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[] Independent 15.12.02: Hi-tech arms 'would finish war in a week',

Werte Liste,

Doch etwas widersprüchlich, dieses ganze miliärische Prognosewesen. 
Einerseits glaubt man an die fraglos verhandene gewaltige 
militärtechnologische Überlegenheit, andererseits befüchtet man (wovon hier 
in diesem Artikel wieder nichts steht) sich bei urban warfare eine blutige 
Nase holen zu können. Zu den EMP-Waffen heißt es hier, diese seien 
"untested", was ich nicht so sehe.


Hi-tech arms 'would finish war in a week'

By Andrew Buncombe in Washington

15 December 2002

The American weaponry likely to be deployed in any military strike against 
Iraq is so advanced and hi-tech that some was not even ready to be used in 
the operation in Afghanistan just 12 months ago.

With an armoury including satellite imagery that can distinguish a tank 
from a bus, even through thick cloud, to microwave bombs that can destroy 
electrical and computer systems without hurting civilians, military 
planners preparing for war are confident that any strike would be completed 
in little more than a week.

"The first Gulf War was fought like the Second World War, with air 
dominance  pounding their defences, softening up the forces and then going 
in," said Daniel Gouré, a military analyst with the Washington-based 
Lexington Institute think tank. "This will be speedier, more precise  an 
effects-based operation. It will be much more surgical, both in the use of 
explosive force and in the overall operation."

While the present emphasis is on securing the evidence America would need 
to go to war  the UN wants a list of Iraqi scientists linked to arms 
programmes by the end of the month and is stepping up the pace of 
inspection, swooping on 11 sites yesterday  analysts agree that America's 
military dominance will ensure any assault on Iraq is brief.

Among the weapons Mr Gouré and others highlight are satellite-guided smart 
bombs known as Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs). While a number of 
these were used in Afghanistan, many more are likely to be deployed in Iraq.

The smart bombs available have also been upgraded. The GBU-28 
"bunker-busters" have been upgraded by the BLU-31. Designed to penetrate 
hardened underground facilities, these have also been equipped with a new 
device called the hard-target smart fuse, which allows the bomb to "count" 
how many floors it needs to penetrate before detonating. A new category of 
bomb is the thermobaric device  only one was used in Afghanistan, and 
missed its target  which can penetrate indoor or underground spaces and 
then set off a blast of heat and pressure strong enough to destroy 
biological agents such as anthrax or smallpox.

One weapon that is completely untested in battle is the microwave bomb, 
which British and US experts have been working on for several years. 
Exploding in mid-air, these bombs release pulses of magnetic energy that 
seek out electrical systems and computers and burn them out  even if they 
are buried underground. These can also be used to create a fizzing 
sensation on a person's skin  something US law enforcement agencies have 
been testing for crowd control.

Chris Hellman, a senior analyst with the Centre for Defence Studies, said: 
"If it's available and we get into a situation where we are looking at 
urban warfare, it will definitely be used. They may not be man-portable, 
but having them on the back of a truck would not be a problem."

Other new or updated weapons include an improved battle tank, the Abrams MI 
A2, the Apache Longbow helicopter and a high-altitude version of the 
unmanned Pred- ator drone, which can be used to carry satellite 
surveillance equipment or Hellfire missiles. Another is the Stryker, an 
armoured fighting vehicle offering great manoeuvrability. Planners believe 
it could be so important that  unlike the recent campaigns in Kosovo and 
Afghanistan  ground forces could play as important a role as bombers.

John Pike, director of, another research group, believes 
the supremacy of US technology will mean any military operation will last 
little longer than a week.

"I think when this war is written up it will emerge as the re-emergence of 
the importance of land power," he said.

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