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Wider War Watch -- October 2001

News - 31 October 2001
"India prepared to act militarily, top general warns Pakistan army"
Associated Press, 31 October 2001.

[excerpt] In the most aggressive comments in years by a military commander, Lt. Gen. R.K. Nanavatty said India "must remain prepared to exercise the military action" and that the capture of Pakistan-controlled Kashmir was "achievable." India's military had refrained from such references to war even during the 1999 frontier fighting with Pakistan that killed hundreds of soldiers. Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee wrote President Bush after the Oct. 1 attack, saying Pakistan needed to understand that India's patience was limited. The United States has urged both countries to avoid escalating tensions in Kashmir.

News - 31 October 2001
"Philippines To Get Anti-Terrorist Help From U.S."
KITV, 31 October 2001.

[excerpt]  Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld confirmed Tuesday that there are American military anti-terrorism experts providing advice and hardware to the Philippine Army, which is trying to destroy a large terrorist group with links to Osama bin Laden. A bomb that killed six and injured scores of others at a Zamboanga food court was blamed on Abu Sayyaf, an islamic terror group which bin Laden's brother-in-law helped to establish. The group, known worldwide for its proficient kidnapping schemes, have killed Americans and are threatening more attacks. But Ronald Hayes, former commander-in-chief of U.S. Pacific military forces, doubts that Abu Sayyaf is a direct threat to Americans outside the Philippines.

Commentary - 31 October 2001
"The Nuclear Option"
Cal Thomas. The Nando Times, 31 October 2001.

[excerpt]  Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz told The London Telegraph last week that Britain and the United States should expect a large-scale chemical and biological weapons assault on civilian targets by Osama bin Laden's terrorist group. The objective, said Wolfowitz, is to cause tens of thousands of casualties. If such a forecast is based on sound intelligence, President Bush should consider emulating his predecessor, Harry Truman, and employ the use of at least tactical nuclear weapons against the Taliban should it be concluded that such a weapon might produce better results than the current bombing campaign. If this is war, why pull any punches?

News - 30 October 2001
"Germ Tests Point Away From Iraq"
Washington Post, 30 October 2001.

[excerpt] Federal officials said that the anthrax spores that infected workers at the New York Post and in the office of Senate Majority Leader Thomas Daschle were not mixed with bentonite, a mineral compound used by the Iraqi biological weapons program to make the spores more infectious. The findings appeared to support recent hints by various U.S. officials that Iraq is not a prime suspect in the recent anthrax attacks, which have killed three and wreaked havoc with the postal system.

News and Analysis - 29 October 2001
Where the war will go next:  Plotting the next phases of the campaign against terror
Michael Moran., 29 October 2001.
Posted on the Commonwealth Institute Website.

[excerpt]...virtually no one in the Bush administration or in the wider world currently believes that Iraq is Act II on the War on Terror playbill. Instead, stateless groups operating bases in Algeria, Somalia and the Philippines are heading the list.

Analysis - 29 October 2001
What Terrorists Want:  Is there a better way to defeat Al Qaeda?
Nicholas Lemann. The New Yorker (29 October 2001).

[excerpt]  I asked [Kenneth] Adelman what he would say to President Bush if he were given the opportunity to sell him personally on the wide option.
"This is a historic moment," he told me (as Bush). "You have a mission. It is almost a divine mission. You have one task in life. That is to wage a global campaign against terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. Unlike any of your predecessors, including Harry Truman at the beginning of the Cold War, you have no public opposition, no congressional opposition, and meaningless foreign opposition. It is a noble, wonderful mission. Our children's lives will be better for it. You are given the opportunity by tragedy to solve the larger problem. It is virtually impossible to wipe out terrorist groups, but, by God, you can wipe out countries that support terrorism. There are two countries that are not easy picking, but not tough, Afghanistan and Iraq. I have no evidence that Iraq was involved in nine-eleven, but I feel it. There is no reason you can't use these ideal conditions to help fulfill your mission."

News - 28 October 2001
"Aziz: Iraq Expects U.S. Attack"
Associated Press, 28 October 2001.

[excerpt] Iraq's deputy prime minister says "it is just a matter of time" before Britain and the United States attack his country, and accused them of trying to remove Saddam Hussein's government under the pretext of a war on terrorism.

Commentary - 28 October 2001
Another tool against terror: revisiting the ban on assassination
Ward Thomas. The Boston Globe.
Posted on the Commonwealth Institute Website.

News - 28 October 2001
"CIA Weighs 'Targeted Killing' Missions:  Administration Believes Restraints Do Not Bar Singling Out Individual Terrorists"
Baton Gellman. The Washington Post, 28 October 2001.

