DNI-NEWS Digest - 10 Feb 1998 to 11 Feb 1998 - Special issue

There are 8 messages totalling 1378 lines in this issue.

Topics in this special issue:

1. Russia Arms Export Not Failure in 1997
2. Pakistan Says Mulls Legal Fight for U.S. F-16s
3. Turkey Plans to Buy 40 U.S.-Made F-15 Jets
4. Question mark hangs over Iran's budget
5. EU Code: Foreign Secretary answers questions in Parliament
6. Selling Violence And Death
7. A Buyer's Market: A Plethora of New Fighter Aircraft Compete For Global
Export Sales
8. URGENT : NUCLEAR BOMB will be used in IRAK

Russia Arms Export Not Failure in 1997

Russia Arms Export Not Failure in 1997


MOSCOW (Dec. 28) XINHUA - Russian arms export which amount 844 million
rubles in 1997 was satisfactory, though the hard-currency profit
diminished slightly in the first half of the year, the Interfax reported
on Sunday.

Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration Alexei Ogaryov denied
reports that Russian arms exports were a complete failure this year.

Ogaryov said "All the talks about Russia's failure on the arms market are
based on an erroneous assessment of Russia's actual share in the world
arms exports."

He quoted other sources, including the London International Institute of
Strategic Studies, as putting Russia on the fourth place on the arms

According to the institute, Russia's share in the world arms trade in
1997 is likely to go on to 8.6 percent, while the global turnover is
expected to increases by 10 percent compared to 1996. The share of the
United States is estimated at 43 percent, Britain - 22 percent and France
- 14 percent.

uno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866]

Pakistan Says Mulls Legal Fight for U.S. F-16s

Pakistan Says Mulls Legal Fight for U.S. F-16s


ISLAMABAD, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Pakistan said on Monday it was considering
taking the United States to court to get 28 contracted F-16 fighter
planes or the $658 million it paid for them.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman told a news briefing that a law firm was
studying the possibility of filing a lawsuit against the U.S. government
before a statute-of-limitations period expired early next year.

``Our unchanging position has been that the United States government
should either deliver the F-16 aircraft for which Pakistan has made the
necessary payment or it should refund the entire amount paid by the
government of Pakistan,'' he said.

``Since the statute of limitation expires in early 1999, we are also in
the process of preparing ourselves for legal recourse, and have engaged a
law firm to study all aspects of the matter.''

The 28 planes were to be first deliveries out of a total of 71 Pakistan
ordered from the U.S. in the late 1980s.

But Washington halted aid to Pakistan in October 1990, blocking $1.4
billion of military equipment Islamabad had paid for, over suspicions it
was building nuclear weapons.

U.S. President Bill Clinton signed legislation in January 1996
authorising the release of $368 million worth of equipment to Pakistan,
but not the 28 F-16s.

Washington says it is trying to sell the F-16s to third parties to
reimburse Pakistan with the proceeds.

The U.S. 1985 Pressler Amendment law bans military aid to Pakistan unless
the U.S. president can certify to Congress that Islamabad has no nuclear
weapons and is not trying to develop them.

Pakistan calls the law discriminatory and says although it has acquired
technology to make nuclear weapons it has decided not to do so.

Pakistan says its nuclear programme is peaceful but will not sign the
international Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty or the Comprehensive Test
Ban Treaty unless the same is done by its old enemy India.

Turkey Plans to Buy 40 U.S.-Made F-15 Jets

Turkey Plans to Buy 40 U.S.-Made F-15 Jets


ANKARA (Jan. 12) XINHUA - Turkey is planning to buy 40 F-15 fighters from
the United States to enhance the strength of its air force, local
newspaper Daily News reported today.

Turkey has conveyed such an intention to the Pentagon and other U.S.
defense policy-making organs, senior sources from the Turkish General
Staff were quoted as saying.

The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the deal aims
to further strengthen the combat effectiveness of Turkey's fighter fleet.

The jet, named "F-15 Eagle", is a kind of double-engine fighter equipped
with advanced electronic guiding and more powerful fire systems.

Analysts here believe that Turkey's decision to buy these fighters was in
response to an earlier Greek move to purchase 40 more advanced F-16
fighters from the United States.

The U.S. has reportedly agreed to deliver these fighter jets to the Greek
government, annoying Ankara, who said that this sale will possibly break
the military balance over the Aegean Sea.

"We don't think that we will face any difficulty from the U.S.
administration with regard to obtaining permission from the sale (of the
F-15 jets)," Turkish senior defense officials said.=20

They said that they believe Washington will not adopt double standards
concerning the arms sales to Greece and Turkey, both members of the North
Atlantic Treaty Organization.

The United States had imposed a ban on the sale of three frigates to
Turkey citing Ankara's allegedly poor human rights record, but the ban
was lifted late last year.

Turkey and Greece have long been at odds over some issues, including the
airspace limits over the Aegean Sea, the sea-bed mineral rights as well
as the protracted Cyprus problem.

Their warplanes and naval vessels are often involved in minor conflicts
in the air and the Aegean Sea. The two countries were nearly on the brink
of war in early 1996 due to disputes over an islet in the Aegean Sea.

Question mark hangs over Iran's budget

X-Status: Unsent

X-Status: Unsent

Question mark hangs over Iran's budget

Jane's Defence Weekly
Tue, Feb 11 1998

Iran's parliament, the Majlis, has approved a 2.885 trillion rial defence
budget for 1998-99, despite a double-digit inflation rate and depressed
oil prices, according to the Iranian media.

Iran uses three exchange rates for the US dollar, but the defence
allocation works out at $1.64 billion at the lowest rate of 1,750 rials
to the dollar, the official rate used to calculate state budget accounts.

It was not clear from reports by state-run Iran Television and newspapers
whether the figure approved was in line with the defence budget sought by
the government of President Mohammad
Khatami, a liberal-leaning cleric who was the surprise victor in last
May's presidential election.

The Majlis, headed by Speaker Ali Akbar Nateq-Nouri, a hardliner who was
defeated by Khatami at the polls, is dominated by radicals who oppose
many of Khatami's policies. These include seeking to open a dialogue with
the USA.

