Project on Defense Alternatives

E-mail This Page |  Tag This Page ( | Translate  

Wider War Watch -- December 2001

News - 27 December 2001
"High alert for India, Pakistan troops"
Beth Daley and Anthony Shadid. The Boston Globe, 27 December 2001.

[excerpt]   Pakistan and India continued to move missiles and troops along their border yesterday, ratcheting up tensions in a dispute between nuclear-armed neighbors even though both sides said they didn't want conflict. The two South Asian countries have been amassing weapons and personnel in numbers not seen in more than a decade along the disputed border of Kashmir since a Dec. 13 attack on India's parliament killed 14 people.

News and Analysis - 24 December 2001
The Iraq Hawks:  Can their war plan work?
Seymour M. Hersh. The New Yorker, 24 December 2001.

[excerpt]   The government of President Mohammad Khatami...has agreed to permit I.N.C. [Iraqi National Congress opposition organization led by Ahmad Chalabi] forces and their military equipment to cross the Iranian border into southern Iraq. Once inside Iraq, according to Chalabi's scenario, the I.N.C. would establish a firebase and announce the creation of a provisional Iraqi government, which the Bush Administration would quickly recognize. Nearly two-thirds of the Iraqi population are Shiites, and they are seen as potential allies in a political uprising. The United States would then begin an intense bombing campaign, as it did in Afghanistan, and airlift thousands of Special Forces troops into southern Iraq. Chalabi's revised war plan, augmented and modified by a Pentagon planning group authorized by Paul Wolfowitz, has made its way to the Joint Chiefs of Staff for evaluation.

News - 21 December 2001
"Canada cautious about any US attack on Iraq"
David Ljunggren. The Boston Globe, 21 December 2001.

[excerpt]   Canada said yesterday that unless a direct link can be drawn between Iraq and Saudi-born militant Osama bin Laden, it is unlikely to join US forces in any future attack by Washington against the regime of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

News - 21 December 2001
"India to recall ambassador, terminate rail, road links with Pakistan"
Nirmala George. The Boston Globe, 21 December 2001.

[excerpt]   India said Friday it would recall its ambassador from Pakistan and shut down rail and bus links between the South Asian nations in response to a suicide attack on Parliament that it blames on Pakistan-based militants.

News - 21 December 2001
"Public would widen war to include Iraq"
reporting on Washington Post-ABC News Poll: America at War
Claudia Deane and Dana Milbank. The Boston Globe, 21 December 2001.

[excerpt]   After the rapid collapse of the Taliban in Afghanistan, Americans, by a ratio of nearly 2 to 1, believe the war on terrorism will be a success only with the death or capture of Al Qaeda terrorist leader bin Laden and the removal from power of Hussein. By more than 3 to 1, Americans favor a broadening of the war to other countries where terrorists are believed to operate, such as Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.

Commentary and Analysis - 18 December 2001
Robust Response to 9/11 Is Needed, but Poking the Hornetsť Nest Is Ill-Advised
Ivan Eland . Washington, DC: Cato Institute, 18 December 2001 (.pdf file).

[excerpt]   ...many of the groups on the U.S. government's terrorism list are not currently focusing their efforts on attacking U.S. targets... if the U.S. government begins to go after terrorist groups that do not normally focus on attacking U.S. targets, it should expect an upsurge of retaliatory terrorist attacks on the United States -- both abraod and at home.

Commentary - 15 December 2001
In Its Quest for Supremacy, U.S. May Squander Partnerships
William Pfaff. International Herald Tribune, 15 December 2001.
Posted on the Website

[excerpt]   [T]his administration's foreign policy...began in aggressive unilateralism, sought multilateral support after Sept. 11, but has now reaffirmed its determination to go back to the road of sovereign and solitary action - with others to follow or not, as they like, and be rewarded or sanctioned accordingly. Those who thought the administration's reaction to the terrorist attacks was a fundamental redirection of policy were mistaken.
The crisis has been seen by what can be called the War Party in Washington - or the "benevolent hegemony" crowd - as a welcome boost to its own ambitions, which are to make a fundamental change in the world balance that will leave the United States in charge, its "rogue nation" enemies defeated and the Russians, Chinese and Europeans permanently reduced to secondary roles.

