John Barry

Stories by John Barry

  • AN AFGHAN MYSTERY

    It's an ordinary-looking house, painted green, in a rundown neighborhood on Kabul's outskirts. The landlord says he rented it to an American who told him he was in the rug-export business. This is where Jonathan Keith (Jack) Idema, a onetime Green Beret from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., is accused of running his own private interrogation center. Afghan police raided the house on a tip from U.S. Coalition authorities, freeing seven Afghan captives and arresting Idema, 48, and two other Americans on charges of assault and kidnapping. Afghan officials said their group, which they called Task Force Sabre 7, were freelancers who posed as U.S. officials and allegedly tortured their prisoners to get information.Idema's defenders insist he is a true patriot who was hot on the trail of Osama bin Laden. "The United States has put a $25 million bounty on this guy, so why all of a sudden this 'tsk, tsk' when someone goes after him?" says Ken Kelch, a filmmaker and former Special Forces soldier who knows...
  • A TORTURED DEBATE

    Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi was America's first big trophy in the war on terror: a senior Qaeda operative captured amid the fighting in Afghanistan. What is less known is that al-Libi, who ran Qaeda training camps, quickly became the subject of a bitter feud between the FBI and the CIA over how to interrogate terror suspects. At the time of al-Libi's capture on Nov. 11, 2001, the questioning of detainees was still the FBI's province. For years the bureau's "bin Laden team" had sought to win suspects over with a carrots-and-no-sticks approach: favors in exchange for cooperation. One terrorist, in return for talking, even wangled a heart transplant for his child.With al-Libi, too, the initial approach was to read him his rights like any arrestee, one former member of the FBI team told NEWSWEEK. "He was basically cooperating with us." But this was post-9/11; President Bush had declared war on Al Qaeda, and in a series of covert directives, he had authorized the CIA to set up secret...
  • THE ABU GHRAIB SCANDAL COVER-UP?

    The meeting was small and unpublicized. In a room on the third floor of the Old Executive Office Building last week, Condoleezza Rice grittily endured an hour's worth of pleading from leading human-rights activists who want to see a 9/11-style commission created to investigate the abuse of detainees in the war on terror. According to participants, the president's national-security adviser didn't repeat the line that George W. Bush had delivered to the American people in a speech two days before: that the scandal was the work of "a few American troops who dishonored our country." Nor did Rice try to make the case that by razing Iraq's Abu Ghraib Prison--a Bush proposal that took even his Defense secretary by surprise--administration officials would put the scandal behind them. "I recognize we have a very grave problem," Rice said, according to Scott Horton, a New York lawyer at the meeting whose account was corroborated by another participant. "There are major investigations going on...
  • The Roots Of Torture

    It's not easy to get a member of Congress to stop talking. Much less a room full of them. But as a small group of legislators watched the images flash by in a small, darkened hearing room in the Rayburn Building last week, a sickened silence descended. There were 1,800 slides and several videos, and the show went on for three hours. The nightmarish images showed American soldiers at Abu Ghraib Prison forcing Iraqis to masturbate. American soldiers sexually assaulting Iraqis with chemical light sticks. American soldiers laughing over dead Iraqis whose bodies had been abused and mutilated. There was simply nothing to say. "It was a very subdued walk back to the House floor," said Rep. Jane Harman, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. "People were ashen."The White House put up three soldiers for court-martial, saying the pictures were all the work of a few bad-apple MPs who were poorly supervised. But evidence was mounting that the furor was only going to grow and...
  • Rough Justice In Iraq

    Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski is angry. She says she warned her superiors from the first about the ill-treatment of Iraqi prisoners. As commander of the Army Reserve's 800th Military Police Brigade, she oversaw the guards at U.S. detention facilities in Iraq, including those at Saddam Hussein's former torture center at Abu Ghurayb. The trouble was, Karpinski says, she didn't have enough troops or resources to do the job right, and the men at the top ignored her complaints. "They just wanted it to go away," she told NEWSWEEK last week. In the end, several of her soldiers apparently went out of control. The CBS News show "60 Minutes II" released snapshots last week of grinning guards at Abu Ghurayb forcing naked prisoners to pose in degrading positions. One picture showed a hooded prisoner perched on a box and holding a pair of wires; if he fell, his captors allegedly told him, he would be electrocuted. "There's no excuse for what these people did," says Karpinski. "They're just bad...
  • The Human Cost

