, to his own people, to his neighbors.
But is he an imminent threat to U.S. interests, either in that part of the world or to Americans right here at home?
BARTLETT: Well, of course he is. He has made it very clear his hatred for the United States of America. He's made it very clear through the past years and since he's been in power his desire to dominate the region.
And as he acquires these weapons, particularly if he were to get a nuclear weapon, it would change the game in the entire world if Saddam Hussein, based on his past, based on his history of aggression, to acquire the type of weapons and then potentially to marry up with terrorists so he wouldn't have the finger prints, is a scenario that we can't afford to take.
BLITZER: But you're saying there is evidence that he would do that, he would provide some of those weapons of mass destruction, chemical weapons, biological weapons, to known terrorist organizations?
BARTLETT: The history is clear. He has them, he's used them in the past on his own people and on invading, in invading other countries, he has a relationship, his regime has had a relationship with terrorist organizations throughout his tenure, particularly with al Qaeda, as well.
This is the type of scenario we can't afford to wait until the last minute. We cannot let this threat materialize to the point where there's nothing we can do about it.CNN - Late Edition, published 01-26-2003
|01-27-2003||Hans Blix: More work remains on Iraqi disarmament|
Significant questions remain to be answered concerning Iraq's chemical, biological and ballistic weapons programs before dossiers are closed and there can be confidence that Iraq has been disarmed, Hans Blix, the chief U.N. weapons inspector told the Security Council January 27....
So far, Blix said, UNMOVIC feels that "Iraq has decided in principle" to cooperate on process, particularly in granting access to sites and providing support services for UNMOVIC but has not made a similar decision on providing substance on its banned weapons programs.
"Information provided by member states tells us about the movement and concealment of missiles and chemical weapons and mobile units for biological weapons production," Blix said. "We shall certainly follow up any credible leads given to us and report what we might find as well as any denial of access."
[Complete text of Hans Blix's up-date at link below or at the U.N. website
.]State Dept - Washington File, published 01-27-2003
|01-27-2003||White House cites links between al Qaeda and Iraq|
Q: Can I just follow on this apparent link to al Qaeda that is being presented in still rather vague form? If the President believes that there is a real danger that Saddam Hussein would task, sell, somehow give his weapons of mass destruction to groups like al Qaeda, why hasn't it happened since 1991, when we know during that period of time that Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda were busy plotting and carrying out attacks against the United States?
MR. FLEISCHER: Well, what we do know is that there clearly have been in the past, and there have been contacts between senior members of -- senior Iraqi officials and members of the al Qaeda organization, going back for quite a long time. We know, too, that several of the detainees, particularly some of the high-level detainees, have said that Iraq provided some training to al Qaeda in chemical weapons development.
There are contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda. We know that Saddam Hussein has a long history of terrorism, in general. And, again, if you're waiting for the smoking gun, the problem is when you see the smoke coming out of the gun it's too late, the damage has been done.White House Press Briefing - Ari Fleisher, published 01-27-2003
|01-27-2003||Powell: Confident of assessment that links al Qaeda and Iraq|
[Powell in introductory speech]
...Iraq continues to conceal quantities, vast quantities, of highly lethal material and weapons to delivery it. They could kill thousands upon thousands of men, women and children if Saddam Hussein decides to use these against those men, women and children, or, just as frightening, to provide them to others who might use such weapons. ...
QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, you have spoken, in Davos most recently, about a connection between Iraq and terrorist groups, including al-Qaida. Are you saying there is evidence that that has happened in the past, or is there evidence currently that there's still a connection?
SECRETARY POWELL: I think we have said consistently all along, through last fall and into this year, that we have seen contacts and connections between the Iraqi regime and terrorist organizations, to include al-Qaida. As we have been able to focus on this more and look back in time, I think we're more confident of that assessment and we see no reason not to believe that such contacts and the presence of al-Qaida elements or individuals in Iraq is a reasonable assumption, and we have some basis for that assumption. And the information that we can divulge in greater detail, we will be divulging in the days ahead.State Dept Briefing on the Iraq Weapons Inspectors' 60-Day Report, published 01-27-2003
|01-27-2003||IAEA report undercuts US argument that Iraq has resumed its nuclear weapons program|
The International Atomic Energy Agency's report that Iraq has not resumed its nuclear program has challenged one of the Bush administration's main arguments for taking military action to topple the Iraqi government.
