U.S. projects use of Weapons of Mass Destruction in next Middle East wargreenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread
U.S. projects use of WMD in next Middle East war
SPECIAL TO WORLD TRIBUNE.COM Friday, June 29, 2001
WASHINGTON — U.S. defense and security experts project the use of ballistic missiles with nonconventional warheads in the next Middle East war.
U.S. officials said this scenario has been drafted by experts in several defense agencies. They said such countries as Iraq, Iran and Syria might launch chemical and biological weapons attacks in any confrontation with Israel.
The assessment has been presented to President George Bush. The White House was told that the Middle East was sliding into a state of war in which all measures could be employed.
"One reason — among many — that we cannot walk away from the Middle East conflict is that another war there could involve weapons of mass destruction," Sen. Joseph Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told a conference at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on June 19.
Officials said the scenarios of a future Middle East war have been discussed with both Egypt and Israel. They said both countries agree on likelihood that WMD could be used.
Israeli military planners have assessed that Iraq would be the key to any Arab use of WMD. The Israeli military has prepared plans for Iraqi intervention in any conflict between Syria and the Jewish state.
"We presume that this sort of situation will lead to Iraqi involvement and an intensification of Syrian participation in events," a senior Israeli officer told the Israeli military Bamahane weekly. "We are proposing a number of steps that would give an answer according to developments."
-- Martin Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 29, 2001