    The inaugural mission of the 1st Cavalry's 2d Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment was, in its humble way, a bid for hearts and minds. It was to safely dispose of Iraqi sewage. Having arrived in Iraq in late March, a 19-man patrol from the battalion, traveling in four Humvees, had just finished escorting three Iraqi "honey wagons" on their rounds in the grim slum of Sadr City, where vendors stash eggs and chickens in bamboo crates next to puddles of viscous black mud. ("You're lucky if it's mud," joked one U.S. officer.) Suddenly the street became "a 300-meter-long kill zone," recalls platoon leader Sgt. Shane Aguero, courtesy of gunmen from the Mahdi militia of Shiite rebel Moqtada al-Sadr. The Humvees swerved and ran onto sidewalks, rolling on the rims of flat tires, as gunmen kept up the barrage of bullets. Sgt. Yihjyh (Eddie) Chen, gunner in the lead vehicle, was shot dead. Another soldier was hit and began bleeding from the mouth.And their trouble was just beginning. Two of the...
  • HAS THE WAR MADE US SAFER?

    A year ago this week, U.S. Marine Cpl. Edward Chin scaled the long arm of a tank-recovery vehicle to put a noose around the neck of Saddam Hussein's statue. Then he put an American flag over the dictator's metallic face, and for a few minutes, live around the world, that was the image television viewers saw of Iraq's liberation. A rumor spread, even on the airwaves, that this was the American flag that had flown over the World Trade Center before terrorists brought it down. That wasn't true, but the fiction felt good. Then Old Glory was taken away, and the Marines used their cranelike vehicle to topple the giant tyrant. Iraqis jumped up and down on the statue, beating it with their shoes, dismembering it, dragging it through the streets, and for a long moment, just then, most of us felt a little safer.Today you don't see many American flags in Iraq, except on soldiers' uniforms. (From the very beginning of the invasion, in fact, U.S. commanders decided the Stars and Stripes might...
  • THE HUNT HEATS UP

    Admirers of Bill McRaven like to tell a story of his courage and grit. Not against the enemy, but against the legendarily ruthless Dick Marcinko, a gung-ho Navy SEAL commander in the Vietnam era who used to swallow sacs of cobra venom and boast that "killing is my mission." Marcinko once ordered McRaven, then a young lieutenant on the super-elite SEAL Team Six, to perform "some questionable activities," recounts a former Special Forces commander. McRaven refused and "would not back down." (Marcinko did not return phone calls seeking comment.) "McRaven was a hero among all the junior officers for his stand," says the commander. "It was considered a career-ending move."Not quite. William H. McRaven, it seems, was too good an officer. Today he is a rear admiral, and his new job is one that could not rank higher on President George W. Bush's to-do list in election year 2004: nailing Osama bin Laden. It is a job that will require much ruthlessness--a good deal more of that, perhaps, than...
  • 'I Better Call My Lawyer'

    The Pentagon is just across the Potomac River from the White House, but sometimes the gulf seems far wider. Last week an edict from Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz appeared on a Pentagon Web site announcing that any country which failed to support the war on Iraq would not be allowed to bid on some $20 billion in contracts to rebuild the country. Wolfowitz was, in truth, merely posting a decision reached within the administration late last month. But the timing of the announcement was a bit awkward. The next day, President George W. Bush was scheduled to make friendly phone calls to the heads of state of the very countries penalized by the Pentagon's declaration. This week former secretary of State James Baker is scheduled to fly to Europe to beseech Russia, Germany and France to forgive Iraq's crushing $120 billion debt. Before Baker even stepped on the plane, the countries cut off from the reconstruction contracts were angrily refusing to bail out Iraq.A senior...
  • Irag, I'll Scratch Your Back...

    IraqI'll Scratch Your Back...This week, former secretary of State James Baker is scheduled to fly to Europe to beseech Russia, Germany and France to forgive Iraq's crushing $120 billion debt. His task is made all the more difficult by a statement, written by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, announcing that any country which failed to support the war on Iraq would not be allowed to bid on some $20 billion in contracts to rebuild the country. Before Baker even stepped on the plane, the countries cut off were angrily refusing to bail out Iraq.U.S. President George W. Bush was reported to be miffed by the inopportune Pentagon pronouncement. A senior administration official blamed the foul-up on "munchkins," i.e., lower-level officials who had innocently blundered. But it was another in a series of miscommunications between the Defense Department and the White House.The day after the Pentagon announced its punitive policy, a knowledgeable source told NEWSWEEK, top officials from...
  • Dissent In The Bunker