Analysis - 12 December 2001
After Afghanistan -- Who is Next?
Daniel Smith. Washington, DC: Center for Defense Information Terrorism Project, 12 December 2001.

News - 10 December 2001
"In Norway, Annan Warns U.S. Against Attacking Iraq"
Sarah Lyall. The New York Times, 10 December 2001.

[lead sentence]   The United Nations secretary general, Kofi Annan, warned the United States today not to expand its war against terrorism into Iraq and said peace, particularly in Afghanistan and the Middle East, could be achieved only through collective international efforts.

News - 10 December 2001
"US shifts command to Kuwait: Army positioned for troop buildup or wider conflict"
Bryan Bender. The Boston Globe, 10 December 2001.

[excerpt]   ...Pentagon officials said yesterday that they are moving the command of ground forces in the war on terrorism from the United States to the Persian Gulf, in the clearest sign yet that US military commanders are preparing for a protracted campaign in Afghanistan and beyond.

News - 10 December 2001
Terror hit list drawn up by US
Matthew Engel. Guardian Unlimited, 10 December 2001.

[excerpt]   US intelligence officials appear to have drawn up a detailed target list of terror bases across the globe. They are urgently assessing the risks posed by facilities in the Aceh region of Indonesia (a secessionist part of Sumatra), the Hadramawt region of Yemen, and Ras Komboni in southern Somalia, near the Kenyan border. The sites have been identified from documents and confessions from captured fighters.

News - 09 December 2001
"Nuclear Experts in Pakistan May Have Links to Al Qaeda"
David E. Sanger. The New York Times, 09 December 2001.

[excerpt]   [senior American official]: "...there are some in the Pakistani hierarchy who fear a Trojan horse that we are learning about their nuclear program because, in their minds, we may one day need to deal with it."

News - 08 December 2001
"U.S. experts on Iraq warn of new Vietnam"
Claude Salhani. United Press International, 08 December 2001.

[excerpt]   Two prominent American experts on Iraq [Scott Ritter and Edward Peck] cautioned the Bush administration on Friday not to go after Iraq... The warnings came about as 10 key members of Congress sent at a letter to President George W. Bush earlier in the week encouraging him to set his sights on Saddam Jussein's regime as the next target in the war. Signers of the letter included Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., Jesse Helms, R-N.C., Trent Lott, R-Miss., Richard Shelby, R-Ala., and [Rep.] Henry Hyde, R-Ill...

Analysis and Commentary - 04 December 2001
Israel's True Intentions in Removing Arafat
R.S. Zaharna. Foreign Policy In Focus, 04 December 2001.

[excerpt]   Jane's Intelligence Digest, one of the premiere military intelligence sources, stated unequivocally "As JID has warned for months, Arafat will not be able to deliver because he does not control the situation on the ground" ("Middle East Peace?" June 15, 2001). If Arafat is not able to "control the violence," why is there continued pressure on him to do so? If one looks at the campaign strategically, the end result is the same. So long as Arafat is perceived as being responsible for the violence, pressure can be placed on him to stop the violence. If Arafat does yield to Israeli and American pressure to arrest all Palestinian militants (who are perceived by the Palestinian population as legitimately resisting Israeli occupation) Arafat will be removed from power and a Palestinian civil war will likely ensue. However, if Arafat does not arrest all militants, Israel can continue and even intensify its tactics against the Palestinians, eventually removing the Palestinian leaders themselves. Again, the result would be a state of internal instability that parallels a civil war, requiring Israel to move into the territories. Ideally, for the Israelis and the U.S., it is preferable that the Palestinian leader be removed through an internal rebellion from his own people than if Israel is "forced" to remove him. However, if Arafat does not go against his own people, Israel will claim that because Arafat is doing nothing to stop Palestinian attacks that Israel has no choice but to protect its own security; Israel must remove Arafat. Either way, Arafat is removed from power, resulting in a state of instability that gives Israel the pretext for reoccupying the Palestinian territories to insure Israel's security.

News - 03 December 2001
"Bush, Mirroring Call on Taliban, Demands Arafat Stop Extremists"
David E. Sanger. The New York Times, 03 December 2001.

