- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 5, 2003

The U.S. military is planning a devastating bombing and missile attack on Iraq that will force the capitulation of the Iraqi government in a short period of time, the Pentagon's top general said yesterday.
"If asked to go into conflict in Iraq, what you would like to do is have it be a short conflict," said Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "And the best way to do that would be to have such a shock on the system the Iraqi regime would have to assume early on that the end is inevitable."
Gen. Myers spoke to reporters during a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor newspaper.
He provided the first peek at the military's war plan for Iraq, which would involve massive strikes with precision-guided bombs and missiles.
"It would not be the template of Desert Storm," said Gen. Myers, referring to the 1991 Persian Gulf war.
"And we can't forget that war is inherently violent and people are going to die."
Pentagon war planners will try to minimize civilian casualties and damage to nonmilitary structures, but that "will occur," he said.
The four-star general said the war plan will employ a concept dubbed "shock and awe" to finish a conflict quickly. "Some of those techniques will be used," he said.
Harlan Ullman, a former Navy pilot and National Defense University specialist is a key architect of the shock and awe concept, which calls for achieving "rapid dominance" on the battlefield.
It calls for intense bombing that inflicts both physical and psychological damage on an enemy, including both high-explosive bombs and electronic-pulse weapons designed to cause widespread electronic failures.
Gen. Myers did not provide operational details of the war plan but said a key difference is the goal of disarming Iraq and disabling the Iraqi leadership.
Military planners also hope to resolve differences with the Turkish government over the use of bases there by U.S. forces to invade Iraq.
However, with or without the Turkish basis, the military will have a northern front in any war with Iraq, he said.
"In any case there'll be a northern option with or without Turkey," Gen. Myers said. "Obviously it will be tougher without Turkey, but nevertheless it'll happen."
One way to solve the problem is to decrease the ground troops and increase the air power, Gen. Myers said.
He also said President Bush has not made a decision on the use of force against Iraq.
Recent leaflet drops and radio broadcasts in Iraq are meant to "keep the worst case from happening," he said.
"And the worst case would be the use of biological or chemical weapons on the Iraqi people or coalition forces," he said.
He said there are some signs the propaganda is "having some effect" on the Iraqis.
Gen. Myers also said U.S. forces are prepared to take action now if Iraq decided to attack any of its neighbors in advance of U.S. military action.
"We're ready today," he said.

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