When the administration began to outline its case in late summer, it argued that Iraq was trying to rejuvenate its nuclear program, a development that could change the balance of power in the Persian Gulf and significantly heighten the threat to the United States. ...
"We have to date found no evidence that Iraq has revived its nuclear weapon program since the elimination of the program in the 1990's," Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the agency, told the United Nations Security Council.
The agency's assessment has not led the administration to back away from its assertion that Iraq is developing nuclear capability. But it increased the pressure on it to disclose more evidence to strengthen its case.
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell has suggested that the administration would present more intelligence. Officials said it would pertain to Iraq's weapons programs as well as possible terrorist connections, and would most likely be provided next week.
Intelligence officials have said in recent months that they have found no conclusive evidence of links between Iraq and the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington.
[To read IAEA Director General Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei's statement of 1/27/03 please click here.
]New York Times, published 01-27-2003
|01-28-2003||Bush utters the infamous "16 words" about Iraq's attempted uranium purchase from Africa|
The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production.President - State of the Union Address, published 01-28-2003
|01-28-2003||President Bush "This nation fights reluctantly"|
...The job of the inspectors is to verify that Iraq's regime is disarming. It is up to Iraq to show exactly where it is hiding its banned weapons, lay those weapons out for the world to see, and destroy them as directed. Nothing like this has happened.
Sending Americans into battle is the most profound decision a President can make. The technologies of war have changed; the risks and suffering of war have not. For the brave Americans who bear the risk, no victory is free from sorrow. This nation fights reluctantly, because we know the cost and we dread the days of mourning that always come.President - State of the Union Address, published 01-28-2003
|01-28-2003||Wolfowitz sees "enormous body of information" on Iraqi weapons|
Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz says there is "an enormous body of information" indicating that Iraq continues to hold weapons of mass destruction.
Speaking January 28 to a group of foreign journalists following President Bush's State of the Union address to Congress, Wolfowitz added that there has been an Iraqi pattern of "non-cooperation, intimidation, hiding and concealing" in the face of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441 calling on the Iraqi regime to divulge details of its weapons programs.
Asked about the president's announcement that the United States will call for a February 5 meeting of the Security Council to examine the Iraqi weapons issue, Wolfowitz said Resolution 1441 obliges the United States to do so, and "if we're going to come to a conclusion that force is necessary, it's not a conclusion we're going to come to lightly, it's not a conclusion we'll come to by ourselves."State Dept - Washington File, published 01-29-2003
|01-29-2003||Jordan to allow limited stationing of US troops|
Jordan has decided to allow the discreet stationing of U.S. troops here to man air defenses, the launch of search-and-rescue missions from its airfields and the passage of allied planes across its airspace in any war with neighboring Iraq, according to Jordanian officials and diplomats.
The Jordanian willingness to cooperate, although limited, marks a dramatic reversal of the neutrality proclaimed by the late King Hussein in the 1991 Persian Gulf War. It could prove important to any U.S. attack if it means warplanes could overfly Jordan from aircraft carriers in the Mediterranean Sea on the way to bombing runs over Iraq.
Jordanian officials have said no invasion can originate from Jordan, which borders western Iraq, and that the United States has yet to make formal requests for cooperation in the event of hostilities. But in interviews, they said all assistance would be provided short of "the apparent physical presence of troops."Washington Post, published 01-30-2003
|01-29-2003||John Negroponte: Diplomatic window is closing for Iraq|
"The diplomatic window is closing" for Iraq and the time for the U.N. Security Council to make a decision "is fast approaching," U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte said January 29.
The Security Council held a day-long closed session to evaluate the reports of the chief U.N. weapons inspectors on their first 60 days in Iraq. Presenting his report January 27, Hans Blix, the head of the U.N. Monitoring Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), told the Security Council that significant questions remain on Iraqi's chemical and biological weapons and ballistic missile programs, and the 12,000-page final declaration Iraq submitted in December 2002 leaves many unanswered questions....
Powell will address a public meeting of the council of February 5. A number of foreign ministers whose countries are on the council are planning to attend the session, diplomats say....
"We think the time for diplomatic action is narrowing, the diplomatic window is closing," he said.
"We feel that the time for decisionmaking is fast approaching. We don't have a specific timetable in mind, but the situation is urgent. It is pressing. The window is closing in on us," Negroponte said.State Dept - Washington File, published 01-29-2003