    The military has been hitting hard lately in Iraq, using overwhelming firepower to kill the enemy in operations with videogame names like Iron Hammer and Ivy Cyclone II. But behind the scenes, some military experts, including high-ranking officers in U.S. Special Forces (Army Green Berets, Navy SEALs and the like), are beginning to complain that America's strategy in Iraq is wrongheaded. "This is what Westmoreland was doing in Vietnam," says a top Special Forces commander, referring to the firepower-heavy tactics favored by the military's senior commander in Vietnam, Gen. William Westmoreland, who lost sight of America's essential mission in that lost war: winning the hearts and minds of the people.One center of private concerns with America's Iraq strategy is the Defense Policy Board, a collection of outside experts--mostly heavyweight conservatives--who regularly consult with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Disquiet in this quarter is particularly significant, since the DPB...
  • 'Wrap These Guys Up'

    No U.S. commander in Iraq has done a smarter job than Maj. Gen. David Petraeus. Practically every military observer agrees: in the seven months since his troops took charge in the northern city of Mosul, the 101st Airborne Division commander has put in a flawless performance. That's what's most troublesome. Petraeus and his troops have produced a textbook example of waging peace, empowering the civilian populace, repairing the economy, even sending local kids to summer camp. Mosul had the first functioning city council in post-Saddam Iraq. Petraeus has ordered big signs posted in every barracks: WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO WIN IRAQI HEARTS AND MINDS TODAY? But for the last month or so the public's mood has turned hostile. Guerrilla attacks, once rare, have become routine. In the past six weeks, 31 of Petraeus's soldiers have died in action, including one who was killed last Friday in a direct mortar hit on division headquarters. As the general remarked to NEWSWEEK last week, "It's...
  • National Security: How Will The Second-Term Shuff

    Burned out by two wars and drained by ideological disputes, President George W. Bush's national-security team is dreaming of a kinder, gentler life outside government. Condoleezza Rice, the national-security adviser, talks of serving "dog years" in the White House. A senior official says, "Every year feels like seven because there's been too much to do." In public, team members say they're too busy to think about their future; in private, the jockeying for potential positions is well underway.Rice once seemed a surefire bet to move to the State Department. But associates now insist she has no interest in State's sprawling diplomatic bureaucracy and is keen to step out of the limelight after a grueling five years as Bush's chief foreign-policy adviser (including more than a year on the 2000 campaign). Possible replacements include Robert Blackwill, Rice's strategic adviser, and Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy Defense secretary, who were both advisers on Bush's 2000 campaign. Among the...
  • A War In The Dark

    It's hard to know your enemy when you don't speak his language. In Iraq, when guerrillas place an IED (improvised explosive device) by the side of the road, they sometimes write a warning on the street--in Arabic. The locals understand to steer clear; the Americans drive right into the trap. "Everyone knows about it except us," grouses Lt. Julio Tirado of the 124th Infantry Regiment, Florida National Guard, patrolling warily in the town of Ramadi.The Americans are learning the universal language of insult. They catch on now when Iraqis in the seething Sunni Triangle flash them a backhanded V sign, which conveys roughly the same message as an extended middle finger back in the States. When Americans wish to demonstrate their contempt to the locals, they point to the soles of their feet, deeply offensive to Iraqis.What the Americans still don't know is who, exactly, they're fighting. Last week, after four suicide-bombing attacks in the heart of Baghdad left more then 30 people dead,...
  • Rummy's New Headaches

    Defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld was a congressman from Illinois back in the 1960s, but these days he seems to have lost his touch on Capitol Hill. He sends up endless reports, gives regular closed-door briefings and averages two breakfasts a week with members of Congress. Still, they sense he disdains the traditional Washington ritual of sucking up to powerful committee chairmen. At times he seems to go out of his way to antagonize them.When Rumsfeld briefs them on Iraq, some complain, he rarely provides more information than they read in the morning newspapers. One senior Republican senator was furious at Rumsfeld's vague responses at a recent Hill session. "When a senator asked how many troops we would have in Iraq a year from now, he said, 'We're hoping for a sizable foreign involvement, and we're optimistic that things will be improved,' and blah, blah, blah," he told NEWSWEEK. "It was a typical nonsensical, nonsubstantive briefing, like he always gives." Rumsfeld aides say...
  • A Man With A Mission