Khatami said in November, when he presented his first budget to
parliament, that the proposed defence allocation was 10.1 trillion rials,
an increase of 22 per cent over the 1997-98 figure. However, it is likely
that this figure included funds outside the
actual defence budget that have in the past been used for arms purchases

According to US Central Intelligence Agency stimates, Iran has been
spending around $2 billion a year on foreign-made weapons systems over
the last five or six years. On that basis, the defence allocation
approved by the Majlis probably does not
include funds for foreign acquisitions.

By some Western estimates, Iran's overall defence spending increased by
around 40 per cent in 1996-97, from US$3.4 billion to US$4.7 billion. The
International Monetary Fund has said that Iran devotes more funds to
defence spending than it actually admits in its official state budgets,
which do not include heavy subsidies to the domestic arms industry and to
some arms imports.

The defence ministry is obliged to procure much of its weapons systems
and equipment from the Islamic repu- blic's growing state-run arms
industry. Yet Tehran remains dependent on Russia, China and North Korea
for many of its high-technology systems such as missiles and combat

The USA has been pressing Moscow and Beijing to halt all military sales
to Iran, an effort that has intensified in recent months following
Israeli reports that Iran, aided by Russian expertise and technology
transfer, is within 18 months of producing a new ballistic missile, the
Shehab-3, with- a range of 1,400km.

Iran has been gripped by serious economic woes for many years, aggravated
by US embargoes and a campaign to isolate it economically. Like other
members of the Organisation of Petroleum
Exporting Countries (OPEC), Iran has been feeling the impact of the
collapse of oil prices in recent months to a 30-month low. The economic
chill is likely to get worse because of the financial
meltdown in Asia.

Iran, the third largest oil producer after Saudi Arabia and Norway, has
had to overhaul its budget plans for the year that begins on 21 March.

Nateq-Nouri acknowledged on 8 January that the Tehran government had been
forced to revise the oil price rate it uses as the basis of its budget
planning from $17.50 per barrel to $16.

Around 85 per cent of Iran's income is from oil and gas exports.
Inflation is officially pegged at 18 per cent, but is believed to be at
least twice that level.

EU Code: Foreign Secretary answers questions in Parliament

EU Code: Foreign Secretary answers questions in Parliament

Excerpt from Hansard (British Parliamentary Record), 13 January 1998
Foreign Affairs Questions, House of Commons

Conventional Arms Exports

6. Mr. Pickthall: What plans he has to secure agreement on an EU code of
conduct on conventional arms exports during the UK presidency. [20418]

17. Mr. Timms: What plans he has to secure agreement on an EU code of
conduct on conventional arms exports during the United Kingdom
presidency. [20429]

Mr. Robin Cook: We aim to agree a code of conduct on arms sales with our
European Union partners during the United Kingdom presidency.

Mr. Pickthall: I congratulate my right hon. Friend on this important
initiative, but can he assure us that we shall have a tightly drawn
agreement, and not just a rationalisation of existing divergent export
policies? For example, will the code ensure that, when a contract is
refused by one European Union country, it cannot be snapped up by

Mr. Cook: I can assure my hon. Friend that we shall seek as tight a draft
as we can obtain, and that will certainly reflect much of the language in
the tougher criteria that we introduced in July. My hon. Friend puts his
finger on what must be the single biggest gain of a European code of
conduct: the inclusion of a provision that makes it obligatory on any
European state that is thinking of taking up a contract that another
state has turned down to provide advance notice of that intention. That
should ensure that, when any member of the European Union turns down such
a contract on grounds of reference to human rights, for instance, it will
not be undercut by a partner. That will provide a much firmer, stronger
base for the policy.

Mr. Timms: I welcome my right hon. Friend's commitment to achieving high
standards in the code rather than looking for the lowest common
denominator. I urge him to stand firm by that commitment. How much
priority is his Department giving to securing agreement on the code and
what progress has been made in preparing the ground for an agreement
before the end of the British presidency?

Mr. Cook: I am pleased to answer my hon. Friend as he asked the question
in answer to which we announced the original code back in July. I am very
glad to say that that has resulted in a tightening of our criteria. In
answer to my hon. Friend's question today, I have to say that most member
states of the European Union have now bilaterally expressed their support
for a code of conduct, have applauded what we did last July and would
like to see it turned into a European agreement. I hope that we shall
soon be ready to take a text to our partners and to get agreement from

Mr. Sayeed: Is the Foreign Secretary certain that the enforcement and
policing of the code of conduct will not allow the French to cheat yet

Mr. Cook: As we are currently in negotiation with our French partners on
the text, it would be impolitic of me to accept any suggestion that the
French ever cheated. We hope to reach an agreement which will ensure that

13 Jan 1998 : Column 135

we share common standards and will notify each other of what we are
doing. That openness is the best way of ensuring that the code is adhered

Mr. Howard: Pending the securing of such an agreement, will the Foreign
Secretary look into the delays in granting licences, which are causing
British firms to lose orders for equipment to which there cannot be any
sensible objection? Is he aware that the firm RBR International asked on
15 May last year for urgent clearance of the sale of helmets to the
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for use by personnel in
Kabul? As a result of the delay in granting that clearance, the order
went to Scandinavia and the firm has received no approaches for any
equipment from UNHCR since. Is that what the Foreign Secretary intended
to achieve by his so-called ethical foreign policy?

Mr. Cook: I am not familiar with that individual case--[Interruption.]

If the House will allow me. The right hon. and learned Gentleman has
never raised that case with me on any day since 15 May. If he is so
concerned, of course we shall be happy to entertain any views that he may
wish to express on a particular sale.

We have adopted criteria which are plainly designed to achieve the
outcome that sales of equipment to any regime that might use it for
repression will not get a licence. That has to be the right approach.

The great consensus of British opinion is behind us. If the Conservative
party wishes to opt out of that consensus, that tells us more about the
Conservative party than about our policy.

Selling Violence And Death


Selling Violence And Death

By Colman McCarthy
January 25, 1998; Page X04=20

SPOILS OF WAR The Human Cost of America's Arms Trade
By John Tirman
Free Press. 310 pp. $25

CRITICS of American militarism distinguish between hot violence and cold
violence. Hot is the slaughtering of human beings close up, as in Vietnam
when peasants were shot -- "greased" was the term -- because they may
have been hiding Vietcong. Weapons fire, bloodied bodies drop. Cold
violence occurs when policy or boardroom decisions mean death and
suffering to people well removed by time and geography.