[Excerpt] Drawing on two classified legal memoranda, one written for President Bill Clinton in 1998 and one since the attacks of Sept. 11, the Bush administration has concluded that executive orders banning assassination do not prevent the president from lawfully singling out a terrorist for death by covert action. The CIA is reluctant to accept a broad grant of authority to hunt and kill U.S. enemies at its discretion, knowledgeable sources said. But the agency is willing and believes itself able to take the lives of terrorists designated by the president.

News - 27 October 2001
"FBI and CIA Suspect Domestic Extremists"
Bob Woodward and Dan Eggen. The Washington Post, 27 October 2001.

[Lead paragraph]  Top FBI and CIA officials believe that the anthrax attacks on Washington, New York and Florida are likely the work of one or more extremists in the United States who are probably not connected to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda terrorist organization, government officials said yesterday.

Commentary and Analysis - 25 October 2001
The Future of Southern Kurdistan in Light of the War on Terrorism
Eamad Mazouri., 25 October 2001.
Posted on Middle East News Online.

[excerpt]  No doubt, that the Western alliance will seek Kurdish assistance and cooperation in their efforts to topple Baghdad regime.

Editorial - 25 October 2001
The Boston Globe, 25 October 2001

The opening paragraph of this editorial asks two questions:

Where did the anthrax come from that appears to heve been milled to float in the air?  And is Saddam Hussein an unindicted co-conspriator with Osama bin Laden in the terrorist war being waged against the United States?
The editorial mentions reports of contacts between Al Qaeda operatives and Iraqi intelligence officers, defectors' accounts of Iraqi terrorist training camps, and Iraq's history of production of anthrax. James Woolsey's "warnings of a possible collaboration between Saddam and bin Laden's network" is also cited.

Analysis - 25 October 2001
AFI Research (Richard M. Bennett Associates), 25 October 2001.

Whatever the eventual time-scale, it does appear likely that President Bush, has at least in outline taken the decisions that will lead to an all-out attack on Palestinian terrorist groups such as Hamas and the Iranian-backed Hezbollah based in southern and eastern Lebanon. That this may well involve a conflict with Syria is accepted as an unavoidable risk. Neither Iraq or Iran can be sure that once the operations are fully underway that deliberate mission creep will not provide an opportunity to spread the overall scope of the operation to include a full scale assault on both Baghdad's and Tehran's research and production facilities for weapons of mass destruction and in Iraq's case, a full scale invasion to finally overthrow Saddam Hussein's regime. Yasser Arafat, the United States man in the middle, will be further financed, armed and 'persuaded' to preside over a demilitarized Palestinian State, dominated by Israel...

It is understood that the United states is actively taking steps to upgrade Israel's air defences and protection against the many hundreds of Syria and Iraqi SS-1 Scud-B/C/D and long-range variants aimed at its cities, airfields, power plants and nuclear facilities. The equipment being supplied is believed to include new radars, EW equipment and additional advanced Patriot anti-missile systems. Despite recent signs of strain in the usually close relationship between Washington and Jerusalem, the United States will ensure Israel's ultimate survival. In an increasingly hostile and unstable Middle East the United States sees its alliance with both Israel and Turkey as paramount, particularly as the Bush Government feels in no small measure that it has been betrayed by the unwilling, or in such cases non-existent, support offered by Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The United States long-term geo-strategic ambitions will remain firmly based on the relationship with Jerusalem and Ankara, the garrisons based in a number of the small Gulf States conveniently reliant upon Washington for their survival and a chain of strategically vital islands, Dahlak in the Red Sea, Masirah in the Arabian Sea and Diego Garcia archipelago in the Indian Ocean.

Commentary and Analysis - 24 October 2001
Unintended Consequences
John Tirman.

[excerpt]  What will be next in this series of haunting mistakes? If this 50-year history teaches us anything, it is that aggressive military actions surely will earn a violent reaction, and that the pattern consistently displays three characteristics: large-scale human misery; the "involvement" of neighboring countries; and the amplification of militant Islamic sentiment around the world. In just a matter of weeks, all characteristics are now visible in the "war on terrorism."

News - 23 October 2001
"Global command considered"
Rowan Scarborough. The Washington Times.

[excerpt]  Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is considering creation of a global command to fight a lengthy war on terrorism, a sure sign that the Pentagon is contemplating covert combat in countries other than Afghanistan.

