TERRORISM - WORLD TRADE CENTER
MILITARY PAGE 2
WATCH FOR MILITARY TAKEOVER!!!!!!
DAY1 DAY2 DAY3 DAY4 DAY 5 - WITH LARGE MAP DAY 6
DAY 7 DAY 8 DAY 9 DAY 10 DAY 11
PASSENGERS U.S. DETENTION CENTERS
PRESIDENT G.W. BUSH SPEECH TO CONGRESS - 9-20-2001
MILITARY PAGE - DAY 1 THRU DAY 9 MILITARY PAGE 2 - DAY 10 -.....
NUMBER SYMBOLISM OF THE WTC BOMBING
|9-20-2001 - ISLAMIC LEADERS OBJECT TO THE TERM
'INFINITE JUSTICE, AS ONLY ALLAH CAN BE INFINITE. THE NAME WILL BE CHANGED
ACCORDINGLY BY THE U.S.
9-20-2001 - 9 B-52 BOMBERS DEPLOY FROM BARKESDALE, AFB, LOUISIANA
Monday September 17, 2001 7:18 AM ET
U.S. Military in Japan Steps Up Activity
By Masayuki Kitano
TOKYO (Reuters) - U.S. military bases in Japan buzzed with activity on Monday as forces here prepared to play their part in any retaliation against last week's attacks on New York and Washington.
The U.S. military and thousands of reservists have been preparing for duty after President Bush on Saturday declared the United States was at war and would smoke its enemies ``out of their holes.''
Bush approved the activation of up to 50,000 reserve troops last week, some 35,000 of whom were called up on Saturday to provide fighter protection and perform other duties at domestic military bases.
And there were signs that preparations in Japan, home to about 48,000 U.S. military personnel -- nearly half the U.S. presence in Asia -- were intensifying.
U.S. fighter planes conducted night time take-off and landing drills at an air base in Atsugi southwest of Tokyo on Sunday evening, and on Monday, a warship equipped with an Aegis missile defense system, the Curtis Wilbur, left a U.S. naval base in Yokosuka south of Tokyo.
Japanese media also said that an unidentified U.S. submarine docked at Yokosuka and later departed.
``I really can't comment on operational movements of vessels or people. We are not commenting on the movements,'' said an official at the U.S. Forces public affairs office in Japan.
A U.S.-guided missile cruiser, the Cowpens, another Aegis-type warship, is also said to have departed Yokosuka on Saturday.
KITTYHAWK IN PORT
Analysts say the United States could also dispatch the aircraft carrier Kittyhawk to somewhere in the Indian Ocean together with several F-16 fighter jets.
Kittyhawk -- one of 12 aircraft carriers the United States has around the world -- belongs to the U.S. 7th Fleet which covers the western Pacific and whose home port is Yokosuka.
But analysts here say U.S. military forces in Japan are unlikely to play a major role in any U.S. retaliation against last week's terror attacks.
``The U.S. military stationed in Japan did not play a significant role in the Gulf War,'' defense analyst Haruo Fujii told Reuters.
``It will be the same if the United States takes military action against those involved in the terrorist attacks.''
Fujii said U.S. troops and military hardware were deployed across Japan mainly to deal with possible conflicts in Northeast Asia or East Asia.
``They are not deployed here to be dispatched to areas far away from the region,'' he said.
|Thursday September 20 06:22 PM EDT
Marines, Navy Personnel Deployed From Bases In Carolinas
Fighter jets from South Carolina are headed out to sea.
Three squadrons of F/A-18 Hornets are going to join the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt.
The carrier was scheduled to head to the Mediterranean Sea before last week's terrorist attacks.
The F/A-18s are being dispatched from the Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort.
Charleston Air Force Base has also received an order to deploy aircraft as part of Operation Infinite Justice.
Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, S.C., has not received any such orders.
Marines and sailors based at North Carolina's Camp Lejune were also deployed Thursday.
The 2,200 troops who left will be gone for at least six months.
Officials said that it is a routine deployment, but the timing makes it much more important.
The troops will be based along the Mediterranean Sea.
|Washington Prepares for Long Campaign
2300 GMT, 010918
As Washington tries to build an international coalition against terrorism, the Bush administration is preparing the nation for a long campaign rather than a single retaliatory strike. With Afghanistan the primary initial target, Washington must deal with a problem it has rarely encountered since World War II: attacking a landlocked country.
The Bush administration is searching the globe for coalition support for its war on terrorism. At the same time, it is preparing Americans for a long campaign that may not include a rapid, high-profile, retaliatory strike.
Washington's initial military response to the Sept. 11 attacks will shape U.S. relations not only with Middle Eastern nations but also with the rest of the world.
For this reason the administration must carefully consider its reprisal so as not to undermine the confidence of allies or fuel wider enmity among Arab and Islamic nations. Although strikes are inevitable, they will likely take much more time and preparation than the cruise missile strikes that followed the 1998 bombings of the embassies in Africa.
By labeling Osama bin Laden the key suspect, Washington has also marked Afghanistan, where the Saudi exile has been living, as the likely first target. This presents a problem the U.S. military has rarely encountered since World War II: attacking a landlocked nation. The effectiveness of U.S. carrier battle groups will be severely reduced in any operation against Afghanistan.
The Limits of Solidarity
The United States has experienced much success so far in forming a broad international coalition to fight terrorism following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. But frictions with vital countries such as Germany, France and Egypt could hamper America's ability to wage covert war.
In some ways Sept. 17 was a bad day for American strategists. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and others have made it clear the United States intends to prosecute the coming campaign against terrorism as it did in the Kosovo and Iraqi wars: with a broad, international coalition's backing.
In terms of logistics, Washington must find either land bases for a sustained coalition air strike against Afghanistan or provide in-air refueling for carrier-based planes.
Afghanistan's neighbors, with whom the United States has tenuous relations, limit both choices. Afghanistan is bounded by Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to the north, Iran to the west, China to the east and Pakistan to the south. Any partnership with the northern neighbors will require substantial negotiations with Russia, which retains a strong influence and military presence in Central Asia. Even with permission to fly out of Central Asia, the supply chain into these nations would be long and difficult to maintain.
