Iraq: August 29, 2002

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Iraq's main weapon if attacked is launching SCUD missiles, equipped with chemical warheads, at Israel. This would play well to the Moslem world and could trigger an Israeli attack on Iraq. The Israelis have hinted that they would respond with nuclear weapons if attacked with chemical weapons. Such an attack would not be easy. Israeli anti-missile defenses are much stronger than in 1991, and for the past 13 years, US satellites and intelligence experts have been trying to track down Saddam's remaining Scuds. Actually, only a few Iraqi Scuds may still be in shape to be used. And the Iraqis would have to fire a dozen or so at once to insure getting past the Israeli Patriot and Arrow anti-missile systems. To further hamper such attacks, the US has said it would hold any missile unit commanders personally responsible of war crimes for launching chemical warhead equipped Scuds. Such commanders would be hunted down and prosecuted. Of course, Saddam executes subordinates who do not follow orders, but in the chaos of an invasion of Iraq, there would be opportunities to disobey once, and get away with it.

 

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