Bush Rebuilds Smart Weapons -
Quietly Plans For War Against Iraq


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 5).
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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