Iran, which has no love for the Taliban, is even more unlikely to offer basing for U.S. aircraft. China, too, is unlikely to offer basing, and even if it does, significant supply line problems would remain.
Washington's best hope for regional assistance, then, is Pakistan. Pakistan was once a close ally, and its port access is useful for logistical purposes. Pakistan's long border along the southern and eastern parts of Afghanistan also offers the closest access to the cities of Kandahar, the Taliban headquarters, and Kabul, the frontline in the battle between the Taliban and the opposition Northern Alliance.
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has offered substantial cooperation to the United States in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks. But pro-Taliban forces inside Pakistan threaten his hold on power.
These threats come from those who feel he is too secular as well as from ethnic rivalries within Pakistan. Musharraf is a Muhajir, an Urdu-speaking member of an immigrant family from India. Although Urdu-speakers have dominated Pakistan's political and economic elite, the many of the country's indigenous groups -- including the native Pushtun population, which geographically straddles the border with Afghanistan -- view them as usurpers.
Even with Musharraf's promises of cooperation, military planners in Washington must be absolutely sure that he has control of his entire military. The main questions in Washington now are whether Pakistan's offer of assistance is firm and whether the government is stable enough to allow the United States to strike Afghanistan from Pakistan.
Whether the U.S. military is based in Pakistan or not, simply flying over Pakistan on the way to Afghanistan poses a serious security challenge. First, bringing significant firepower to bear on Afghanistan requires Washington to bring in more carriers or -- for a sustained and more effective operation -- to establish land bases. The nearest places for such land bases are in India, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
If the aircraft are launched from carriers, they will require in-air refueling somewhere over Pakistan. This presents a significant security risk: Tanker aircraft would provide a ready target for potential rogue elements inside Pakistan's army or air force. With the situation in Pakistan still uncertain, it would be hard for a U.S. military commander to confidently fly tankers over Pakistan. The loss of a single tanker to surface-to-air missiles or fighter aircraft would also lead to the loss of mission-bound aircraft that depended on the tanker for fuel.
Similar problems pertain to operations not based on carriers. Because land-based aircraft generally have a longer combat radius, it is possible that flights from Oman, the UAE or Qatar could refuel over the Pakistani coast and still have the range to strike at Kandahar or other targets in Afghanistan. Operating from land bases in the Gulf or from India, however, would require a long buildup.
It is for this kind of protracted operation rather than a quick retaliation that Washington is preparing. During a briefing Sept. 18, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld reiterated the dominant theme in Washington now -- that this will be a new style of war, one that will be fought for a long time. Rumsfeld emphasized that this is "not a matter of a single event" nor a campaign against one or two terrorist leaders.
Washington needed six months to gear up for Operation Desert Storm, and preparations for strikes on Afghanistan or other targets may take as long. Although pressure from within the United States for a retaliatory strike will grow, President George W. Bush currently enjoys high popularity ratings. His administration is much more likely to take the heat now rather than risk a disastrous attack that accomplishes little.
If Washington could fully trust Pakistan's stability, it would likely have begun operations already. But the administration is making every effort to prepare a long-term strategy -- to avoid the appearance abroad and at home of a Clinton-esque strategy of launching an ineffective cruise-missile strike against some tents in Afghanistan as well as to avoid undermining tenuous relations with the Arab and Muslim world.
This strategy may involve more carrier-based aircraft, land-based assets or even long-range strategic bombers from the United States and the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. Such strikes will ultimately take place but only after the administration can overcome the logistical concerns posed by Pakistan's delicate political balance.
|Friday September 21 12:07 PM ET
U.S. Bombers, Elite Troops Prepare to Move
By Charles Aldinger
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - With President Bush warning the hour for military action was near, U.S. heavy bombers and elite troops prepared on Friday to move within striking distance of Afghanistan.
Defense officials said KC-135 tanker aircraft had set up an ''air bridge'' to refuel B-1 and B-52 bombers ordered to fly from the United States to the Gulf and Indian Ocean and confirmed that a senior Air Force general was now in the region to oversee any strikes.
Washington has accused Afghanistan's ruling Taliban of harboring fugitive guerrilla leader Osama bin Laden, key suspect in the devastating Sept. 11 terror attack on America. Bush again warned the Taliban on Thursday night they faced attack if they continued to refuse to turn bin Laden over to the United States.
``Be ready,'' Bush told the military in an impassioned speech to Congress. ``I have called the armed forces to alert, and there is a reason. The hour is coming when America will act, and you will make us proud.''
He left open the possibility the military not only could hit Afghanistan, but bases used by anti-American guerrillas elsewhere in the Middle East.
Officials at U.S. bomber bases in Louisiana, Georgia, Idaho and South Dakota refused to say whether their big planes, capable of dropping precision-guided bombs and firing long-range cruise missiles, had departed.
The bombers were expected to fly to the Gulf and the British island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. A total of more than 100 U.S. warplanes, ranging from bombers to fighters and other support planes, were on alert to move to the region.
ELITE TROOPS ON ALERT
The elite Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, which could conduct attacks on guerrilla bases in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Middle East, said its troops had been ordered to deploy. No details were given.
In his speech, Bush demanded again the Taliban not only turn over bin Laden and his top lieutenants but give the United States ``full access to terrorist training camps, so we can make sure they are no longer operating.''
U.S. officials, meanwhile, confirmed a report in The New York Times that Air Force Lt. Gen. Charles Wald, the head of American air forces assigned to the Middle East and southwest Asia, had been dispatched to the Gulf early in the week.
They refused to say exactly where he was based, but the Times said he had been sent to run the air war from a sophisticated air operations center at Prince Sultan Air Base, near Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, that opened this summer.
With two U.S. aircraft carriers already in the Gulf region and another on the way from the United States, the Navy will have more than 225 warplanes ready to take part in any attack or to support bomber aircraft.
The U.S. Air Force already has nearly 200 warplanes based in the region and involved in patrolling a ``no fly'' zone in southern Iraq.
Such massed air power could be used not only to attack Afghanistan, but guerrilla bases in Lebanon and elsewhere in the Middle East, as well as countries such as Iraq, which the United States has accused of supporting terrorism.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Thursday that Bush's declared ``war on terrorism'' would be a long-term fight.
``It is a marathon. It's not a sprint,'' he told reporters at the Pentagon . ``It will certainly require the patience of all of us. It also will require a lot of international support, and fortunately that's coming.''
|Thursday September 20 4:41 PM ET
5,131 Reservists Activated for 'Homeland Defense'
Elite Soldiers Will Fight War on Terrorism (ABCNEWS.com)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon said on Thursday that 5,131 Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard troops had been ordered to active duty as part of a ``homeland defense'' mobilization authorized by President Bush.
The activation was the first made under an order signed by Bush last week authorizing the call-up of up to 50,000 part-time armed forces troops in the wake of the Sept. 11 attack on the Pentagon and New York City's World Trade Center.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in a brief announcement on Thursday the Air Force troops were from 29 units in 24 states and the District of Columbia.
The mobilization was ordered by Bush to increase military protection of U.S. skies and seaports and to help civil authorities restore order after hijacked airliners were slammed into U.S. defense headquarters and both towers of the trade center.
All of the units involved in Thursday's announcement were from fighter jet wings and air traffic control units to support high-alert status at 26 domestic military air bases to help protect the country from further air attacks.
Two U.S. Air Force F-15 fighter jets taxi along the runway after landing
Friday September 21 4:20 AM ET
U.S. Pours Firepower Into Gulf Area
By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Pentagon is gearing up simultaneously to bolster the defense of U.S. territory and to expand the U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf region.
Both are in response to last week's terror attacks, and both require a call-up of the National Guard and Reserve.
The Air Force said Thursday that more than 5,000 reservists had been called to active duty. They include a B-52 bomber unit at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., and a B-1 bomber unit at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., both of which are expected to fly to forward bases in the Gulf area.
Some of the reserves are from fighter units to be used as extra defenders of U.S. airspace.
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Thursday that although the Gulf is the focus of U.S. deployments right now, the coming fight will look nothing like the knockout punch U.S.-led forces delivered in the 1991 Gulf War.
``What we're engaged in is something that is very, very different from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Kosovo, Bosnia, the kinds of things people think of when they use the word `war,' or `campaign,' or `conflict,''' Rumsfeld said.
President Bush made similar points Thursday night in his speech before Congress. Speaking to members of the armed forces, Bush told them why they are being called upon:
``This is not ... just America's fight. And what is at stake is not just America's freedom. This is the world's fight. This is civilization's fight. This is the fight of all who believe in progress and pluralism, tolerance and freedom.''
Rumsfeld said the American campaign will not mean the end of terrorism.
``I think what you can try to do is to go after this worldwide problem in a way that we can continue our way of life,'' Rumsfeld said. ``It strikes at our way of life, and while we may not eliminate it completely from the face of the Earth, which we surely will not,'' it can be better controlled, he said.
The Air Force announced that 5,131 members of the Air Force National Guard and Air Force Reserve have been ordered to active duty. They are from 29 units in 24 states and the District of Columbia.
``No other single action more clearly demonstrates the national resolve than to mobilize the National Guard and Reserve forces of America,'' said Craig Duehring, the Pentagon's chief of reserve affairs.
Rumsfeld has said he expects 35,500 members of the Reserve and National Guard to be called up.
The Pentagon is repositioning military forces to prepare for action, Rumsfeld said, but would not provide details. Other officials said both active and reserve forces are beginning to move.
The Air Force is sending 100 to 130 aircraft to the Gulf region, a senior defense official said, including fighters and B-1 and B-52 bombers. Also, tanker aircraft began deploying from U.S. bases Thursday to establish an ``air bridge'' for refueling fighters and bombers as they cross the Atlantic.
The Air Force has fighter aircraft in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, and the Army keeps a virtually permanent presence in Kuwait with soldiers and war materiel sufficient to equip an additional 5,000 troops.
The Navy's 5th Fleet headquarters is on the Gulf island emirate Bahrain, and it normally keeps one aircraft carrier on patrol in the Gulf year-round. It now has one in the Gulf and one nearby in the Arabian Sea; a third - the USS Theodore Roosevelt - left port at Norfolk, Va., on Wednesday en route to the Mediterranean. Each carrier has 75 aircraft aboard and is accompanied by a dozen warships.
Early Friday in Japan, the USS Kitty Hawk, the only U.S. aircraft carrier stationed in the western Pacific, left its port in Yokosuka for an undisclosed location. The carrier has a crew of 5,500 sailors, naval aviators and Marines and typically carries 70 aircraft.
A contingent of about 2,100 Marines also is in the Gulf, and a similar-size unit is headed in that direction.
Army Secretary Thomas White said the Army is participating in the buildup of U.S. forces abroad, and the Army is prepared to conduct ``sustained land combat operations.''
White said a deployment order Rumsfeld signed Wednesday is only the first step in a bigger plan.
``A lot more will come,'' he said.
Air Force refueling aircraft began deploying Thursday, including KC-135s from Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., officials said. Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D., with KC-135 refueling planes, also received deployment orders. Officials at neither base would offer additional details.
161 from fighter wing at Otis are called to active duty
By Douglas Belkin, Globe Staff, Globe Correspondent, 9/21/2001
OTIS AIR FORCE BASE - Ten days after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon called the first Massachusetts military reservists into active duty yesterday from Otis Air Force Base in Falmouth.
The 161 reservists belong to the 102d Fighter Wing and are trained to operate F-15s. But the contingent is expected to remain under command of NORAD on homeland defense, not deployed overseas, according to US Senator John F. Kerry's office.
The activation is part of a national call-up of the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve announced yesterday by Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld.
As soon as the activation papers arrive, the reservists are required to report to Otis for work instead of their civilian jobs.
All together, 5,131 members of the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve from 24 states and the District of Columbia have been ordered to report to active duty as part of the partial mobilization authorized by President Bush.
''As far as the reservists being called up, this changes their lives,'' said Lieutenant Colonel Margaret Quenneville, public affairs officer for Otis. ''They're on active duty now.''
Right now, most still don't know who has been called.
''We haven't heard anything yet,'' said Sally McMahon, whose husband Tim is a firefighter with the 102d Fighter Wing, which has 1,000 reservists. ''We're just waiting by the phone.''
The activation is the first for the 102d in more than half a century, Quenneville said. While 360 members of the air wing went to help patrol the no-fly zone over Iraq last fall, none of the group was called into active duty during the Gulf War.
The last time the wing was activated was in 1948, when it helped fly food into Germany during the Berlin crisis, Quenneville said.
The 102d now specializes in air-to-air combat.
''No other single action more clearly demonstrates the national resolve than to mobilize the National Guard and Reserve forces in America,'' said Craig Duehring, a spokesman for the reserves.
Globe correspondent Brian Tarcy contributed to this report.
This story ran on page A30 of the Boston Globe on 9/21/2001.
|Military buildup intensifies in the Mideast
By Peter J. Howe and Robert Schlesinger, Globe Staff, Globe Correspondent, 9/21/2001
WASHINGTON - The United States yesterday escalated its military buildup in the Middle East, ordering Army units to prepare for commando strikes and ''sustained land combat'' while scrambling Air Force B-52s and refueling tankers that will eventually create an ''air bridge'' for troops, weapons, and materiel.
The intensifying air, naval, and troop movements are aimed at allowing the Pentagon to pursue anything from a pinpoint assault on terrorist encampments to a late-winter ground invasion of Afghanistan to simultaneous air and ground attacks in multiple Mideast nations, officials and analysts said yesterday.
Military maneuvers came as the Bush administration continued diplomatic efforts to sign up governments around the world to support a massive retaliation against terrorist groups.
Yesterday Saudi Arabia, which has signaled deep reservations about a US attack on Afghanistan, said it will lobby other Arab governments to support action against ''this scourge of terrorism.''
But President Bush found himself in a standoff with the ruling Taliban in Afghanistan, whose senior clerics said they had voted to ask suspected terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden to leave the country, but set no deadline. ''We want action, not just statements,'' Secretary of State Colin Powell said.
Among details to emerge yesterday about US military movements:
Army Secretary Thomas White said his branch has been ordered to prepare for ''sustained land combat operations,'' and said special operating forces, including the Green Berets and Rangers, ''will play a prominent role in any campaign that we conduct.'' White said the Army is preparing for ''heavy, light, air-mobile, airborne, special operations - all of the combat capabilities.''
The Air Force is deploying a reported 100 to 130 warplanes to the region over the next week, including B-52s and KC-135 tankers from bases in Louisiana, North Dakota, and Washington state. Officers with B-1 bomber units in Idaho and South Dakota also said they were being called up for unspecified deployment. The Pentagon on Wednesday had said it will deploy up to 100 aircraft to the region.
Warplanes being sent to the Gulf region will be preceded by ''airlift control'' specialists mobilized from Air Force bases in California and New Jersey. Their job is assembling operations, including midflight refueling, to create an ''air bridge'' from the United States to bases 8,000 or more miles away.
India has offered three of its air bases in Gujarat, Kashmir, and Punjab - northern states that border Pakistan - for US use, according to a Times of India report.
The Air Force deployments, along with the dispatch Wednesday of the USS Theodore Roosevelt carrier battle group from Virginia, would bring the number of US warplanes in the region to 500 or more, including fighter jets and bombers.
The Roosevelt fleet includes 2,100 Marines aboard a battle-ready unit known as an Amphibious Ready Group, led by the assault ship USS Bataan, and two attack submarines packing Tomahawk cruise missiles, the USS Hartford and the USS Springfield. Already, the Navy has the USS Carl Vinson carrier battle group in the Persian Gulf and the USS Enterprise in the Arabian Sea, which, like the Roosevelt, both have about 70 warplanes.
About 2,200 Marines and sailors with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit at Camp Lejeune, N.C., were bused to the port in Morehead City for a deployment to the Mediterranean Sea. The ''flexible unit,'' which carries tanks and humvees, is trained for urban and mountain warfare.
At Fort Bragg in North Carolina, officials confirmed that an unspecified number of the 9,000 Army special operations troops there are being deployed. Units there include a ''psychological operations'' unit that would use broadcasts and dropped leaflets to communicate with civilians in a country being invaded. The Army's 82d Airborne unit, which parachutes into combat situations, resumed jump training Monday and is awaiting orders to deploy on as little as 18 hours' notice.
More than 5,100 Air Force reservists and Air National Guard fighter-jet and air traffic control troops from 24 states were reported to be called up for ''homeland defense'' duty in the first mobilization of reservists since the Sept. 11 terror strikes.
Among them are 160 airmen with the 102d Fighter Wing at Otis Air National Guard Base on Cape Cod, whose unit has six F-15s, and the 139-member 158th Fighter Wing in Burlington, Vt.
Powell suggested that bin Laden and his Al Qaeda terrorist operation will be the first target, telling reporters, ''When we have dealt with Al Qaeda, the network, Osama bin Laden, the individual, we will then broaden that campaign to go after other terrorist organizations and forms of terrorism around the world.''
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld would not provide details, telling reporters at the Pentagon: ''We are trying to get ourselves arranged in the world with our forces in places that we believe conceivably could be useful in the event the president decided to use them for one thing or another.''
Rumsfeld cautioned that the United States envisions operations radically different from World War II or the 1991 Gulf War. ''We really, almost, are going to have to fashion a new vocabulary and different constructs for thinking about what it is we're doing,'' Rumsfeld said. ''It is very different than embarking on a campaign against a specific country within a specific time frame for a specific purpose. ... This is not a quick matter that's going to be over in a month or a year or even five years.''
Dan Goure, a senior fellow at the Lexington Institute, a Virginia think tank, said the US deployment taking shape ''allows you to do just about anything. You're taking, if not your complete toolbox, a complete set of tools, one of everything, so you can address any issue, small, large, or intermediate.''
Goure, who was a Pentagon aide under President George H.W. Bush, said that if a mass invasion of Afghanistan comparable to the 1991 invasion of Iraq is in the works, it would take at least 90 days to prepare. Goure noted that in the Gulf War, US and allied forces needed 90 days to assemble an Iraq-bound force in Saudi Arabia.
That was a friendly nation with considerably better military infrastructure and political support than Pakistan. Goure said that although Pakistan is the most geographically optimal base for US ground-force operations, its leaders and people have deep reservations about hosting US-led military forces.
Rumsfeld and other defense officials refused to confirm or deny a report in yesterday's Washington Post that aircraft would not only go to the Gulf region and the Indian Ocean but - in an unprecedented move - to the former Soviet republics of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan near Afghanistan.
Rumsfeld said yesterday the operations, initially code-named ''Operation Infinite Justice,'' are likely to get a new name out of deference to offended Muslim leaders who believe that only God, or Allah, can administer infinite justice. It was the second time this week the Bush administration backed away from language offensive to Muslims. On Tuesday, Bush's spokesman said the president meant to use the word ''crusade'' - which for Muslims evokes images of invasions by medieval European Christians - only in the sense of ''a broad cause.''
Saudi Arabia's foreign minister, Saud al-Faisal, said after meeting with Bush that his country will pledge ''everything that is in our capacity to fight this scourge of terrorism'' and seek support from other Arab nations that are less friendly to the United States. Al-Faisal said his country remains ''hopeful that the Taliban will accept the wisdom of handing over criminals to face justice.''
US officials also welcomed support from China and Britain. Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan, meeting with Vice President Dick Cheney at the White House, said China ''made clear our desire and our readiness to further and deepen our cooperation with the US, including over antiterrorism.''
British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who attended Bush's speech to Congress last night, said beforehand, ''We stand side by side with you now, without hesitation.''
Globe Correspondent Patrik Jonsson in North Carolina, and Douglas Belkin and Beth Daley of the Globe Staff contributed to this report. Material from wire services was also used. Peter Howe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; Robert Schlesinger at email@example.com.
This story ran on page A1 of the Boston Globe on 9/21/2001.
© Copyright 2001 Globe Newspaper Company.
|Friday September 21 3:51 PM ET
Strikes Could Hit Taliban Resources
By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) - Whether it would begin with cruise missiles from Navy ships, bombs from Air Force jets or quick strikes by Army special forces, an American attack on Afghanistan's Taliban probably would aim to knock out airfields, communications links and other targets that sustain the religious militia.
War on the Taliban would be like little the U.S. military has undertaken before. But at least it would offer more of what Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld calls ``high-value'' targets than would the shadowy terrorist network of Osama bin Laden that President Bush (news - web sites) has promised to root out.
Bush told the nation the Taliban are ``committing murder'' by aiding the terrorists who attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon . Bush demanded they turn over bin Laden and other leaders of his al-Qaida organization or face swift punishment.
Taliban leaders, who have given refuge to bin Laden since 1996, say there is no proof he was behind the terror attacks, and on Friday they rejected Bush's demand that they hand him over.
In addition to U.S. forces, Rumsfeld spoke Friday of the potential for enlisting the help of the Northern Alliance, the main Afghan resistance group opposing the Taliban.
``These folks, they know the lay of the land, they know, in some cases, some targets that are useful, they have ideas about how to deal with the Taliban,'' he said in an interview on Fox News.
Bush made clear that his first priority is smashing the al-Qaida network, but he is assembling forces in the Persian Gulf region that would provide plenty of air power to strike at the Taliban, too.
Much of that firepower - including two aircraft carriers (and a third on the way), B-52 bombers, warships capable of launching ground-attack Tomahawk cruise missiles, and fighters - would appear to have little relevance in the hunt for bin Laden. The Clinton administration fired dozens of cruise missiles at bin Laden's training camps in 1998 but accomplished little more than smashing empty tents.
It is widely expected that a U.S. campaign against the terrorists would be led by special operations forces such as helicopter-borne Army Rangers. Important, too, would be nonmilitary means such as financial steps to dry up bin Laden's resources, and law enforcement moves against his accomplices.
If Bush hopes to succeed in ``smoking out'' bin Laden, as the president has put it, he first will have to find the elusive Saudi exile. One veteran of the 1979-89 Soviet war in Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. Ruslan Aushev, has said the United States would find bin Laden only if it combed 200,000 square miles ``rock by rock.''
If Bush decides to attack the Taliban, one of the most attractive targets would be the civilian-military airport in Kabul, the capital, and a Taliban garrison in the north of the city. The regime flies MiG fighters and helicopter gunships from this airport.
Among other potential targets:
- The airport in Kandahar, the city in southeastern Afghanistan where the Taliban leaders are based.
- The airport and Taliban military bases located in and around Jalalabad, a city in eastern Afghanistan near the Pakistan border. There are similar bases north of Jalalabad in Kunar province.
- Communications towers on the outskirts of Kabul.
- A military academy near Kabul.
- A large dam near Sarobie that provides electricity for the Kabul area.
It is possible the administration would opt, at least initially, for equipping and assisting the Northern Alliance rather than intervening directly with U.S. ground forces against the Taliban. Rumsfeld seemed to suggest this possibility in the interview Friday with Fox News.
He noted the historic examples of the Soviet Union and the former East European communist regimes.
``It was a surprise that at a certain moment the people there who did not agree with those regimes felt it was the right moment and they stepped forward and they acted on their own. It was not some country going in and rooting it out,'' he said.
He said of the Northern Alliance: ``They can be a lot of help. First of all, they're the only thing on the ground competing with Taliban, and there are a lot of people, Afghans, who don't like the Taliban, who would prefer to have Taliban out of there.''
|Saturday September 22, 2001 5:50 AM ET
Turkey Opens Airspace to US, Raises Anti-Taliban Aid
By Steve Bryant
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - NATO (news - web sites) member Turkey said on Saturday it had granted a U.S. request to use Turkish airspace and airbases for U.S. transport aircraft in any response to the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington.
Turkey also said it was increasing its support to anti-Taliban forces in northern Afghanistan.
``The prime minister said the Turkish government had responded positively to an American request to use Turkish airspace and Turkish airbases for U.S. transport aircraft whenever necessary,'' a statement issued by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's offices said.
It was the first pledge of specific support from Turkey, though it had already vowed full cooperation with the United States as it builds up its forces.
The statement did not say what kind of transport planes would be involved, but Ecevit said late on Friday it was ''natural'' for the United States to want to use Turkey for flyovers and refueling.
Turkey already allows U.S. and British warplanes to use a base at Incirlik in southeast Turkey for patrols of a no-fly zone over neighboring northern Iraq under ``Operation Northern Watch.'' There are also large military airbases in eastern Turkey near the cities of Diyarbakir and Malatya.
SUPPORT FOR NORTHERN ALLIANCE
Overwhelmingly Muslim Turkey is NATO's most easterly member and borders Iraq, Syria and Iran. It is also a candidate for EU membership.
Ecevit said on Friday that any ground action in Afghanistan would be unwise and Turkey was not prepared to offer troops for it. But he stressed the importance of the anti-Taliban forces of the Northern Alliance in the north of Afghanistan, as did Saturday's statement.
The statement, outlining the contents of a letter Ecevit sent on Friday to President Bush, said that Turkey favored sharing intelligence with the United States on the state of play among a diverse group of anti-Taliban forces mainly in the north of Afghanistan.
``The prime minister pointed out that it would be helpful for Turkey and the United States to exchange and cooperate in information about developments in northern Afghanistan,'' it said.
``Turkey will increase the equipment, training and other assistance that it has been giving to the Northern Alliance,'' the statement said.
Turkey maintains links with a number of military leaders in the loose-knit Northern Alliance, most prominently with General Abdul Rashid Dostum, an ethnic Uzbek leader.
Afghan opposition forces said on Friday that troops under Dostum had joined attacks on Taliban forces in the north of the country.
|U.S. Special Forces Lead the Way
By ROBERT BURNS
.c The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (Sept. 29, 2001) - The disclosure that U.S. special operations forces have conducted missions inside Afghanistan in recent days suggests the Pentagon's attack plan is still evolving.
A senior Bush administration official said Friday that U.S. forces have conducted scouting missions in Afghanistan. The official denied they were actively hunting Osama bin Laden, the exiled Saudi whom President Bush has called the prime suspect in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The Army said shortly after the attacks that special operations forces had been deployed, but it has not said exactly which forces or where they went. There have been published reports of U.S. forces arriving at various air bases in Uzbekistan, Pakistan and elsewhere in the area.
President Bush on Friday alluded to the importance of unconventional forces like the Army's Rangers and Green Berets.
''It is very hard to fight a ... guerrilla war with conventional forces,'' he told reporters at the White House. He refused to discuss details but said, ''Make no mistake about it - we're in hot pursuit'' of terrorists.
In Pakistan, Foreign Ministry spokesman Riaz Mohammed Khan said, ''We have no information about any active engagement of the United States special forces in Afghanistan.''
The Pentagon, meanwhile, announced that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld had authorized the Air Force to activate as many as 20,000 reservists - 7,000 more than the Air Force had said it expected to need when Bush approved a partial mobilization of reserves on Sept. 14.
The Pentagon also said the Marine Corps called to active duty 191 reservists - as individual extras, rather than as whole units - and the Navy called up 250 for law enforcement, security and other duties. In all, more than 16,600 military reservists have been called to active duty since Sept. 14.
Also on Friday, the president of the Air Line Pilots Association, Duane Woerth, said he has seen indications that the Pentagon is considering activating the Civil Reserve Air Fleet, an arrangement with commercial air carriers which allows the Pentagon to use their planes in times of emergency.
''I think that they've started circulating notices'' to airlines ''so they can start making some plans,'' Woerth said.
A Pentagon spokesman, Air Force Lt. Col. Mike Milord, said he was not aware of any plan to activate the Civil Reserve Air Fleet.
One of the U.S. military's likely first steps in pursuing the elusive bin Laden and elements of his al-Qaida network in Afghanistan is establishing what military officials call ''ground truth'' - getting the lay of the land and listening and watching for information on al-Qaida's leaders and supplies.
One way to do that is by using the Army's Special Forces, commonly called the Green Berets. One of their core missions is ''special reconnaissance.'' That frequently means infiltrating enemy territory by land or air and hunkering down to keep watch on a particular place or area, with the capability of remaining there undetected and without the need to be resupplied for days, weeks or even months.
It's a mission they performed in the run-up to the 1991 Gulf War.
These specially trained soldiers can provide real-time intelligence by clandestine communications from their hiding places. Thus they could identify targets for possible air strikes or other raids.
The Army has five active-duty Special Forces groups, including the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) based at Fort Campbell, Ky., which has trained throughout the Persian Gulf area and in Pakistan in recent years. If Army Special Forces soldiers are in Afghanistan, they probably are from this group.
In August 1992, four months before the first deployment of regular U.S. forces to Somalia, soldiers from the 5th Special Forces Group arrived there to gather information.
Bush and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld made clear from the start of the administration's response to the Sept. 11 attacks that special operations forces would play an important role.
In addition to these shadowy soldiers, the Pentagon has dispatched a great deal of conventional firepower to the Gulf area in recent days, including B-52 bombers, fighter jets, support planes and at least two aircraft carrier battle groups. A third carrier, the USS Theodore Roosevelt, is en route.
|US and Britain to strike terror camps within days
Attacks limited to targets found by special forces
War on Terrorism - Observer special
Ed Vulliamy, Washington, Jason Burke, Peshawar, Peter Beaumont and Paul Beaver
Sunday September 30, 2001
Devastating attacks on bases controlled by Osama bin Laden are set to be launched in the next 48 hours as part of a tightly focused military operation approved by US President George Bush and backed by Britain.
The strategy, which is a victory for pragmatists in both Britain and America, is designed to kill bin Laden and his forces, and will be launched in tandem with strikes against air and ground forces of the Taliban regime supporting him.
The operation, which British and US sources say could be launched as early as today, would begin with air and missile strikes to destroy the Taliban's 20-aircraft air force, remove anti-aircraft missile batteries, and destroy Taliban tanks and other armour.
In a clear sign that strikes were imminent, Bush declared last night, after a meeting with military advisers at Camp David: 'America will act deliberately and decisively, and the cause of freedom will prevail.'
In a live radio address, he added: 'We did not seek this conflict, but we will end it. This war will be fought wherever terrorists hide, or run, or plan. Other victories will be clear to all.'
The aim of the first phase, likely to be launched from aircraft with US and British ships in the Arabian Sea, would be to remove any threat from the Taliban for the substantial incursion that would follow.
Sources say this would be in the form of a so-called desant operation - an airborne assault deep into Taliban-held territory - led by helicopter-carried troops of the US 82nd Airborne Division. Sources said that the 101st Air Assault Division has also been ordered to be ready for action.
Also fully mobilised was the 10th Mountain Division, which would be the main ground force in what Bush called an upcoming 'guerrilla war' fought by US and British forces. Although soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division are trained for low-level parachute jumps, any assault is likely be made by first abseiling down fixed lines from helicopters.
American forces would be supported by US Special Forces - including US Army Rangers and Green Berets, and by British Special Forces. British units understood to have been earmarked include mountain warfare cadres of G-troop, 22 SAS Regiment; the Special Boat Service's Mountain Troop - which is trained for cliff assault and Arctic warfare - and the Mountain Leaders' section of 4/5 Royal Marine Commando. All are trained and equipped to operate in mountainous terrain for periods of up to a fortnight without being resupplied.
The US troops are equipped with a specialised version of the Black Hawk attack helicopter and long range MH-47 Chinooks armed with rotary cannon. They would also be able to call on support from AC-130 aircraft - nicknamed Puff the Magic Dragon - which can give ground support with an artillery cannon in its belly.
Initial targets earmarked for the air assault and desant operation include bases controlled by the al-Qaeda around Kabul, in particular those with usable air strips.
Crucial evidence that links bin Laden to the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington nearly three weeks ago has been obtained by The Observer . A secret intelligence dossier compiled by an Arab state with a longstanding interest in bin Laden last night revealed that at least one of the 19 hijackers was trained in a camp in Afghanistan run by al-Qaeda and that another is 'close to bin Laden'.
American security sources told The Observer they believe four of the hijackers had spent time in Afghanistan with the Taliban and possibly with al-Qaeda. One, Wali Mohamed al-Sherhi, is believed to have been taught urban warfare and terrorism in al-Farooq training camp in eastern Afghanistan, close to the Pakistan border.
He is thought to have left Afghanistan 18 months ago. The dossier, for the first time, definitely links al-Farooq to bin Laden, naming four men who are bin Laden aides who it says administer and train those at the camp.
Back in Washington, the tight focus of the planned military operation is a victory for the pragmatists in Bush's cabinet, notably Secretary of State Colin Powell. Powell has been involved in a battle of wills with hawks gathered around the figure of Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, who would like to see US strikes against a wide range of targets, including Iraq.
It also follows words of caution from America's key ally, Britain. Tony Blair has advised that the only target of military action should be bin Laden's network and, if necessary, the Taliban.
The location of the bases was revealed yesterday by Russian intelligence, which has provided the Pentagon with the most detailed intelligence so far on the network of bin Laden camps.
The news came as British sources claimed that the Taliban was set to flood the west with heroin in an attempt to destabilise its enemies.
US Special Forces were last night already active in Afghanistan, almost certainly involved in scouting and preparing a secure forward airbase in territory held by the opposition Northern Alliance.
There were claims from Afghanistan yesterday that a team of five US commandos has been captured by al-Qaeda. The Qatar-based al-Jezeera television station said al-Qaeda claimed to have captured a unit 'armed with modern weapons and maps of al-Qaeda's bases' in the south-western Helmand province.
The Taliban and the Pentagon denied the report. US officials, however, confirmed on Friday that special forces units - possibly from the US Green Berets or the elite Rangers regiment - had been deployed in Afghanistan on reconnaissance missions.
They hinted that soldiers from the British SAS were also involved. The special forces had been deployed 'in the last few days', the sources told US reporters, and were there to gather information on Taliban positions and strengths, not to search for bin Laden.
Sources in Washington said that with British and American reconnaissance and Special Operations teams already working on the ground to locate targets with laser-guidance and sensor systems, US forces were ready to 'go into the first breach' in territory controlled by al-Qaeda.
Planning groups at the Pentagon will now increase pressure on the White House to expand the action to attack locations in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, with the elimination of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein as 'a precondition' to defeating terrorism.
|Monday October 1, 2001 3:17 PM ET
Uzbekistan Opens Airspace to U.S. Warplanes
By Sebastian Alison
TASHKENT, Uzbekistan (Reuters) - The president of the Central Asian state of Uzbekistan agreed Monday to open his country's airspace to U.S. military operations against possible targets in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.
State television showed Islam Karimov chairing a meeting of Uzbekistan's top security officials at which he voiced support for Washington in its self-declared war on terrorism following the September 11 hijacked airliner attacks in the United States which killed thousands.
``Uzbekistan supports the decisiveness of the United States and all peace-loving nations to finish this evil and plague of the 21st century,'' the television quoted Karimov as saying.
Uzbekistan, he said, wanted to ``make its own contribution to the liquidation of camps and bases of terrorists in Afghanistan and is ready to make its airspace available for this purpose.''
Officials in Tashkent had earlier declined comment on the reported arrival of U.S. aircraft and diplomats in Uzbekistan.
Lying directly north of Afghanistan, Uzbekistan was the launch pad for the Soviet Union's ill-fated 1979 intervention.
With Washington saying it intends to drive Osama bin Laden (news - web sites), prime suspect for the attacks, out of Afghanistan, Karimov's announcement indicated that Uzbekistan was readying itself to play a key role again in Big Power intervention in the region.
His country could offer huge benefits to the United States as a base for operations against Afghanistan. Tashkent airport is Central Asia's largest and most sophisticated. Airbases at Tuzel, Kakaidi and Khanabad, can handle heavy aircraft.
And the border town of Termez, site of the bridge over which Soviet troops entered Afghanistan in 1979 and left in 1989, is just 60 km (under 40 miles) from Mazar-i-Sharif, the scene of heavy fighting between Afghanistan's ruling Taliban militia and the opposition Northern Alliance.
The authoritarian Karimov, who has ruled Uzbekistan since independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, stands to gain.
He blames Islamic rebels which he says are funded by Afghanistan for entering Uzbekistan from neighboring Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan in recent years, in an attempt to set up an Islamic state in the region.
He has staged crackdowns on the country's Islamist opposition after surviving a 1999 attempt on his life.
Karimov, whose country is a member of the Russian-led Commonwealth of Independent States, may possibly have informed Russian President Vladimir Putin in advance of the offer he was about to make to the United States.
The Kremlin said Sunday that he and Putin discussed by telephone ``practical issues of mutual action'' by their two countries in the fight against international terrorism.
UZBEKISTAN ``ALIVE WITH RUMOR''
Rumors have swept Uzbekistan for days about U.S. aircraft flying in and out, without confirmation forthcoming either from Uzbek officials or U.S. diplomats in Tashkent.
Sunday evening, for example, Russian television reported that a U.S. C-130 Hercules military transport plane had landed at Khanabad, an airbase some 250 miles southwest of Tashkent. A defense ministry spokesman refused to comment.
Friday, an aviation official in neighboring Kazakhstan told Reuters a U.S. C-37 military plane carrying a government delegation had overflown Russia and Kazakhstan on its way to Uzbekistan. The Uzbek Foreign Ministry would not comment, and the U.S. embassy denied a delegation was in Tashkent at all.
Later that day, an embassy official gave a different view, telling Reuters U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton was ''in Tashkent to discuss the issue of fighting terrorism.''
The State Department in Washington confirmed this, but gave no further details, saying merely: ``In some countries there are sensitivities that we have to be aware of.''
The previous Friday, airport sources in Tashkent told Reuters, two U.S. military aircraft had landed there and taken off two and a half hours later. Even now, more than a week later, Uzbek and U.S. officials will not confirm or deny this.
Ship built with WTC steel christened
By BECKY BOHRER, Associated Press Writer
AVONDALE, La. - The, an amphibious assault ship built with scrap steel from the ruins of the , was christened Saturday as a source of strength and inspiration for the nation.
Thousands of people, including friends and families of those who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, gathered near the hulking gray ship, trimmed in red, white and blue banners.
The bow stem, which contains 7.5 tons of steel from the site, bore a shield with two gray bars to symbolize the twin towers and a banner over that declaring "Never Forget," a slogan among New Yorkers.
"May God bless this ship and all who sail on her," ship sponsor Dottysaid before smashing a bottle of champagne against it, producing a loud thump to go with the spurting liquid and flying streamers.
Story after story of lives lost in, and touched by, the attacks peppered the ceremony, held under the blazing sun and broadcast on large screens. It all brought back painful memories for New York Police Lt. Matt Murphy. But the reason for his being here, though, was a source of pride, he said.
"I tell you, it's a fantastic day. Sometimes you think you're over something," he said, his eyes welling up as he looked off toward the ship, "and then you realize you're not completely."
Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England told the crowd that ship names provide a legacy, and that for their crews they serve as a source of strength and inspiration.
When the attacks occurred, the ship was planned but had no name. Then-New York Gov. George Pataki asked the Navy to commemorate the disaster by reviving the name New York. That required an exception to Navy policy of assigning state names only to nuclear submarines.
The steel from the towers is now part of the ship that splices through the water, leading the way.
"It resurrects the ashes, so to speak, to do great things for our nation," said Bill Glenn, a spokesman for Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, the ship builder.
Along with the steel from one of the worst terrorist attacks in the U.S., it also survived one of the nation's worst natural disasters: Hurricane Katrina.
The ship motivated many of the Avondale shipyard workers to return to the job, even though many lost their homes in the 2005 storm.
The billion-dollar, 25,000-ton vessel is 684 feet long, 105 feet wide. It is the fifth in a new class of warship, designed for missions that include special operations against terrorists. It can carry a crew of about 360 sailors and 700 combat-ready Marines to be delivered ashore by helicopters and assault craft.
USS New York's prospective commanding officer is Cmdr. F. Curtis Jones, a native New Yorker. It is to be commissioned, essentially added to the fleet, next year. It could be used as part of peaceful missions or as part of war, said Adm. Gary Roughead, the Navy's chief of operations.
That it could be used in war did not bother Lee Ielpi, president of the September 11th Families' Association, whose son, Jonathan, a firefighter, died in the attacks. The ship won't be used for war "unless you bother us," he said in an interview.
"We're sending a message that we're standing strong," he said, adding: "This ship, as it cuts through the water, is going to send a ripple. That ripple will say, 'We cherish our freedom.'"
Rep. Vito Fossella, R-N.Y., said Sept. 11 was a turning point in the nation, and will never be forgotten because remnants of the disaster are part of the ship.
"If the USS New York has to follow Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell, PCO Jones and his crew ... have my full support," he said to a standing ovation.
DREAMS OF THE GREAT EARTHCHANGES - MAIN INDEX