- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 30, 2002

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said yesterday that air strikes alone cannot destroy Saddam Hussein's buried and mobile sites for weapons of mass destruction.
"The Iraqis have a great deal of what they do deeply buried," Mr. Rumsfeld said after a tour of U.S. Joint Forces Command in the Norfolk area. The command is staging the military's largest exercise in history as it plans for new 21st-century threats.
"So the idea that it's easy to simply go do what you suggest ought to be done from the air the implication being from the air is a misunderstanding of the situation," he said to a reporter who asked whether bombs and missiles alone could do the job.
Mr. Rumsfeld has previously said he does not believe a new round of United Nations arms inspections could find Iraq's arsenal of chemical and biological weapons or all its nuclear weapons components.
The defense secretary's implication is that if air strikes and inspectors cannot do the job, the United States must find a way to remove Saddam from power an objective that is likely to require a ground invasion or an insurrection by key Iraqi military leaders.
President Bush has said he wants Saddam out of power. The administration's argument is that Saddam will eventually gain nuclear weapons, which could fall into the hands of terrorists and be used against the United States.
U.S. Central Command, which oversees military operations in the Persian Gulf, has drawn up a number of possible invasion scenarios. Mr. Bush has authorized the CIA to use covert means to oust Saddam.
Mr. Rumsfeld said American turncoats have helped Baghdad by providing information on how the United States collects intelligence.
"The Iraqis have benefited from American spies defecting to the Soviet Union or Russia and providing information as to how we do things, and they proliferate that information on how another country can best achieve denial and deception and avoid having the location, precise location, actionable locations of things known," the defense secretary said.
"They have chemical weapons," he added. "They have biological weapons. They have an enormous appetite for nuclear weapons. They were within a year or two of having them when Desert Storm got on the ground and found enough information to know how advanced their program was."


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