    Jet-lagged but upbeat as ever, Lewis Lucke clambers through the rubble of Al-Mamun switching station. American missiles blasted the place four times during the war, then looters stripped and torched it. Now the facility is almost ready to reconnect Baghdad's phones with the outside world--if all goes well. Three weeks ago an anti-U.S. guerrilla tried to undo the repairs with a rocket-propelled grenade, but it was a dud. Lucke, chief of Iraq operations for the U.S. Agency for International Development, shrugs. "This is a high-visibility site," he says. "We never doubted that they'd try to blow it up."Lucke is one of those can-do Americans who want to make a difference in Iraq, and who haven't lost faith that democracy will prevail. The 24-year USAID veteran came out of retirement to begin planning the reconstruction effort four months before the invasion. His life has been one long scramble ever since. He and his staff work 16 hours a day, seven days a week, helping to fix not only...
  • The Unbuilding Of Iraq

    The Iraq war had yet to begin, but some nasty fighting was already going on back in Washington between the Department of Defense and the Department of State. Last February, retired Lt. Gen. Jay Garner was trying to put together a team of experts to rebuild Iraq after the war was over, and his list included 20 State Department officials. The day before he was supposed to leave for the region, Garner got a call from Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who ordered him to cut 16 of the 20 State officials from his roster. It seems that the State Department people were deemed to be Arabist apologists, or squishy about the United Nations, or in some way politically incorrect to the right-wing ideologues at the White House or the neocons in the office of the Secretary of Defense. The vetting process "got so bad that even doctors sent to restore medical services had to be anti-abortion," recalled one of Garner's team. Finally, Secretary of State Colin Powell tried to stand up for his...
  • Faulty Armor?

    The Bush administration's military predicament in Iraq has suddenly gotten worse. Just a month before the next U.S. Army unit is due to deploy in Iraq to relieve the hard-pressed forces already there, the military is confessing to a potential showstopper. The deploying unit's new armored vehicles may have faulty armor which would leave them vulnerable to machine-gun fire and to the rocket-propelled grenades that are the Iraq insurgents' favorite weapon.The vehicle is the prized new Stryker wheeled troop carrier, advertised as the first fruit of the Army's plan to transform itself into a lighter, go-anywhere-fast force.Worse still: the Army has known it might have a problem since February, but has kept quiet about it. An Army memo sent yesterday to the head of the Stryker program, and obtained by NEWSWEEK, reports: "Evidently this issue was first raised in February 2003. Am unsure how this issue escaped public scrutiny for six months." Not even Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld...
  • The Army Cleans House

    In a move widely seen within the Pentagon as a purge, a dozen or more Army generals are being ushered into retirement as the Army's new chief of staff, Gen. Peter Schoomaker, takes over. In advance of Schoomaker's swearing-in last Friday, the Army's acting chief, Gen. John Keane--who is himself retiring--spoke with a list of three- and four-star generals, thanked them for their services and told them it was time to go. Sources say Keane first contacted half a dozen names, but by the end of the week the list had reportedly grown to 11--"with more to come within 30 days," according to one Army source. The Army has a total of 50 three- and four-star generals. A senior Pentagon civilian called the move "housecleaning."Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has made no secret of his dissatisfaction with what he sees as unimaginative Army leadership. Schoomaker, too, is critical of a culture he sees as risk-averse and change-resistant. In comments made privately but now circulating widely in...
  • Scientists: Mass Exodus?

    Just as the administration approved the first efforts in a decade to develop new nuclear weapons--earth-penetrating nukes to entomb underground WMD facilities--it's triggered a potential exodus of America's top nuclear-weapons designers. For 60 years, Los Alamos--the nation's premier nuclear-weapons lab--has been run by the University of California, which set up scientists with mouthwatering pensions. Those age 60, with 30 years of service, can retire on three-quarter salary; UC investments have been so profitable that nobody has had to contribute to the scheme for more than a decade. But those days may be over. After a series of management and security lapses, Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham decreed the UC contract would go out to rival bids. Their pensions in danger, many of Los Alamos's weapons designers are threatening to walk, with no experienced design cadre to take their place. The National Nuclear Security Administration assured staffers their pensions will be protected...
  • Saddam's Secrets