News and Analysis - 22 October 2001
Iraq, Anthrax, and the Hawks
Matthew Rothschild. The Progressive (22 October 2001).
Posted on the Common Dreams Website.

[excerpt] Senator Joseph Lieberman, the Democratic Vice Presidential candidate in 2000, said on "Meet the Press" Sunday that the United States should attack Baghdad. And the Pentagon is prepared to do so. "For the first time since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, the United States deployed additional forces to bases within easy striking distance of Iraq, senior military officials said. The deployment . . . included 12 F-15E fighter-bombers, nearly doubling the number of strike fighters on the ground in the Persian Gulf," according to Steven Lee Myers and Thom Shanker in the Times of Oct. 17.

Analysis - 22 October 2001
"CIA's New Leeway and the Third Theater", 22 October 2001.

[excerpt]  Washington is apparently warning its allies that covert attempts to assassinate al Qaeda members may take place within their borders. After focusing on the domestic front and Afghanistan, the U.S. government is turning its attention to intercontinental threats.
Covert operations challenge the national sovereignty of nations with which the United States may have no quarrel but which have become the unwilling hosts to U.S. enemies. The Israelis encountered this situation in the 1970s. The United States undoubtedly studied their experience and concluded that, in as limited a manner as possible, it must be repeated. It can of course be objected that the Israeli experience failed, that one terrorist group followed another.

News - 21 October 2001
"Interview with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Richard B. Myers"
ABC This Week, 21 October 2001. Fulltext available from The Joint Chiefs of Staff Website.

[excerpt]  Stephanopoulos: How about beyond Afghanistan and widening out the battlefield? There are some reports you have started to prepare targets in Iraq. Is that true?
Myers: This is a global war on terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. So Afghanistan is only one small piece. So of course we're thinking very broadly. I would say since World War II we haven't thought this broadly about a campaign. And it's not just a military piece, it's the rest of the instruments of national power that the United States and our friends and allies will bring to this problem. So we're -- the military piece is just one part of it. Other things are going on all the time -- the financial piece, the justice piece, the law enforcement piece, and so on.
Stephanopoulos: But let me show you -- some people are worried about the scope of that war. And let me show you something from a retired colonel, Richard Dunn, the former head of the Army think tank. He said, "You can go and kill every one of their terrorists and hang bin Laden in front of the White House, and you still haven't solved the problem. You've probably created hundreds of new terrorists. So you can win tactically and lose strategically." How do you respond to that?
Myers: Well, I think the first thing we have to do -- and I'm going to try to stay in my lane, which is the military lane, I think we can have an impact on the ability of al Qaeda and other international terrorist organizations to train. I think we can have an impact on their ability to obtain weapons of mass destruction. And if there's any doubt since September 11 the terrorists crossed the threshold of the use of weapons of mass destruction. And I think we can have an impact on all those things I just mentioned. And George, I think we can bring down the threat to not only ourselves, but other freedom-loving peoples.

News - 20 October 2001
Summit split as EU leaders snub call to overthrow Kabul regime
George Jones and Ambrose Evans-Pritchard., 20 October 2001.

[excerpt]  European leaders backed away last night from endorsing a call for the overthrow of Afghanistan's ruling Taliban regime as tensions emerged over the operation of the American-led military strikes. At a fractious meeting in the Belgian city of Ghent, the EU decided to call instead for "elimination of the terrorist al-Qa'eda network as responsible for the terror attacks on the US."

Commentary and Analysis - 19 October 2001
Don't Blame Saddam for this one
Scott Ritter. Guardian Unlimited, 19 September 2001.

[excerpt]  America's policy towards Iraq continues to be one of abject failure, and President Bush's administration exhibits the same level of frustration and impotence shown by its predecessor in trying to piece together a viable plan for dealing with Saddam's continued survival. Washington finds itself groping for something upon which to hang its anti-Saddam policies and the current anthrax scare has provided a convenient cause. It would be a grave mistake for some in the Bush administration to undermine the effort to bring to justice those who perpetrated the cowardly attacks against the US by trying to implement their own ideologically-driven agenda on Iraq.

Public Opinion - 12 October 2001
Two-thirds in US fear escalation into wider war
Guardian Unlimited, 12 Ocotber 2001.

[excerpt]  Respondents [to an ABC News poll] were asked whether they were worried that the conflict could turn into a broader war between the US and its allies against Arabs and Muslims. Sixty-six percent said they were worried (25% greatly worried and 41% somewhat worried), while 33% said they were not worried and 1% had no opinion.

Commentary - 09 October 2001
"After Afghanistan, Iraq?"
Robert Novak. Creators Syndicate, Inc., 09 October 2001.