In Spoils of War John Tirman examines with dispassionate resolve and
clarity the mechanics of cold violence -- the specialty of arms
lobbyists, corporate weapons-exporters, pro-military politicians,
Washington policymakers and think-tank rationalizers who are remote from
the gore and madness than can result when America's technology of death
-- fighter jets, attack helicopters, missiles, land mines, tanks, guns --
is profitably sold to client states.

Tirman's reporting, which is rich with historical allusions and
fair-minded analysis of what he calls "the ingrained habits and
shibboleths of the arms business," aligns well with the thought of the
French worker-philosopher Simone Weil in 1945: "Whether the mask is
labeled Fascism, Democracy, or Dictatorship of the Proletariat, our great
adversary remains the Apparatus -- the
bureaucracy, the police, the military . . . No matter what the
circumstances, the worst betrayal will always be to subordinate ourselves
to this Apparatus, and to trample underfoot, in its service, all human
values in ourselves and in others."

In Tirman's mind, such subordination prevails today in the United States:
"In a country now in the grip of a debate over 'values,' it is astounding
that so little heed is given to the values underlying the promiscuous
provision of lethal weaponry."

Tirman, executive director of the Winston Foundation for World Peace in
Washington for the past 10 years, reports that in the mid-1990s the U.S.
weapons industry had a 70 percent market share of sales to Third World

More than $200 billion worth of arms will have been exported by the end
of the decade. With Spoils of War, Tirman joins a worthy list of
independent analysts who, in season and out, keep assembling the facts of
America's modern arms trade. Among them are Seymour Melman, author of The
Permanent War Economy; William Hartung of the World Policy Institute;
Sanford Gottlieb, author of Defense Addiction: Can America Kick the
Habit?; Ruth Sivard and her annual report, World Military and Social
Expenditures; and A. Ernest Fitzgerald, author of High Priests of Waste.

Spoils of War differs journalistically from the toil of those authors by
reporting from the field on how cold violence in the United States
becomes hot violence in the villages of southeastern Turkey. In the name
of quashing Kurdish dissent and guerrillas by military force, which meant
avoiding any compromising to gain political solutions, in recent years
Turkey's military has killed thousands of villagers and displaced 2.5
million. By Tirman's numbers, Ankara's military might as well be a
satellite army of the United States.

>From 1984 to 1993, Turkey received $6 billion in military aid. During
1991 to 1995, Washington supplied four-fifths of Turkey's military

AS A PARTISAN whose moral and political preferences unmistakably favor
nonviolent means of conflict resolution, Tirman is obviously at odds with
the ideas and actions of people in the arms industry and their
legislative backers. His challenge as a writer is to lay out the facts
non-ideologically so that his conclusion -- that the human suffering in
one war zone or another "is a symptom of a systematic malfunction in a
decrepit and morally vacuous American foreign policy" -- cannot be idly
dismissed as just more liberal grousing against militarists.

Seasoned by his many years of work in Washington, Tirman ably meets the
challenge. Strong sentiments are voiced but no shrillness. The impact of
factual and credible information carries his arguments. One of these is
that president after president has not allowed the grisly results of the
arms-export business to dampen support for arms corporations -- Lockheed
Martin, United=
Technologies, Sikorsky, General Dynamics and others -- that sell abroad.

It may surprise some readers that Jimmy Carter was one of the=20
enthusiasts. As a candidate in June 1976, Tirman reports, Carter
preached: "We cannot be both the world's leading champion of peace and
the world's leading supplier of the weapons of war." Once he was elected,
however, the fervor vanished. Early in his presidency, Tirman writes,
Carter "approved the largest sale of U.S. hardware in the decade -- 200
advanced fighter jets to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Israel." Later he
recommended sending the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS), the
"flying radar," an exceptionally advanced technology, to Iran and Saudi
Tirman quotes George Kennan's statement near the end of Carter's term:
"Never since World War II has there been so far-reaching a militarization
of thought and discourse in the capital. An
unsuspecting stranger, plunged into its midst, could only conclude that
the last hope of peaceful, nonmilitary solutions had been exhausted --
that from now only weapons, however used, could count."

Tirman could have written a book three or four times as large as this
one. He tells us little about the lives and personal histories of
America's arms peddlers. What are their ethics? Which schools shaped
their thinking? Which churches or synagogues? Do they visit the world's
bloodied war zones to meet the families of people killed by their
weapons? Tirman mentions Norman Augustine, the former chief executive of
Lockheed Martin, America's largest weapons company, only once, and gives
Ron Brown, the late secretary of commerce, glancing treatment. Tirman
describes Brown as "the king of promoters" in his boosting the U.S. arms
industry on his countless trips abroad. Whole chapters on Augustine and
Brown might have fleshed out Tirman's thesis that the weapons trade is
run by human beings at the expense of other human beings.

Tirman's invaluable criticism -- also on display in his earlier books,
The Fallacy of Star Wars and Empty Promise -- isn't likely to run out of
ideas and deeds worthy of scorn. In addition to the overall excellence of
the reporting in Spoils of War, it will remain topical for some time. The
hot violence goes on.

Colman McCarthy directs the Center for Teaching Peace and teaches courses
on nonviolence at four Washington-area schools.

A Buyer's Market: A Plethora of New Fighter Aircraft Compete For Global Export Sales


September 1997
Armed Forces Journal International

Glenn W. Goodman, Jr.

A Buyer's Market
A Plethora of New Fighter Aircraft Compete For Global Export Sales

The international market for fighter aircraft sales has heated up again,
particularly in Eastern Europe, with no shortage of competitors vying for
lucrative export contracts. The US' F-16 and F/A-18, Sweden's JAS-39
Gripen, France's Mirage 2000-5 and Rafale, Russia's MiG-29 and Su-27/30,
and the Eurofighter 2000 are among the aircraft battling for aerial
supremacy in a number of countries expected to place orders within the
next year. Some of
these fighters could face each other in the sky one day in actual
dogfights over developing nations.

