The key "ministers" of the future American transitional administration in Iraq have arrived in Kuwait. The NBC television company and the New York Times newspaper report that according to Washington's plan, after the completion of the military operation in Iraq, the power in the country must go over to the American transitional administration, within whose framework it is planned to resume the activity of the key Iraqi ministries, headed by American "ministers".
According to the Bush administration's plans for the post-war governing of Iraq, the future civil head of that administration in Iraq, retired Lieutenant General Jay Garner of the US land forces, will be directly subordinated to General Tommy Franks, the head of the transitional military administration, the commander of the American-British forces in the region.
The present government of Iraq has 23 ministries, but the activity of only some of them will be resumed.
It is expected, in particular, that the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be headed by former US ambassador to Qatar Kenton Keith, the Ministry of Trade - by former US ambassador to Tunis Robin Rafel, the Ministry of Industry - by former US ambassador to Sudan Timothy Carney.
Former US ambassador to Yemen Barbara Bodin has also arrived in Kuwait. She is already unofficially called "the Mayor of Baghdad." The sources in Garner's entourage told the American mass media that the post of the head of the most important Ministry of Information is still vacant, but the Pentagon leadership would like to nominate for this post former CIA director James Woolsey. It is also known that the former director of the Voice of America radio station, Robert Reilly, is also in Kuwait at the present time. He helps representatives of the Iraqi opposition to organise radio broadcasting in the territory of Iraq after the overthrow of the Saddam Hussein government.
At the same time, according to the data of the Washington Post newspaper, the American troops, which are attacking from the south, have to cover only 6.5 kilometres to reach Baghdad. The 2nd brigade of the 3rd infantry division, which is advancing to Baghdad, has captured the territory in the area of the crossing of Motor Roads No. 8 and No. 1 which is some five miles (eight kilometres) from the southern suburbs of Baghdad.
At the same time, the territory of the Saddam Hussein international airport is not yet fully controlled by the American troops, and skirmishes here and there are still going on near it, reports the CBS television company. Its correspondent, who is now together with the troops of the 3rd infantry division in the region of the airport, has reported that American tanks remain on the take-off strip of the main airport of Baghdad, and American servicemen are looking for signs of possible pollution of the territory by chemical weapons. In Baghdad itself, a series of strong explosions roared on Friday morning. According to the data of the NBC television company, the centre of the city, where the buildings of the country's leadership are situated, and at the outskirts of the Iraqi capital in the area of the airport were shelled with missiles and bombed. The city is still in darkness, because the electricity supply has been stopped.
On their part, the Foreign Ministers of the NATO countries have admitted the central role of the Trans-Atlantic partnership which has been built on "the principle of sharing values and common interests." This statement was made in the Alliance's headquarters in Brussels on Thursday by NATO Secretary General George Robertson after a session of the North Atlantic Council at the level of Ministers of Foreign Affairs. At the same time he admitted the existence of differences between the allies as to the use of force against Iraq. But all of them are unanimous in the opinion that Saddam Hussein must be disarmed. And they also agreed that the conflict must be stopped as soon as possible and with as few victims among the population as possible.
In the opinion of the former director of the US Central Intelligence Agency, the United States is waging the fourth world war, which may last for many years. As the CNN television company reported, former director of the US CIA James Woolsey said as much, as addressing the students of the California University in Los Angeles the day before.
According to him, this war is being waged against three enemies: "the religious rulers of Iran," the "fascists" in Iraq and Syria, and Islamic extremists similar to those from Al-Qaida.