Iraq: March 7, 2002


Speculation continues to run rampant that the US is planning to launch an invasion of Iraq within weeks or months, and that such plans are in fact well advanced. The Sunday Telegraph of London reports that the British plan to contribute three mechanized brigades to the venture, and that US military engineers are already at work on airfields in Kurdish-held areas inside Iraq. US troops would be used from both the north (moved by rail from Germany into Turkey) and south (flown into Kuwait to link up with pre-positioned equipment and brigade sets of tanks kept on ships). The buildup would probably be conducted during the preliminary bombing phase, when US and British aircraft would attempt to destroy Iraq's air defenses and paralyze its ground forces. If such a plan were to actually succeed, analysts warn, the US might have to keep a hundred thousand troops in Iraq for years to prop up the new regime we plan to install.--Stephen V Cole


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