[excerpt]   But on Capitol Hill, there were already some calls for the administration to give up mediation and to apply the Bush Doctrine on terrorism -- retaliation againgst those who harbor, feed, or train terrorists -- against the Palestinian Authority.
"The P.L.O. is the same as the Taliban, which aids, abets, and provides safe haven for terrorists," Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, said today, "...and Israel is like America, simply trying to protect its home front."

Analysis and Commentary - 03 December 2001
Should Iraq Be Next?
William M. Arkin., 03 December 2001.

[excerpt]   Last year, Marine Corps Gen. Anthony C. Zinni, then commander-in-chief of all U.S. forces in the Middle East, and now adviser to Secretary of State Colin Powell, said "We have effectively destroyed 30 percent of Saddam's air defense capability across the board - missile systems, triple A [anti-aircraft artillery], radars, command and control, etc. - methodically, precisely carefully, with minimal if any collateral damage. We've done it politically extremely well, low-key.... No one is noticing it. It fits all the requirements. Slowly but surely this guy is losing."

Commentary - 03 December 2001
Bush faces Iraq question
Robert Novak. Chicago Sun-Times, 03 December 2001.

[excerpt]   Despite President Bush's heightened public bellicosity toward Saddam Hussein, he is reported by administration sources as far from a final decision on whether to attack Iraq. Indeed, private back-channel efforts continue for a negotiated settlement with Baghdad.
...a broadened rationale for attacking Iraq was signaled last Monday by Bush, answering questions in the Rose Garden. "If you develop weapons of mass destruction, that you want to terrorize the world," he said for the first time, "you'll be held accountable." On the next day, Woolsey contended that possessing these weapons-- "quite apart from whether there's any smoking gun . . . with respect to Sept. 11"--is reason to attack Iraq.
On Nov. 16, the New York Times reported Iraq as rejecting a trade between lifted sanctions and renewed inspections. Ambassador Mohammed Aldouri, Iraq's representative at the United Nations, immediately wrote to the Times, denying its account. In vague diplomatic language, he implied that Iraq would be open to a deal that involved "lifting the sanctions against the country in return for international monitoring." The letter was never published.

Analysis - 01 December 2001
"Somalia is a different case"
AFI Research (Richard M. Bennett Associates), 30 November 2001.

[excerpt]  [A] vital parallel between Somalia and Afghanistan is the presence of regional proxies who would augment US airstrikes and Special Operations forces with ground troops. Besides some Somali militias, which would subsequently depend on US goodwill for their survival, Washington can call upon Ethiopia. Addis Ababa, which has replaced Eritrea as the region's US favorite, set the stage last week for Washington's next anti-terror operations. Approximately 700 Ethiopian troops entered the breakaway Somali province of Puntland to support that territory's ex-president, Abdullahi Yousef, against his Islamic extremist opponents. Puntland, on the Indian Ocean, effectively splits Somalia in two, and would present an optimum base of operations for the US military. To the south and southwest of Puntland lie Mogadishu and the Gedo Province. The nominal capital Mogadishu is headquarters for several militias, including the Somali National Alliance of the late General Mohamad Farah Aideed who was responsible for the massacre of 19 US soldiers in 1993. This group, affiliated with al Qa'ida, is now run by the General's son Hussein Aideed, a former US Marine (!) who matches his father's brutality and hatred of the West. Gedo Province is home to the al-Ittihad militia, which is on the US State Department's list of terrorist organizations. Ethiopia has intervened militarily in Somalia before over the last years, but under the present conditions, Addis Ababa's troops could well be seen as the vanguard of the anti-terror coalition.

[top of page]

E-mail This Page


powered by FreeFind

US Defense Policy | Regional Security | Terrorism
Iraq & Afghanistan | Military & Strategic Studies
Alternative Security & Defense | Chronological

Buy Publications | Home | What's New | About PDA
Links | Search This Site | E-mail PDA

War Report | RMA Debate Page
Defense Strategy Review Page | Chinese Military Power Page
Terrorism, Counter-Terrorism, Homeland Security | Occupation Distress

Become a PDA Sustainer

Donate Now to Support PDA

The Project on Defense Alternatives, The Commonwealth Institute
P.O.Box 398105, Inman Square Post Office
Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
Phone 617/547-4474, Fax 617/868-1267
Email: pda(at)

Copyright © The Commonwealth Institute. All Rights Reserved.