Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Crossing a Warfare Threshold

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Crossing a Warfare Threshold

Article excerpt

Americans are wisely asking the "why" about starting a war with Iraq. And even "What happens in Iraq after the war?"

But they'd also be wise to ask this: "How should a war in Iraq be waged?"

The Pentagon remains understandably tight-lipped about its plans, as US forces are nearly in place to start fighting in February for "regime change" in Baghdad.

But Americans cannot assume this war, if it happens at all, will be like the 1991 Gulf War to liberate Kuwait, when high-tech weapons weren't as precise as today's; or like the 2001 Afghanistan War, where much of the effort to topple the Taliban relied on proxy Afghan forces and CIA operatives (some on horseback) guiding missile attacks.

The "Iraq War" of 2003 could entail the use of some military actions on all sides that Americans might come to regret, even if US casualties are low, and even if Saddam Hussein and his weapons are eliminated.

Mr. Hussein says a US war would be "suicide," a subtle threat that he could launch chemical or biological warheads - not only at US forces but perhaps Israel, which may in turn retaliate with a nuclear attack. …

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