News



DATE=4/28/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-230395
TITLE=GULF TROOPS HOME (L)
BYLINE=JIM RANDLE
DATELINE=PENTAGON 
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO:  A TOP PENTAGON OFFICIAL SAYS THE UNITED STATES MIGHT 
REDUCE THE NUMBER OF SHIPS, PLANES AND TROOPS NOW PATROLLING NEAR
IRAQ.  V-O-A'S JIM RANDLE REPORTS, THE PRESIDENT IS EXPECTED TO 
MAKE A DECISION IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF WEEKS.

TEXT:   RIGHT NOW THERE ARE ABOUT 300 AIRCRAFT, 17 SHIPS, AND 
36-THOUSAND U-S SOLDIERS, SAILORS, AIRMEN AND MARINES KEEPING 
WATCH ON IRAQ.

PENTAGON SPOKESMAN KEN BACON SAYS MOVING PEOPLE, SHIPS AND PLANES
BACK AND FORTH TO THE GULF IS COSTLY, AND THE FINANCIAL STRAIN IS
FORCING THE U-S MILITARY TO ASK CONGRESS FOR EXTRA MONEY.

HE SAYS KEEPING A LARGER-THAN-USUAL FORCE IN THE GULF REGION IS 
LEAVING MILITARY UNITS IN OTHER AREAS SHORT-HANDED, AND VERY 
BUSY.

MR. BACON SAYS IRAQI LEADER SADDAM HUSSEIN IS MAKING FEWER 
THREATS THESE DAYS, SO WASHINGTON IS CONSIDERING PLANS TO BRING 
SOME FORCES, PERHAPS AN AIRCRAFT CARRIER, HOME.

                        /// BACON ACT ///

         THE LANGUAGE IS LESS BELICOSE, LESS THREATENING, AND HIS
         ACTIONS HAVE BEEN MORE RECEPTIVE TO U-N SPECIAL 
         COMMISSION INSPECTORS. THOSE ARE THE TWO THINGS THAT 
         HAVE CHANGED.

                        /// END ACT  ///

MR. BACON SAYS THE UNITED STATES BUILT UP ITS FORCES IN THE 
PERSIAN GULF AFTER IRAQ THREATENED TO SHOOT DOWN U-S PILOTED SPY 
PLANES ON ASSIGNMENT FOR THE UNITED NATIONS, AND OTHER PLANES 
PATROLLING THE NO-FLY ZONE IN SOUTHERN IRAQ.

BAGHDAD WAS ALSO BLOCKING INSPECTIONS BY THE U-N SPECIAL 
COMMISSION CHARGED WITH FINDING AND DESTROYING IRAQ'S WEAPONS OF 
MASS DESTRUCTION.  BUT SINCE FEBRUARY, IRAQ ALLOWED INSPECTIONS 
OF SENSITIVE SITES, AND HAS STOPPED THREATENING TO SHOOT DOWN U-S
AND ALLIED AIRCRAFT.  MR. BACON SAYS IF SOME AMERICANS COME HOME,
THEY COULD RETURN TO IRAQ QUICKLY IF SADDAM HUSSEIN RE-IGNITES 
THE CONFRONTATION WITH WASHINGTON.  (SIGNED).

NEB/JR/WDC/JO

28-Apr-98 4:30 PM EDT (2030 UTC)
NNNN

Source: Voice of America
.