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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Tracking Number:  165679

Title:  "Cheney: Sanctions Against Iraq May Fail in Long Term." Defense Secretary Cheney said that while sanctions may persuade Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait, there is no evidence that sanctions alone will work. Corrected by NT-502. (901214)

Translated Title:  "Les sanctions contre l"Irak risquent d'echouer." (901214)
Date:  19901214


12/14/90 1Me Re CHENEY: SANCTIONS AGAINST IRAQ MAY FAIL IN LONG TERM (Sees no evidence Iraq ready to leave Kuwait) (840) Jacquelyn S. Porth USIA Security Affairs Writer

Washington -- Defense Secretary Cheney says there is no evidence that economic sanctions -- even after they have been in effect for two years -- will force Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to leave Kuwait. And he suggests that preparing for an offensive military option may be the best way to persuade the Iraqi leader to relinquish Kuwait.

The United States already has worked to resolve the Persian Gulf crisis on diplomatic, economic, and military fronts, and has not seen any evidence that Iraq is prepared to withdraw, Cheney said December 14. While sanctions might work in the long term, he said, "nobody can persuade me...that there is a high probability" that they will.

For that reason, Cheney told the House Armed Services Committee, the United States is putting a "total capability" into the gulf in terms of air, land and sea forces. "What Saddam Hussein seems to understand is military force," he pointed out.

The secretary said the United States will soon have "the capacity to undertake, if necessary, offensive military action to achieve the objectives of the United States and the U.N. Security Council in forcing Saddam Hussein to comply (with Security Council resolutions), to roll back his aggression and to give up his occupation of Kuwait."

Cheney said the final conclusion to the current gulf crisis "has to be that Saddam Hussein be forced out of Kuwait...forced to comply with the U.N. resolutions, and that we must be prepared to take whatever steps are necessary to achieve that objective." The United States does not intend to fail in its mission, he stressed.

Committee Chairman Les Aspin said, "We should take care that smaller, early decisions don't drive the later, bigger decisions." He expressed particular concern that the United States may have "created a use-it-or-lose-it force in the Persian Gulf that will prematurely bring us to the question of peace or war."

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Colin Powell, who accompanied Cheney at the hearing on the gulf situation, reassured Aspin that this was not the case. He also

GE 2 POL506 reminded members of Congress that President Bush has not directed the U.S. military to use offensive force as yet. U.S. strategy is not designed to punish or retaliate against Iraq for its invasion; however, "if all forms of pressure fail and (an) offensive military option is required, the clear purpose of the use of such an option would be to eject the Iraqi Army from Kuwait," Powell said.

Powell said the United States will use its military strengths against Iraqi vulnerabilities. "We must implement a decisive military strategy that seizes the initiative, that accomplishes our mission, a strategy designed to win," he said. The question the Iraqis should be forced to consider, he said, "is, do they move their force (out of Kuwait) or lose their force (in a war)."

In response to a question, Powell stressed that the United States will not make a decision to fight or not to fight "based on weather forecasts." Although he acknowledged that certain times of the year are more difficult for fighting, he noted that there are ways "to work around the weather whenever we would conduct the (military) operation." Asked how forces can fight during the intense heat of gulf summers, the chairman responded, "there are nights in the summer."

The length of time the United States is willing to wait for Iraq to comply with U.N. sanctions is a political, not a military decision, Powell said. The U.S. force can remain deployed in the gulf as long as the president wants it there, the chairman said.

If President Bush needs more time for sanctions to work, Powell said, the military force in the gulf can manage that; however, it will be "a very expensive proposition" to keep the military force in the gulf for a sustained period and to keep the troops "on a keen fighting edge."

Powell also noted that the organized political and diplomatic pressure that has been applied against Iraq during the gulf crisis "may start to fracture over time."

Asked how long a military engagement with Iraq might last and how many casualties might be sustained, Cheney said it is "difficult to be precise." Powell noted that U.S. military commanders are looking at ways "to minimize casualties."

Cheney talked at some length about the costs of waiting for the sanctions to be effective, particularly the effects on Middle Eastern economies such as Jordon, Turkey, and Egypt and those of Eastern European nations like Poland and Czechosolvakia.

Praising the allied burdensharing effort to deter Iraqi aggression in the gulf, Cheney said he is "delighted with

GE 3 POL506 the extent to which other nations are contributing." There is "a lot of assistance being provided to help finance this effort," he said. NNNN

File Identification:  12/14/90, PO-506; 12/14/90, AE-513; 12/14/90, EP-523; 12/14/90, EU-505; 12/14/90, NE-515 ; 12/17/90, AF-105; 12/17/90, NA-105; 12/17/90, AR-112
Product Name:  Wireless File
Product Code:  WF
Languages:  French;Arabic
Thematic Codes:  1NE
Target Areas:  AF; EA; EU; NE
PDQ Text Link:  165679; 165687 ; 165935

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