Iraq: November 5, 2002


Iraqi opposition groups are meeting in Belgium in late November. Over 200 groups will be represented and they will try to work out agreements on what the post-Saddam Iraq will be like. Invitations were also sent to the UN and Iraq's neighbors (Jordan, Syria, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran), as well as Egypt. 

The U.S. Air Force bought five special aluminum-trussed shelters for B-2 bombers. The climate controlled shelters, costing $2.5 million each, allow maintenance on the bombers delicate, radar absorbing skin. Such maintenance is required after each mission. Four of these shelters are on their way to the American air base on Diego Garcia island, in the Indian ocean. This air base was used in the 1991 Gulf War, as well as the 2001 Afghanistan campaign, for B-52 and B-1 bombers. Each B-2 can carry 16 one ton JDAM bombs. 

One American carrier, USS Abraham Lincoln, is already in the Persian Gulf. The USS Constellation left California on November 2nd, headed for the Persian Gulf. Another carrier, from the Mediterranean, is due to move to the Persian Gulf as well. Three carriers would provide over 200 warplanes, plus hundreds of cruise missiles from escort ships for the carriers. 

There are now some 50,000 US troops in the Persian Gulf, along with some 400 warplanes. 

Ukraine has not been able to prove that it did not secretly sell and ship high tech radar to Iraq. 


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