[excerpt]  ...conventional military power alone cannot win the war against terrorism. Nevertheless, there is a strong viewpoint inside the Pentagon that the second target -- after Afghanistan -- has to be Iraq. Even the most hawkish officials privately admit that there is no evidence linking Baghdad to the Sept. 11 attacks, but they want to conclude the unfinished task of a decade ago anyway. According to White House sources, that is not good enough for President Bush. He wants a better justification for an attack on Iraq to present to the world. Although he certainly has not ruled out going after Saddam, Bush is wary of aligning his nation against the Arab world. The president's coalition-building efforts (including his support for the concept of a Palestinian state) led to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's ill-tempered comparison of Bush's quest for the 1938 sellout of Czechoslovakia by the western democracies. When Sharon was rebuked by an official White House statement, his advisers immediately began making excuses for their boss's insult of Israel's protector and benefactor. On Saturday, Sharon himself sought out American journalists to claim he was misunderstood. Still, the suddenly delicate U.S.-Israeli relationship remains a critical factor on how Bush pursues the war against terrorism. There is strong feeling among American conservatives that an attack on Iraq is essential to protect U.S. national interests and that keeping Arab states as members of the anti-terrorist coalition is neither possible nor desirable. In their view, Israel is ally enough. Secretary of State Colin Powell tells Bush that this position is madness. The president's 80 percent-plus approval rating will only rise if the Taliban regime crumbles under the weight of Anglo-American arms. He then will have an open mandate to press on against Saddam Hussein. That temptation will test George W. Bush's prudence and wisdom.

News and Analysis - 06 October 2001
Washington unsure of targeting Hizbullah in war against terror
Nicholas Blanford. Daily Star Lebanon, 06 October 2001.
Posted on The Free Patriotic Movement (Lebanon) Website.

[excerpt]  The US administration appears split into two camps, analysts said. On one side, US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the Pentagon and army chiefs are calling for a comprehensive campaign against "terror," which could include overthrowing the regime of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and targeting Middle East groups such as Hizbullah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas. But US Secretary of State Colin Powell is recommending a more cautious approach. Powell believes that the anti-terror campaign needs to remain focused on Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden, his power base in Afghanistan and his Al-Qaeda network.
Part of the difficulty in knowing who to target lies in the varying definitions of terrorism. Despite many interpretations, there is no single internationally-accepted definition. For the purposes of the US-led coalition, Cole [Juan Cole, a history professor at the University of Michigan] said US President George W. Bush's call for a war against "international terrorism" is an important distinction.
Hizbullah is believed to have cells operating in North and South America, Europe and the Far East. These cells are generally limited to fund-raising. But their presence may encourage the US to cite them as examples of Hizbullah's "global reach." Furthermore, although Hizbullah's focus in the past decade has been to oust Israeli forces from south Lebanon, the organization is suspected of involvement in at least three bombings beyond the immediate parameters of the Arab-Israeli conflict: two in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1992 and 1994 and the third in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, in 1996.

News - 5 October 2001
Hawkish Tory leader urges wider war aim:  Iraq and Northern Ireland should be within the scope of terrorist fight, says Duncan Smith.
Michael White. The Guardian, 05 October 2001

Commentary and Analysis - 3 October 2001
On the War
Stanley Hoffman. The New York Review of Books (01 November 2001).

[excerpt]  Are all the states in which terrorists operate their willing accomplices? In this case, the category includes states incapable of exerting control because they are too weak (Lebanon) or because they are insufficiently vigilant (the US and many of its democratic allies).
Should the US make war against those whom it has declared to be terrorist, or terrorist-sponsoring, states, even if their links to bin Laden are hypothetical or dubious? This list includes states that have now promised to help the US (Syria, Sudan) as well as longstanding enemies (Iraq) or semi-enemies (Iran); trying to "punish" these could all too easily boomerang and reduce international support for the US. A determined project of ridding the world of all rogues and terrorists is a dream that would be seen abroad as a demonstration of rabid imperialism. The US has to be more modest in its goals.

Commentary - October 2001
September 11: Before and After
Adam Garfinkle. Philadephia, PA: Foreign Policy Research Institute Wire (October 2001).

[excerpt] ...this much is clear: without the replacement of the Taliban regime with one more responsible and responsive to the needs of the people of Afghanistan, without the elimination of the seething Wahhabi madrassas in and around Peshawar and Quetta in Pakistan, and without a sea-change in Saudi internal practices, it will be impossible to "drain the swamp" and really put an end to the kind of terrorism we suffered last month.

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