One of the notable aspects of the Paris Air Show in June was the renewed
marketing effort mounted by Russia's military aircraft industry,
particularly the Sukhoi and the Moscow Aircraft Production Organization
(MAPO)-MiG consortia that evolved from the Sukhoi, Beriev, Mikoyan, and
Kamov Design Bureaus and their associated production plants. Starved of
domestic military funding in recent years, these military industrial
groups (VPKs) currently depend on exports for their livelihood, and those
exports continued to recover during the past year. But aside from sales
to traditional customers such as China and India, Russia's fighter
aircraft manufacturers face an uphill struggle in global export markets
against a formidable array of western competitors.

The lack of significant Russian military funding in recent years for
advanced fighter development programs akin to the US Air Force's F-22
limited the Sukhoi and Mikoyan bureaus to designing and testing numerous
evolutionary variants of the Russian air force's mainstay Su-27 Flanker
and MiG-29 Fulcrum aircraft (analogous to USAF's F-15 and F-16,
respectively). Indeed, this
year's Paris Air Show may eventually come to be viewed later as the last
hurrah for those Soviet-era aircraft, because the Russian firms
apparently now recognize that most developing nations in the market for
modern fighters cannot afford to purchase and maintain such large,
twin-engine combat aircraft. Thus, both Sukhoi and MAPO-MiG, while
continuing to market Su-27 and MiG-29 variants,
are developing-out of their own pockets--smaller new fighters that will
be essential to remain competitive in future export markets against the
likes of the US' planned Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).


The three former Warsaw Pact countries tapped for NATO membership at
July's Madrid conference-Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic-are
currently the focus of western fighter manufacturers' marketing efforts,
since they are expected to buy new US or European fighters to upgrade
their air forces and improve their interoperability with their new NATO
allies. The major Western fighter manufacturers have already lined up
offset work agreements with local industries and continue to wage
intensive marketing campaigns in those countries. The SAAB-British
Aerospace Gripen, Dassault's Mirage 2000-5, Lockheed Martin's F-16C, and
McDonnell Douglas' F/A-18C are the primary competitors, with the MiG-29 a
long shot.

The Czech Republic plans to select one of the fighters for a 24-aircraft
buy this year. The Polish government is also expected to issue a request
for proposals (RFP) for its fighter requirement, estimated to total 50 to
60 aircraft, near the end of the year. Hungary, which acquired some
MiG-29s from Russia two years ago in exchange for debt owed, placed a
provisional $1-billion order for the Swedish Gripen in 1995. However,
last year it postponed finalizing the contract under the pretext that it
wanted to await the outcome of the country's application to join NATO,
and the SAAB-BAe Gripen now faces competition from the F-16 and F/A-18.

Norway plans to choose soon between an advanced version of the F-16,
which its air force already flies, and the Eurofighter. It also evaluated
the F/A-18C and the Rafale. Austria is another European nation that could
also issue an RFP for a new fighter as early as next year. Austrian air
force pilots completed a
flight evaluation of the Gripen this past spring as part of the
pre-evaluation process.

Chile is the site of another fighter dogfight, with Europe's Mirage
2000-5 and Gripen pitted against the US' F-16 and F/A-18 for an initial
$500 million to $800-million, 20-aircraft order next year (see separate
article). Brazil is also contemplating a fighter purchase, as the new
Latin American export market for advanced fighters opens up after a long
dry spell.


Lockheed Martin's F-16 continues to be the world's most successful
fighter aircraft. Since the late 1970s, more than 3,650 single-engine
F-16s have been delivered to 19 air forces, including more than 2,200
purchased by the US Air Force, and 13 countries have made at least one
follow-on buy. The United Arab
Emirates unoffically told the Pentagon in July that it had selected the
F-16C/D over the Eurofighter and the Rafale for a potential 80-aircraft
order worth more than $5 billion. Saudi Arabia is also a likely future
F-16 customer.

Avionics and engine upgrades over the years have steadily increased the
F-16's performance and kept the latest version of the aircraft
state-of-the-art. Lockeed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems already has a
backlog of orders for about 350 F-16s, which cost about $25 million per
copy on the export market, through the year 2000.

The US embargo on sales of F-16s to Pakistan forced that country to
reopen negotiations to buy up to 32 more-expensive Mirage 2000-5s in late
1995, but no contract has been finalized. Taiwan ordered 60 of the
single-engine, single-seat, multirole Mirage 2000-5s, which feature
advanced cockpits and radars, and
deliveries have begun.

Australia is formulating plans to upgrade or replace its fleet of
twin-engine F/A-18A/Bs and retire its aging inventory of F-111s.
McDonnell Douglas contends that its new US Navy F/A-18E/F, with greater
range and payload, is a natural replacement, since it wouldn't require a
new logistical base. Eurofighter officials also plan to compete for the
Australian requirement if a decision is made to purchase a new aircraft.

More than 1,200 F/A-18s are in service worldwide with nations that also
include Canada, Switzerland, Kuwait, and Malaysia. The F/A-18E/F entered
low-rate initial production in March; the first will be delivered to the
US Navy in 1999.

Manufacture of the twin-engine Eurofighter could begin early next year if
Germany's Parliament endorses the July cabinet decision to fund
production. The four industry partners are Germany's DASA, BAe, Italy's
Alenia, and Spain's CASA. The UK plans to buy 232 aircraft; Germany will
purchase 180, Italy 130, and Spain 87. Eurofighter's unit cost was
projected to level out at $59 million
per aircraft but, according to UK government estimates, could end up
closer to $63 million.

The Swedish air force has ordered a total of 204 Gripens, about 40 of
which were in service in July. SAAB-BAe officials said at the Paris Air
Show that export models of the lightweight, single- engine, multirole
fighter will cost about the same as the F-16.

The twin-engine Rafale is in low-rate production for the French navy and
air force, with 13 aircraft funded. Dassault officials say its unit cost
will be 20 percent less than Eurofighter's. An ongoing reevalution of the
program by France's left-wing government could jeopardize a tentative
follow-on order of 48 Rafales approved by the previous conservative


MiG-29s and Su-27s have been the main Russian fighters sold abroad. The
single-seat MiG-29 is in service in 23 countries, including Slovakia,
India, and Malaysia. Iran and Syria also bought additional MiG-29s during
the past year, and Russia is close to finalizing a $450-million deal with
Bulgaria for
14 more of the aircraft. Indonesia has shown interest in the MiG-29 since
its attempt to buy additional F-16s from the US failed, but Indonesian
officials decided last month to an exchange deal that will see 12 SU-30K
fighters going there instead. (In this deal, worth about $400 million,
Russia agreed to purchase palm oil and other commodities of an equal
value from Indonesia.) VPK MAPO sees other near-term export opportunities
in Burma and possibly the Philippines. The MiG-29 is reportedly being
offered for as low as $27 million.