    While Bush aides try to look calm, the search grows increasingly feverish. They predicted they would find Saddam Hussein's arsenal of mass destruction as soon as Iraq's experts could dare to tell the truth. Now the regime is gone, and Saddam's best-known WMD officials are dead or in U.S. custody, shielded from the regime's monstrous reprisals. There's only one problem. What the survivors are saying is not what the White House wants to hear. The detainees say Iraq destroyed all of its banned munitions years ago, and nothing more was produced. The scientists have been threatened, coaxed, offered all kinds of incentives, including safe haven outside Iraq for their families. Nothing changes their stories.Even inside normal intelligence channels, the scientists' debriefings are restricted information. "They are keeping everything about this extremely tight," says a State Department official who would ordinari-ly see such reports. President Bush himself gets regular updates on the WMD...
  • War Costs: How Much? Well, How High Can You Count

    Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has ordered the U.S. military to collaborate on a "lessons learned" study of the Iraq war. That will take months, but the air commander, Lt. Gen. Michael Moseley, has had a team from his "analysis and assessments" staff compile some raw numbers. Some highlights of the 16-page report: 423,998 U.S. military personnel were deployed; other Coalition forces sent an additional 42,987 troops. The total is roughly equivalent to the population of Albuquerque, N.M. The war lasted 720 hours. The allies flew more than 41,400 sorties. That consumed 18,622 tons of fuel, enough to keep a Boeing 737-300 airliner aloft for about 12 years. The Coalition flew 1,801 aircraft--all but 138 were American. The Iraqis were showered with 31,800,000 leaflets bearing 81 different messages. End to end, the leaflets would have made 120,454 rolls of toilet paper. Coalition forces lost 20 aircraft, but only 7 as a result of enemy fire. Search-and-rescue teams flew 55 missions and...
  • Periscope

    NATO: New Marching OrdersDespite all the frisson from the French and the anger from the Americans, it seems the so-called great divide between the two traditional allies could yet be bridged--starting with NATO.Even with the recent talk of its impending doom, NATO may still have a role to play in Iraq. And such a role, NEWSWEEK has learned, is actively under discussion. French President Jacques Chirac, in his latest effort at fence-mending, told U.S. President George W. Bush in a recent phone call that France would not object to a NATO peacekeeping presence in Iraq, according to a knowledgeable source. French officials suggest Paris would be willing to contribute a brigade and put the NATO presence under overall American control.Although one U.S. administration hawk says Bush--who is still incensed over Chirac's opposition to the Iraq war--is unlikely to OK any kind of French role, U.S. officials say Washington is open to using NATO to supply security--especially as Bush faces the...
  • A Job For Nato?

    Nato's been casting about for a new mission ever since the cold war ended, with Europeans craving some kind of role in the lone superpower's strategic plans. The possibility of a NATO role in Iraq is now actively under discussion, NEWSWEEK has learned. French President Jacques Chirac, in his latest effort at fence-mending, told President Bush in a recent phone call that France would not object to a NATO peacekeeping presence in Iraq, according to a knowledgeable source. French officials suggest Paris would be willing to contribute a brigade, and put the NATO presence under overall American control. One administration hawk says Bush, who is still incensed over Chirac's opposition to the Iraq war, is unlikely to OK any kind of French role. But U.S. officials say Washington is open to using NATO to supply security--especially as Bush faces the prospect that U.S. occupation troops might be bogged down for a long time in Iraq. "NATO can play an important role in post-Saddam Iraq," says...
  • No Sky Over Turkey?

    U.S. military planning has hit a giant roadblock. Turkish leaders, having failed to persuade their Parliament to OK the deployment of 62,000 U.S. ground troops for a northern front against Iraq, has now said the fall-back U.S. request--use of Turkey's airspace for air- and cruise-missile strikes against Iraq--will also have to be approved by Parliament. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has made it clear that he won't consider that unless Turkey is promised a say in a post- Saddam Iraq, and the same $26 billion package that the administration was offering for the ground deployments remains on the table. But senior administration officials have said the offer has been retracted.Airspace rights are crucial. One insider privy to the war-planning said: "If we don't get [the] airspace, the military are telling us it's not a showstopper, but it's certainly a big impediment." NEWSWEEK has learned that the United States asked for 11 air corridors over Turkey and also requested use of...
  • Exclusive: The Defector's Secrets

