- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 4, 2002

The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee says there is "no doubt" Saddam Hussein would use "every weapon of mass destruction he has" against the United States if it attacks Iraq.

In an interview that aired yesterday on CNN, Sen. Carl Levin, Michigan Democrat, said Saddam could try to deliver his chemical and biological agents "with missiles, with airplanes carrying anthrax that, perhaps, could get through over Israel with trucks that have been prelocated or that agents would drive," or with ships.

"Theres many ways of delivery of a weapon of mass destruction," Mr. Levin said on CNNs "Novak, Hunt & Shields" in the interview taped late Friday.

Asked on the show whether he believes the United States will invade Iraq over the next year, Mr. Levin said, "If necessary, yes If it were a full attack rather than something clandestine, it would take at least a quarter of a million troops."

But he said "it depends on the circumstances at the time" whether he would support military action aimed at ousting Saddam.

Mr. Levin said he would support an invasion if Saddam were shown to have been involved in the September 11 terrorist attacks or "if there was a showing that [Saddam] was on the verge of using a weapon of mass destruction."

The Michigan Democrat also said he thinks it "unlikely" the Iraqi dictator would use his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction unless the United States strikes first "because if he did, it would lead to his own destruction."

"And if he loves himself more than he hates us and Israel, then he would probably not initiate their use," the senator said. "This is not a suicide bomber. In my judgment, he is a survivalist. Hes like a North Korean leader. His first and foremost goal in life is survival."

In a briefing last week, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said the Iraqis "have chemical weapons and biological weapons and an appetite for nuclear weapons and have been working on them for a good many years, and there's an awful lot we dont know about their programs."

Mr. Rumsfeld also said Iraq now has mobile biological laboratories that would be very hard to bomb. He used this as an example of why air power alone would be inadequate for the operation, which military officials believe will require 200,000 to 250,000 ground troops.

Kenneth Adelman, a former assistant secretary of defense, has said a U.S. operation against Iraq would be a "cakewalk."

But Mr. Levin said he and some senior military officials at the Pentagon disagree.

"I think its a mistake to even think it might be a cakewalk. And our top military people, our senior military leaders know it would not be one. They advise caution. And its something that I think the president will seriously consider," the armed services chairman said.

While lawmakers disagree on the issue of an Iraqi invasion, Mr. Levin said there also is a "real" difference of opinion between uniformed and civilian personnel at the Pentagon in terms of how the operation should be carried out and the number of troops required.

Civilian leaders favor a surprise attack, claiming it could be done with far fewer troops than the quarter-million top military officials say would be needed for a full invasion, he said.

Mr, Levin said "senior uniformed people" are "much more cautious that some of the civilians in the Pentagon." He said he hopes the experience of the military leaders carries "real weight" with President Bush.


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