The aircraft's avionics, range, maneuverability, and ability to launch
precision air-to-surface weapons have been steadily improved over the
years. MAPO-MiG officials claim that the latest MiG-29SM variant offered
for export is superior to the Eurofighter, which is not likely to enter
service until 2002 at
the earliest.

China has purchased about 50 Su-27s since 1992, and acquired licensed
production rights last year; Vietnam bought six Su-27s. Russia has been
aggressively promoting its two-seat variant of the Su-27 with upgraded
avionics, the Su-30MK (multirole commercial).

In July, India's air force began operating the first eight of 40
Su-30MKIs it ordered in 1996 for $1.8 billion, and delivery of 12 more
aircraft is scheduled before the end of the year. The last 10 aircraft of
India's order, to be delivered in 2000, will be a more advanced variant
with canards and thrust-vectoring engine exhaust nozzles that improve
maneuverability. The first prototype began flight tests in July. The
advanced features will be retrofitted
later on the first 30 aircraft.

The Su-34 (Su-27IB), a side-by-side two-seat attack derivative of the
Su-27, remains a top production priority for the Russian air force to
replace its Su-24 Fencers with a long-range, all-weather fighter-bomber.
However, progress on the flight-test program has slowed to a crawl due to
funding limitations. A maritime strike version of the large Su-34,
designated the Su-32FN, appeared
at the last two Paris Air Shows and is intended for export.

Increased foreign sales have brought Russia's aircraft design bureaus
much-needed cash infusions; both Sukhoi and MAPO-MiG are using the money
to fund research and development. The latter bureau is focusing on the
MiG-35, a lightweight, twin-engine, multirole MiG-29 derivative with
thrust-vectored engine nozzles. The first prototype is expected to fly
soon. Sukhoi is designing the lightweight, single-engine S-54, which
resembles a scaled-down Su-27. Both could compete against the JSF for
export sales in 15 years.

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URGENT : NUCLEAR BOMB will be used in IRAK


1. Introduction

Few people are aware of this fact: an attack on Iraq involves new
nuclear weapons. This letter explains that the recent developments in
the international arena and the deployment of forces in the Persian
Gulf is about to start a new nuclear era. The latest Iraqi crisis,
caused by Iraqi government's refusal to give permission to UN
inspection team dominated by US after a seven year period of
inspections, serves only an excuse to legitimize a nuclear initiative
involving a new weapon known as "bunker buster", the B-61 Model 11.
The arrival of the new nuclear weapon is a terrifying news in itself,
yet although we are nearing the time B-2 stealth bombers start
dropping B-61s, with explosions 7 to 50 times more powerful than the
one in Hiroshima, there is almost complete silence in the media
and the governments with the exception of Russia.

This letter is composed of material discussing the change in US
nuclear doctrine, the capacity of the new nuclear bomb, Iraqi crisis
as a means to test the bomb, international media carefully concealing
the nuclear aspect of the coming attack and political and strategic
dangers. Most are extractions from reports available on the internet.

2. The New 'Rogue State' Doctrine

In early 1990's US defence strategists developed a new doctrine
against third-world states with non-conventional weapons programs. It
is based on a nuclear attack at weapons development bunkers of such
states with a new bomb that can penetrate deep into a underground
installation before explosion. President Clinton authorized the
B-61 Mod 11 program in 1994 which was based on the tactical B-61 bombs
formerly deployed in Europe but drawn back to America after the Cold
war. Until 1996 US government kept its intentions with the program
secret and maintained that the weapon was aimed against Russian
bunkers and replaced an earlier, heavier penetration weapon B-53 which
was much more powerful but could only be dropped from B-52 bomber
aircraft and not from the new B-2 stealth bombers. US had earlier
signed treaties banning any new nuclear weapons, and to avoid conflict
with the treaties and the Congress, US Defense Department said the
weapon was not a new one but only a modification of the earlier B-61
and the penetrative capability should be considered seperate from the
nuclear part. In mid-1996 US hinted that the weapon could be used
against Libya. In February 1997 the bomb was ready for use and later
on Iran and Iraq were announced as potential targets of the new

The following extractions detail this development:

Washington's determination to combat the efforts of "rogue states"
like Libya to acquire weapons of mass destruction is well known [see
Klare, "The New 'Rogue State' Doctrine," May 8, 1995], but what is
surprising is the openness with which military officials have
discussed the first use of nuclear weapons against a nonnuclear
power. The Pentagon argues that this is legitimate because (1)
chemical weapons, like nuclear weapons, are in the category of weapons
of mass destruction, and thus it is permissible to fight the one with
the other; and (2) the possession of chemical weapons by Libya would
constitute a vital threat to U.S. security, and must be opposed by any
means necessary. (THE NATION, July 8 1996, "Nuking Libya" by Professor
Michael T. Klare defence correspondent and author "Rogue States and
Nuclear Outlaws" http://www.thenation.com/issue/960708/0708edt2.htm)

In November 1995, the Livermore, California-based anti-nuclear
newsletter Citizen's Watch revealed that US weapons labs were
"proceeding in secret with the development of what is essentially a
new nuclear weapon, one with a dangerous, horrific military capability
-- a so-called bunker-buster or earth penetrator bomb." Citizen's
Watch predicted that such weapons "may increasingly be targeted at
non-nuclear Third World nations." Five months later, on April 23 1996,
Harold Smith, Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Atomic Energy,
announced plans for a pre-emptive US nuclear strike in Africa. The
target: a suspected chemical weapons plant being built underground, 40
miles southeast of Tripoli, Libya. Smith told a press briefing that a
new earth-penetrating nuclear bomb, the B61-11, could be ready for use
by the end of the year.(EarthIsland, Gar Smith, "US Official Threatens
to Nuke Africa", http://www.earthisland.org/journal/f96-20A.html)

