Rumsfeld says Iraqi war to be finished fast
If the United States goes to war in Iraq, the American military would move to "finish it fast," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Thursday.
"In the event that it becomes necessary, the United States would do it in a manner that would be respectful of human life on all sides, but would be determined to do the job and to finish it fast," he said.
Rumsfeld noted that occupying Iraqi forces collapsed quickly under assault from a U.S.-led coalition in the Kuwait desert in the 1991 Gulf War, and that hundreds of those soldiers at one point even surrendered to an unarmed journalist, AP quoted Rumsfeld as saying.
"The idea that it is going to be a long, long, long battle of some kind, I think, is belied by what happened" then, he said. "The Gulf War lasted five days. I can't tell you if the use of force in Iraq today would last five days, or five weeks, or five months. But it certainly isn't going to last any longer than that," he stated.
The secretary said that "the United States military is vastly more powerful and the Iraqi army and military capability has declined substantially." But he stressed that the United States and any other coalition forces would have to "be prepared for the worst" if a war was sparked by any refusal by Baghdad to comply with a new U.N. resolution to end programs to develop weapons of mass destruction.
According to Rumsfeld, the United States is "prepared and concerned" about possible Iraq-sponsored terrorist attacks. Rumsfeld also said the Iraqi leader could launch chemical or biological attacks on U.S. troops.
"There is a danger that Saddam Hussein would do things he's done previously. He has in the past used chemical weapons," Rumsfeld aired. "One has to be prepared and concerned that could occur.
"I have no doubt that if he's able, he would like to see that terrorist attacks occur in the event that military action was taken." (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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