- NEW YORK (PRNewswire
via COMTEX) -- As the debate about a U.S. invasion of Iraq continues in
Washington, President George W. Bush's administration is quietly getting
ready for a fight, Newsweek reports in the current issue. U.S. munitions
plants have put on extra shifts to rebuild arsenals depleted during the
Afghan war, and a few hundred uniformed personnel are working as advance
teams in Jordan and elsewhere, assessing the need for new airstrips, wider
roads and the like, Newsweek reports. And even before Saddam Hussein became
a priority target, the U.S. Department of Energy was working to get America's
strategic petroleum reserve up to its full capacity of 700 million barrels
-- enough to meet U.S. energy needs for more than 80 days in a crunch,
report National Security Correspondent John Barry and Diplomatic Correspondent
Roy Gutman in the August 12 issue of Newsweek (on newsstands Monday, August
- But there's still the question of whether the U.S. can
go it totally alone. Last week, Jordan's King Abdullah, who has publicly
denounced the administration's war threats as "ludicrous" and
"a tremendous mistake," visited Bush in Washington. The king
says that even Bush's closest ally in the war on terror, Tony Blair, shares
his concerns. Britain's prime minister is still being as tactful as possible
about his reservations, but he's expressing them more and more forcefully.
The Brits are "asking us, 'How do you propose to keep law and order
the day after?'" a senior Bush aide tells Newsweek. "And when
there's no concrete answer, the question comes back: 'OK, how long are
we going to be occupying Iraq?' No one has any answer to that question."
- Since word about a potential war plan was leaked to the
press, the military's Central Command planners have worked up a total of
six broad concepts ranging from "Desert Storm Lite" (the in-house
nickname for the original idea) to a bare-bones Special Forces operation
to spark an uprising against Saddam. None of the plans looks very convincing,
sources say, when the action reaches Baghdad, a city of with a 1,600-square-mile
sprawl with countless hiding places and some 4 million potential human
shields, Newsweek reports.
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