For the first time in many years, Pentagon officials are talking
openly about using nuclear weapons in a pre-emptive strike against a
nonnuclear power. The intended target is Libya, which is reported by
U.S. intelligence to be completing work on an underground chemical
weapons production facility at Tarhunah, some forty miles south of
Tripoli. Defense Secretary William Perry declared in early April that
the United States will not allow Libya to open the plant, and
Assistant Secretary of Defense Kenneth Bacon said later that month
that the United States was considering a number of options for
destroying the chemical weapons plant, including the use of nuclear
weapons. When nuclear strikes were first discussed in April, Pentagon
officials said that this was not their favored option; they would
prefer to disable the Libyan plant through diplomatic pressure or,
failing that, to destroy it with conventional weapons. But they argued
that the Tarhunah plant is buried so deep that a nuclear attack might
be necessary. According to Bacon, Secretary Perry had concluded that
destruction of the facility "could require, could include, the use of
nuclear weapons." Bacon further disclosed that the nuclear munition
most likely to be used was the B-61 nuclear bomb, a variable-yield
weapon delivered by aircraft. (The Pentagon later indicated that a
nuclear strike was not being considered -- but only after Bacon had
already mentioned the possible use of the B-61.) (THE NATION, July 8
1996, "Nuking Libya" by Professor Michael T. Klare defence
correspondent and author "Rogue States and Nuclear Outlaws"

In January, US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency Director John Holem
pledged that the US would honor the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and
halt the development of any new nuclear weapons. The Pentagon claims
that the B61-11 is not a "new" weapon, but simply a "modification" of
the B61-7 specific gravity bomb. But during the April 23 press
briefing, Pentagon officials told the press that "We are now working
on a series of weapons -- both nuclear and conventional -- to deal
with deeply buried targets." Launching a unilateral peacetime nuclear
attack on a non-nuclear country would violate the 1978 Nuclear
Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). On April 5, President Clinton
reaffirmed US support of the NPT and, on April 11, the US signed the
African Nuclear Weapons Free Zone Treaty in Cairo. Smith's public
threat therefore violates the spirit of the NPT, the Cairo treaty and
the US pledge of "no first use" of atomic weapons. If unchallenged,
the Pentagon's threat would mark a radical shift in US nuclear
policy. Nuclear hawks have lobbied hard for the "first-use" of nuclear
weapons against "weapons of mass destruction" in other countries.
(EarthIsland, Gar Smith, "US Official Threatens to Nuke Africa",

The answer to why the Clinton Administration developed and deployed
the B61 at this time should be obvious: Such a weapon is urgently
needed since countries like Russia, China, Iraq, Libya, Iran and North
Korea have been building hardened underground command and control
facilities, leadership bunkers, factories for weapons of mass
destruction and tunnels to protect missiles and submarine forces. The
capacity to hold such facilities at risk may be critical to deterring
future aggression from one or more of those states and to defeating
such aggression should it occur. The Center for Security Policy
welcomes the modification of the B61 and its introduction into the
U.S. arsenal. (Center for Security Policy, Decision Brief, report
No. 97-D 75, "'Penetrating': Clinton's 'New' Nuclear Weapon
Underscores" 2 June 1997, http://www.security-policy.org/papers/)

The threat posed by a growing number of underground facilities in
nations unfriendly to the USA will be the subject of a report
commissioned by the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and
Technology, Paul Kaminski. The Defense Science Board (DSB) will
report on the military and security threat posed by such underground
facilities as command and control bunkers, ballistic missile sites and
production and storage facilities for weapons of mass destruction.
Kaminski referred particularly to two sites: the underground chemical
weapons facility at Tarhunah in Libya, and "a huge underground
facility in Russia whose purpose is undetermined." Ordering the
study, Kamininski said that underground facilities can "appear in a
number of forms." This includes tunneling in mountains, "cut and
cover" construction, hardened buildings above ground or basement
facilities under urban civilian buildings. (JANE'S DEFENSE WEEKLY,

The first new nuclear warhead to reach the Air Force since the end of
the Cold War was formally received in February, and not one major
newspaper or television network thought the event important enough to
report it. The weapon, called the "B61 Mod 11," is a 12-foot long
nuclear bomb that can burrow some 50 feet into the ground before
detonating with a blast many thousands of times greater than the
largest conventional weapon in the U.S. arsenal. Nuclear war planners
-- yes, they are still busy, despite President Clinton's constant
assurances that the threat of nuclear war has disappeared -- claim the
"earth penetrator" is needed to destroy Russian command bunkers buried
deep underground. ... Because the United States does not currently
assemble new nuclear weapons from scratch, the B61 Mod 11 is a
modification of a B61 bomb already in the arsenal. In fact, the
Department of Energy downplays its significance, telling the trade
newspaper Defense News it "is not new, in any way, shape or form."
Surprisingly, many in the arms control community agree. Making too big
of a deal about the "new" weapon, they say, might further upset START
II ratification and even undermine the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
In effect they are saying keep quiet about a new nuclear weapon so as
to not get too many people upset. ... President Clinton authorized the
B61 Mod 11 when he signed the 1994 Nuclear Weapons Stockpile
Memorandum. The connection with larger U.S. interests was never made.
(Jinn Magazine, PACIFIC NEWS SERVICE, 24 March 1997, "New Nuclear Bomb
Enters the Ranks in Resounding Silence", by William M. Arkin,
columnist for The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists,

Washington Post reported on the recent deployment of a B-61 nuclear
bomb modified to penetrate tens of meters into the earth and destroy
hardened underground bunkers. The article discusses over the
possibility that even a Clinton Administration committed to
"denuclearization" may have found it necessary to retain and enhance
the Nation's nuclear weapons capabilities. (Washington Post, 1 June
1997, Outlook Section, "The Birth of a New Bomb: Shades of
Dr. Strangelove! Will We Learn to Love the B61-11?")