    Hussein Kamel, the highest-ranking Iraqi official ever to defect from Saddam Hussein's inner circle, told CIA and British intelligence officers and U.N. inspectors in the summer of 1995 that after the gulf war, Iraq destroyed all its chemical and biological weapons stocks and the missiles to deliver them.Kamel was Saddam Hussein's son-in-law and had direct knowledge of what he claimed: for 10 years he had run Iraq's nuclear, chemical, biological and missile programs. Kamel told his Western interrogators that he hoped his revelations would trigger Saddam's overthrow. But after six months in exile in Jordan, Kamel realized the United States would not support his dream of becoming Iraq's ruler after Saddam's demise. He chose to return to Iraq--where he was promptly killed.Kamel's revelations about the destruction of Iraq's WMD stocks were hushed up by the U.N. inspectors, sources say, for two reasons. Saddam did not know how much Kamel had revealed, and the inspectors hoped to bluff...
  • Periscope

    EXCLUSIVEA Defector's SecretHussein Kamel, the highest-ranking Iraqi official ever to defect, told the CIA, British intelligence officers and U.N. inspectors in 1995 that, after the gulf war, Iraq destroyed all its chemical and biological weapon stocks and the missiles to deliver them.Kamel had direct knowledge of what he claimed: for 10 years he had run Iraq's nuclear, chemical, biological and missile programs. Kamel hoped his revelations would trigger Saddam's overthrow, but when he realized the United States would not support his dream of becoming Iraq's ruler, he chose to return to Iraq--where he was killed. Kamel's WMD revelations were hushed up by U.N. inspectors, sources say, for two reasons: the inspectors hoped to bluff Saddam into disclosing still more, and Iraq has never shown the documentation to support Kamel's story. Still, his tale raises questions about whether the WMD stockpiles attributed to Iraq still exist.Kamel said Iraq had not abandoned its WMD ambitions. The...
  • Now, Flexible Force

    When Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld set out to "transform" the military in 2001, the prevailing view among Washington lobbyists, journalists, politicians and not a few members of the United States armed forces was: fat chance. The secretary, all those in the know predicted, would not be able to budge the "iron triangle" of Congress, the defense industry and the top brass who were determined to protect their "rice bowls"--their annual appropriations and pet programs. Indeed, the early headlines mocked Rumsfeld for even trying.The war in Afghanistan, the war on terror and the coming war in Iraq have given Rumsfeld a powerful ally: necessity. While Rumsfeld gains notice (and notoriety) for his brusque manner and off-the-cuff pronouncements about global affairs, his most important work has gone on behind the scenes, trying to improve the way the military prepares for war. Last week he spoke to NEWSWEEK about his efforts to change the Pentagon "culture" in order to make the military,...
  • Exclusive: Risking A Civil War

    Turkey is raising its price for allowing U.S. forces to invade Iraq from its territory. In early negotiations with the United States, Ankara spoke of sending in Turkish troops to set up a "buffer zone" perhaps 15 miles deep along the Iraqi border. This would prevent a flood of Kurdish refugees from northern Iraq, the Turks said. But now, NEWSWEEK has learned, Turkey is demanding that it send 60,000 to 80,000 of its own troops into northern Iraq to establish "strategic positions" across a "security arc" as much as 140 to 170 miles deep in Iraq. That would take Turkish troops almost halfway to Baghdad. These troops would not be under U.S. command, according to Turkish sources, who say Turkey has agreed only to "coordination" between U.S. and Turkish forces. Ankara fears the Iraqi Kurds might use Saddam's fall to declare independence. Kurdish leaders have not yet been told of this new plan, according to Kurdish spokesmen in Washington, who say the Kurds rejected even the earlier notion...
  • Boots, Bytes And Bombs

    It's called the "E-bomb." Delivered by a cruise missile, the E-bomb is a warhead that explodes to emit a high-energy pulse that, like a bolt of lightning, will fuse any electrical equipment within range. The E-bomb has been more than a little temperamental in testing, and engineers would still like another year to work out the bugs, but on the first night of the war against Iraq, E-bombs will detonate over President Saddam Hussein's key command-and-control bunkers in and around Baghdad. If all goes according to plan, lights will blink out, computers will melt down, phones will go silent. Saddam and his lieutenants will be left shivering in silent darkness, alone and waiting to die.The desired effect of the first night's bombing, in the expression commonly used by military planners, is "shock and awe." The overall goal of the American blitz against Iraq will be to so stun and demoralize the Iraqi Army that Saddam's forces will quickly give up. The Iraqis will realize that resistance...