[R-G] WWIII: 'Between Oct. 8 and mid-November'
bstoller at utopia2000.org
Wed Oct 3 19:24:01 MDT 2001
Reuters. 3 October 2001. U.S. Puts Pieces in Place for Campaign.
WASHINGTON and ISLAMABAD -- The United States asked NATO on Wednesday
for unlimited access to allies' airspace -- as well as for the use of
air bases in Europe and NATO fuel pipelines -- as preparations built up
for an expected strike on Afghanistan.
NATO sources said it was the first time the United States had asked to
use the alliance's Cold War-era network of aviation fuel pipelines since
the 1991 Gulf War.
In another military move, the U.S. Army put 1,000 troops from the 10th
Mountain Division in New York state on alert for possible movement to
Central Asia to join a buildup of U.S. forces near Afghanistan.
A defense official, who asked not to be identified, told Reuters the
troops were under "deployment order" but no movement had begun. The
official denied a Washington Post report that the soldiers had gone to
the former Soviet republics of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to provide
support for other U.S. forces.
The possibility of conflict has made the world edgy and the U.S. and
French governments both announced on Wednesday measures to build
defenses against biological attacks.
The time window for U.S.-led military action in Afghanistan is narrowing
and several indicators point to a possible strike any time from early
next week, experts said.
Washington is playing down the prospect of an imminent strike. U.S.
officials are still requesting help from partners as diverse as Saudi
Arabia, Russia, NATO and Uzbekistan.
But a host of factors including politicians' travel plans, the
humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, public opinion, the weather and
Muslim holidays all point to a short window of opportunity for action
between Oct. 8 and mid-November.
"Clearly things can't wait very much longer. They have a few short
weeks. It may be a question of days rather than weeks," a Western
defense attache said.
Rumsfeld landed in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday and British Prime Minister
Tony Blair is expected to arrive on Friday in Pakistan, the only country
still recognizing the Taliban. Pakistan has sided with the United
States, helping to further cement Bush's coalition against terrorism.
The Taliban appear to have gained some breathing space as it is unlikely
Washington will launch any operation with Blair and Rumsfeld in the
After Saudi Arabia, Rumsfeld will swing through Oman, Egypt and
Uzbekistan which has key airfields close to Afghanistan.
As the future darkened for the beleaguered Taliban, its reclusive leader
Mullah Mohammad Omar called for a holy struggle against what he called a
Western crusade against Afghanistan and urged rich Muslims to fund its
"Merchants and owners of capital, your prime duty is to spend in the way
of God," Omar was quoted as saying in a statement broadcast by
Qatar-based al-Jazeera television.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
More information about the Rad-Green