One such program is the B-61-11, an airdropped nuclear bomb designed
to penetrate and destroy reinforced underground bunkers, such as those
that are thought to house Libyan chemical weapons factories. The
B-61-11, intended to improve on an earlier bunker-busting bomb, will
be constructed by placing an existing nuclear warhead into a new
reinforced bomb casing. Is it a new weapon or just tinkering with an
old one? It depends on your definitions of new and old.
(FOX News, "Critics Assail 'New' U.S. Nuke Programs", August 20, 1997,
by Scott Neuman, http://www.foxnews.com/news/082097/nukes.sml/)

Critics contend, however, that the redesigned B-61 is
actually a new weapon designed to be used against small rogue nations
like Libya, North Korea and Iran, which the United States suspects may
be trying to develop nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. ...
experts say that one function of the redesigned B-61, like other
nuclear weapons, is as an implied threat. ``It's a new rogue-state
weapon,'' said one government official, who spoke on the condition of
anonymity... The official said the repackaged B-61 bomb was useful in
``a new world order'' that has followed the era of superpower
confrontation... William Arkin, a nongovernmental expert on nuclear
weapons and an author of several books on the subject said there was a
second reason for the replacement: a change in the delivery system.
The B-53 was designed to be dropped from a B-52 bomber, but that aging
warplane is being converted to drop cruise missiles that will fly the
last few hundred or thousand miles to their targets. The bomber that
could penetrate into enemy territory over the target is a stealth
model, the B-2, which cannot carry the B-53, because that bomb weighs
nearly 9,000 pounds. The B-61 weighs 750 pounds.
(New York Times article c. 1997, "U.S. REFITS NUCLEAR BOMB TO DESTROY
ENEMY BUNKERS" by Matthew L. Wald,

President Clinton's new nuclear-war guidelines expand the criteria for
using nuclear weapons and adding new targets. Chief among the new
targets are the rogue states. The directive orders the Pentagon to
plan for attacks against countries that use weapons of mass
destruction. It even identifies specific nuclear contingencies
involving non-nuclear countries such as Iran, Iraq, Libya and North
Korea. The Pentagon's vision is that planning for nuclear war with the
Third World is necessary to deter rogue states from using chemical and
biological weapons. Threatening nuclear destruction, the argument
goes, is the only language regional troublemakers understand.
(South News, Jan 29 1998 "Pentagon contemplating nukes against Iraq",

3. The B-61 Model 11

The new weapon B-61 Model 11 lies at the heart of the new nuclear
doctrine detailed in the previous section, involving nuclear strikes
against non-nuclear states such as Iran, Iraq or Libya, which are
outside the US dominated international system. It is developed within
three years from an earlier tactical bomb with additional penetration
capability. Earlier penetrative bombs such as B-53 did not actually
penetrate but with hundreds of times greater power, the resulting
crater was deep enough to destroy Soviet bunkers. The main idea behind
the new bomb is it explodes deep in the mountain or an extra-thick
concrete bunker so its explosive effects will not be as much as a
nuclear bomb explosion above the ground. However the US bomb targeting
Middle Eastern countries is 7 to 50 times more powerful than the one
dropped in Hiroshima in 1945 and certainly is not an environmentally
acceptable option as claimed recently, even if the concept of nuclear
initiative against a non-nuclear nation is left aside. It is a nuclear
weapon to create mass destruction. B-61 Model 11 is to be dropped from
US Air Force's B-2 stealth bomber aircraft which can avoid radars and
move in the enemy territory for precision attack.

The following discuss the potential power of the bomb:

[Some of 3,600 Pantex] Technicians are now dismantling B-61 bombs,
variants of which have yields between 100 and 500 kilotons, according
to the authoritative Nuclear Weapons Databook. (A Pantex spokesperson
will say only that the yield is "between one kiloton and 999
kilotons.") In comparison, Little Boy, which destroyed Hiroshima at
the end of World War II, had a yield of 13 kilotons. Each B-61 has
about 6,000 parts. (Scientific American, September 1996, by
Glenn Zorpette, entitled "A DAY AT THE ARMAGEDDON FACTORY")

Sandia National Laboratory --- The B61-11 was authorized in August
1995 with a requested delivery date of December 31,1996. The B61-11 is
a mechanical field modification to the B61-7. The B61-11 will be an
earth- penetrating weapon that will replace the aging B53 bomb. The
B61- 11 may be delivered by a variety of aircraft including the B-2A,
F16, and the B-1B. The retrofit will consist of repackaging the Los
Alamos physics package and Sandia's arming fuzing, and firing (AF&F)
electronics into a new one-piece steel earth-penetrating center-case
designed by Sandia. We have conducted 13 full-scale drop tests this
year [1996] three in Alaska and 10 at the Tonopah Test Range, in
support of the development program. Sandia has also designed and is
fabricating for the Air Force ten trainers and nine sets of handling
gear. The program is on schedule and B61-7 to B61-11 retrofit kits
were to be delivered to the Air Force in December 1996. Retrofits were
scheduled to begin in January 1997.(from Mr Bruce Hall at Greenpeace
who adds that The Kansas City plant continues to do the fabrication
work for the B61-11 until at least 1999, subject "re: More Penetrating
developments", March 6, 1997, USENET)

New York Times newspaper published an article on 31 May 1997,
Saturday, on 1st page of the 1st section continuing onto Page 9,
on the so-called "Bunker Buster" B-61 nuclear weapon intended to
destroy underground facilities with minimal surface effects. It
discussed the evolution of the weapon from the B-53, potential uses
and political complications.

For the first time since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the United
States has put a nuclear weapon with new capabilities into the field,
a ``bunker buster'' designed to destroy underground factories or
laboratories while causing relatively little surface damage. The
weapon, called the B-61, is a repackaging of a hydrogen bomb that has
been deployed in the nation's arsenal for 30 years. That bomb was
originally designed to be dropped from an airplane by parachute and
exploded while still aloft. In the last few months the actual warhead
has been fitted into a new, needle-shaped case made with depleted
uranium that is 30 percent heavier than lead. Dropped without a
parachute, it can burrow as deep as 50 feet into the soil before
exploding. (New York Times article c. 1997, "U.S. REFITS NUCLEAR BOMB

