- DEBKAfile's military and intelligence sources report
that Presidents George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin, in a single 70-minuted
conversation on September 23, eleven days after the terrorist assaults
in New York and Washington, agreed on the deployment of tactical weapons.
This is an epic shift in the global balance of strength.
- Putin gave the nod for US forces poised in Central Asia
to jump into Afghanistan to be armed with tactical nuclear weapons, such
as small neutron bombs, which emit strong radiation, nuclear mines, shells,
and other nuclear ammunition suited to commando warfare in mountainous
- In return, Bush assented to Russia deploying tactical
nuclear weapons units around Chechnya after Moscow's ultimatum to the rebels,
some of whom are backed by Osama Bin Laden, to surrender, went by without
response. DEBKAfile's military sources place the US nuclear weapons in
four former Soviet Central Asian bases: the military air facility at Tuzel,
15 km (10 miles) northwest of the Uzbek capital of Tashkent; at Kagady
in the Termez region; in Khandabad, near the city of Karshi; and at the
military air base in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan.
- In addition to the nuclear weapons units, Russian bombers
carrying small neutron bombs were moved to Russian military air bases around
the border of the breakaway province, in Stavropol northwest of Chechnya,
the Godowta base in Georgia to the south, and Mozdok in northern Osetia,
northwest of Chechnya.
- Russian and U.S. military sources refuse to take questions
on these startling events.
- The US is far from eager to actively inject a nuclear
element into the war against terrorism and will not be the first to do
so. According to DEBKAfile's military sources, the US plans to hold those
tactical nuclear weapons in reserve, unleashing them in the campaign against
bin Laden only in certain extreme circumstances:
- 1. To counter a move by Bin Laden's men first bring
out nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against the US force fighting
- 2. If a chemical or biological assault by the Taliban
- 3. Should groups of bin Laden's Al Qaeda network -
either in Central Asia or the Balkans - wield these weapons of mass destruction
against US military targets or US nuclear arms in other parts of the world.
- 4. If using them is the only way to save heavy American
- Full accounts of impending war preparations appear in
the latest issue of DEBKA-Net-Weekly, the exclusive electronic intelligence
letter put out for subscribers by DEBKAfile.