As experts claim that any military strike on Iraq is at least one year away, politicians speak more and more about an imminent raid.
Military experts claim that any prolonged conflict in the Gulf, such as that in the Gulf War, would take up to a year to plan, due to the massive number of troops necessary for the task. This time, if an invasion was launched to topple the Ba’ath regime in Baghdad, resistance would be great and the ensuing battle would involve a considerable number of troops and amount of equipment.
Secondly, the only foreign government to back the USA unconditionally on its hostile policy towards Iraq, is the that of the United Kingdom. In recent weeks, the notion of an attack has been criticised by France, Germany, the European Union and the Arab League while concern has been expressed by the United Nations Organisation.
The politicians, however, make ever more frequent remarks about a military strike being near. On Wednesday, in an audience with the Under-Secretary of Defence, Paul Wolfowitz, Republican Senator Arlen Specter declared that a military attack by the USA against Iraq is near, while requesting the government to consult the legislators before force is used.
In the same meeting, Senator Robert Byrd asked the Pentagon to state exactly how long the US troops will remain in Afghanistan. “Instead of concentrating on completing its operations in Afghanistan, the Pentagon seems to be looking for opportunities to stay longer and prolong its presence in the region”, he stated, adding that “It appears that we are developing more and more strategies of penetration and not of withdrawal”.
These declarations are as yet speculation but are a sign that at least a military campaign is seriously being considered. For the time being, they serve to keep up the pressure on Baghdad to find a peaceful solution to the crisis, if Washington’s diplomatic machine allows it.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru