News


Tracking Number:  172169

Title:  "Air War Target Is Iraq's Strategic Capacity." Former State Department official Joseph Sisco said during a telephone press conference that the allied air war strategy is to reduce Iraq's strategic capacity in preparation for a ground war. (910211)

Translated Title:  "Les allies visent la capacite strategique del`Irak." (910211)
Author:  FISHER-THOMPSON, JIM (USIA STAFF WRITER)
Date:  19910211

Text:
*AEF107

02/11/91 * (FRENCH COMING)

AIR WAR TARGET IS IRAQ'S STRATEGIC CAPACITY (TELEPRESS CONFERENCE WITH JOSEPH SISCO) (740) BY JIM FISHER-THOMPSON USIA STAFF WRITER

WASHINGTON -- THE AIM OF THE COALITION FORCES' AIR CAMPAIGN IN IRAQ IS TO REDUCE THE STRATEGIC CAPACITY OF THE COUNTRY, BEFORE GROUND FORCES CAN MOVE TO FREE KUWAIT, SAYS JOSEPH SISCO, FORMER U.S. ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR NEAR EASTERN AFFAIRS.

SISCO, WHO NOW HEADS A PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL CONSULTING FIRM CALLED SISCO ASSOCIATES, MADE HIS COMMENTS TO JOURNALISTS IN LUSAKA DURING A TELEPHONE PRESS CONFERENCE FEBRUARY 11.

HE EMPHASIZED THAT THE REASON FOR THE AIR WAR "IS NOT TO DESTROY IRAQ," BUT RATHER TO "REDUCE THE STRATEGIC CAPACITY OF IRAQ SO THAT THE GROUND FORCE OPERATION -- WHICH, UNFORTUNATELY, IS VERY APT TO BECOME NECESSARY -- CAN ACHIEVE THE OBJECTIVES OF THE TWELVE SECURITY COUNCIL U.N. RESOLUTIONS -- NAMELY, TO HAVE SADDAM HUSSEIN WITHDRAW FROM KUWAIT."

THE MODERATOR OF THE TELEPRESS CONFERENCE LINKING WASHINGTON AND LUSAKA WAS HAROLD BESA, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER FOR ZAMBIA'S TELEVISION NETWORK.

SISCO ALSO NOTED THAT STRATEGIC BOMBING HAS HAD THE EFFECT OF REDUCING "THE CHEMICAL CAPACITY OF SADDAM HUSSEIN. IT HAS REDUCED HIS POTENTIAL IN THE USE OF THE MASS WEAPONRY; AND, HOPEFULLY, IT HAS REDUCED HIS ULTIMATE CAPACITY AS A NUCLEAR THREAT.

"WE DO NOT SEE THIS AS ANYTHING MORE THAN THE LIMITED OBJECTIVES THAT ARE LAID DOWN IN SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 660," HE TOLD HIS AUDIENCE.

THE FORMER DIPLOMAT EMPHASIZED THAT PRESIDENT BUSH "HAS MADE IT VERY CLEAR -- WE HAVE NO ANIMUS AGAINST THE IRAQI PEOPLE.

"I WOULD REMIND ALL OF OUR FRIENDS IN YOUR COUNTRY," SISCO SAID, "(THAT) FOR EIGHT YEARS THE UNITED STATES SUPPORTED IRAQ IN THE IRAN-IRAQ WAR."

RESPONDING TO THE IDEA THAT SADDAM HUSSEIN IS HEADING A HOLY MOSLEM CAUSE BY FIGHTING THE UNITED STATES, SISCO

GE 2 AEF107 SAID, "THIS IS NOT EITHER A MILITARY STRUGGLE OR AN IDEOLOGICAL STRUGGLE AGAINST THE MOSLEM WORLD."

HE STRESSED THAT THE UNITED NATIONS HAS TAKEN THE ACTION IT HAS BECAUSE "AN ARAB COUNTRY -- IRAQ -- COMMITTED AN UNPRECEDENTED AGGRESSION AGAINST ANOTHER ARAB BROTHER (KUWAIT) -- CONTRARY TO THE KORAN, CONTRARY TO THE PRINCIPLES OF ISLAM, CONTRARY TO THE PRINCIPLES THAT MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF MOSLEMS PRACTICE ON A DAY-BY-DAY BASIS."

IT IS A "QUESTION OF COMING TO THE DEFENSE OF ARABS WHO HAVE BEEN AGGRESSED AGAINST -- SAUDI ARABIA IS NO LESS A MOSLEM COUNTRY THAN A NUMBER OF OTHER COUNTRIES IN THE AREA," HE REMARKED.

ASKED ABOUT ALLIED BOMBING OF JORDANIAN TRUCKS ON THE BAGHDAD-AMMAN HIGHWAY, SISCO SAID "LIMITED BOMBING" HAS OCCURRED ON THE ROAD BECAUSE "CERTAIN SUPPLIES HAVE BEEN GOING TO IRAQ, CONTRARY TO...RESOLUTIONS OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL. JORDAN IS NOT ABIDING BY THE SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION IN THAT REGARD."

ZAMBIA, HE NOTED, HAS "(AN) EXPLICIT INTEREST IN SEEING THE MATTER IN THE GULF RESOLVED ON THE BASIS OF THE COLLECTIVE SECURITY PRINCIPLES OF THE CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS....

"IF SADDAM HUSSEIN IS ABLE TO GET AWAY WITH HIS AGGRESSION...NO SMALL COUNTRY SUCH AS YOUR OWN WILL BE FREE IN THE EVENT THERE IS A PREDATORY NATION THAT WANTS TO COMMIT AGGRESSION AGAINST YOU."

A SUCCESS AS A RESULT OF THE AGGRESSION IS A "DETRIMENT TO EVERY MEMBER OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY, INCLUDING YOUR COUNTRY," HE TOLD HIS ZAMBIAN INTERLOCUTORS.

COMMENTING ON THE GULF CRISIS USING UP DOLLARS THAT COULD HAVE GONE TO HELP DEVELOPING COUNTRIES, SISCO SAID: "THIS AGGRESSION HURTS ZAMBIA. SADDAM HUSSEIN HAS HURT ZAMBIA. SADDAM HUSSEIN HAS HURT EVERY THIRD WORLD COUNTRY" BECAUSE OF THE "DIVERSION OF RESOURCES."

ASKED ABOUT THE CHARGE THAT THE UNITED STATES HAS "IMPERIAL" DESIGNS ON THE REGION, SISCO COMMENTED THAT THE "NOTION THAT WE WANT TO CONTROL THE GULF, THAT WE WANT TO STAY THERE FOR AN INDEFINITE PERIOD AND TO KEEP IT UNDER OUR THUMBS, IS A VERY, VERY ERRONEOUS NOTION."

THE UNITED STATES "CANNOT BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE SPECIFIC ARAB NATIONS," HE TOLD HIS AUDIENCE.

"IT CAN BE SUPPORTIVE, IT CAN BE HELPFUL, IT CAN TAKE A POSITION OF PRINCIPLE, AS IT HAS IN THIS PARTICULAR INSTANCE...BUT THE UNITED STATES IS NOT GOING TO REMAIN

GE 3 AEF107 THERE INDEFINITELY IN ORDER TO TRY TO MAINTAIN STABILITY ON THE BASIS OF THE IMPOSITION OF ITS OWN POWER."

STABILITY, HE CONCLUDED, "HAS TO BE BROUGHT ABOUT AND HAS TO BE MAINTAINED BY THE COUNTRIES IN THE AREA THEMSELVES." NNNN


File Identification:  02/11/91, AE-107; 02/12/91, AF-207
Product Name:  Wireless File
Product Code:  WF
Languages:  French
Keywords:  IRAQ/Defense & Military; MILITARY CAPABILITIES; OPERATION DESERT STORM; MILITARY AIRCRAFT; MILITARY STRATEGY; SISCO, JOSEPH; MOSLEMS
Thematic Codes:  1NE
Target Areas:  AF
PDQ Text Link:  172169; 172314