While the total number of nuclear weapons stationed in Europe has
changed since 1992, the number of European countries where weapons are
currently stored has not changed. Bombs for U.S. and/or NATO aircraft
continue to be deployed in Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Turkey,
Belgium, Netherlands, and Greece. ... The reductions in Europe are
dramatic, with more than 6,000 warheads of almost a dozen types
deployed in 1985 and only some 150 B61 tactical bombs today. B61s
withdrawn from Europe have been retained in a reserve/hedge status in
the United States (at Kirtland and Nellis) and are not scheduled for
retirement. The locations of nuclear weapons remains an official
secret despite the fact that nuclear security requirements and other
indicators make their presence obvious.
Warhead/Weapon User Total Location (Weapon)
B61 Mod 11 Bomb Air Force 50 Whiteman AF Base, MO (B-2)
(September/October 1997 Nuclear Notebook, "Where the Bombs Are, 1997"
Nuclear Notebook is prepared by Robert S. Norris
and William M. Arkin of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

While it preaches global arms control, the US Clinton
Administration is stepping up the technological and nuclear arms race
against the third world. In early April 6 radar-evading B-2 "stealth"
bomber were officially commissioned into the U.S. nuclear strike force
with a new generation of Penetrator N-bombs. The weapons are the
biggest enhancement of U.S. nuclear capability since the cold war's
end. The Pentagon can now launch precision raids from its own soil
against command bunkers in Iraq or the kind of chemical-weapons
factory the US says Libya is building inside a mountain. The
12-foot-long B61-11 drills deep into the earth before exploding in a
small blast whose shockwaves can crush targets hundreds of feet below,
according to information from the Los Alamos Study Group and
Greenpeace. ... The B61-11 is an earth-penetrating nuclear bomb that
can be delivered by variety of U.S. aircraft including F-16 fighter
planes, B-1 and B-2 bombers, and possibly the B-52 bomber. As a low
yield earth-penetrating "mininuke," it could provide the United States
with a weapon that some say could be more realistically used than
larger nuclear bombs in regional conflicts. ... The Department of
Energy classifies the B61-11 is outside this law as a "modification"
of an existing weapon. The "11th modification" dropped from a plane to
slam into the earth at the speed of a .45-caliber bullet. the B61 is
engineered to explode after shallowly impacting the ground. ...
The New Mexico labs and the Defense Department conducted drop tests of
bomb prototypes in Alaska and Nevada. New parts for the B61-11 are
being manufactured at Tennessee's Oak Ridge Reservation and at the
Kansas City Plant in Missouri. Assembly is taking place at an
undisclosed location. ("Penetrator N-bombs threaten third world",
by David Muller, President of the South Movement, Australia

4. Iraqi crisis and the start of a new nuclear era

The new US nuclear doctrine does not only target Iraqi regime, Libya,
North Korea, and to a greater extend, Iran, are all in the waiting
list. However President Saddam Hussein's Iraq is the easiest target
among them to legitimize the usage of the bomb and it is easier to
claim after using the bomb that the point of explosion was a
non-conventional weapons site even if it were not. After the bomb
is legitimized, US will not need the same amount of diplomatic
manouvering to use it for other countries of its choice.

A careful study of the developments makes it obvious that the
so-called crisis, caused by the team of UN inspectors, headed by an
American and dominated by American and British nationals, insisted on
unlimited access to presidential palaces as well as any other location
within Iraqi borders at a short notice. This request, which is also
submitted in undiplomatic language, was rejected by the Iraqi
government but they hinted a permission would be granted if it is
to be lowered below a humiliating level. It seems today that the US
may have taken advantage of this diplomatic row as a suitable point to
actually test the weapon on Iraqi soil and start the new nuclear
pax americana. The US immediately started arms deployment in the
region following the row and srictly avoided any diplomatic solutions
from the start.

If the nuclear option were not considered, the US cannot realistically
expect to achieve any objectives apart from weakening Iraqi civilian
population, which will eventually increase international sympathy and
cause lifting of the embargo, strengthening Saddam's position. Without
the "bunker buster" it cannot destroy Saddam - and it never wanted to
as there is always the danger of a new Islamist regime replacing
Saddam. There is no deployment for land attack. The non-conventional
weapons if remained at all after seven years of comprehensive
inspections and destructions cannot be destroyed by conventional
weapons alone. Damaging Iraqi military strength is meaningless because
post-Gulf War Iraqi army does not possess the ability to carry out an
invasion of any of its neighbours, and after air strikes it will never
be weak enough to allow any neighbouring country's military
invasion, leaving it in the same place. In short, apart from
initiating the nuclear option, there is no US interest in the
escelation of the row into a major crisis with military confrontation,
especially any assault will rule-out future weapons inspections.

The following are on a possible nuclear (B-61) attack at Iraq:

Despite major improvements in the U.S. arsenal since the end
of the 1991 war against Iraq, America's ability to burrow into Saddam
Hussein's weapons bunkers and destroy chemical or biological stocks
remains severely limited ... Because there appears little chance that
American ground troops will be inserted into the region in great
numbers, any U.S. military operation in the region most likely would
involve air strikes... The United States has developed a nuclear
warhead that can penetrate dozens of feet underground - a variant of
the B-61 model bomb. But using it would be highly unlikely,
particularly without a major provocation. (Boston Globe 11/15/97 from
Associated Press, "Mighty U.S. arsenal limited in ability to destroy
Iraqi arms" http://www.boston.com/globe/latest/daily/15/)

The Pentagon refused to rule out using nuclear weapons against
Iraq. But has said that air strikes against Iraq would be massive and
sustained. Cohen, warned recently that any military strike against
Iraq as a result of the crisis would not be "pinpricks". Asked
whether that might include the use of nuclear weapons, Pentagon's
chief spokesman said Tuesday. Bacon replied: "I don't think we've
ruled anything in or out in this regard.'' (South News, Jan 29 1998
"Pentagon contemplating nukes against Iraq",

Allies ready to hammer Iraq with days of `pinprick' strikes over
detailed possible targets. Among the Pentagon's top targets for future
attacks are command bunkers located at Talill and Nasiriyah, within
the U.N.-mandated no-fly zone in southern Iraq, military sources said.
(The Washington Times, Nov 27 1997)

The [Pentagon] official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it
was "not logical to believe" U.S. bomb strikes could destroy all those
facilities, which are sprinkled throughout Iraq. Except for a newly
developed nuclear warhead that can penetrate dozens of feet
underground, U.S. missiles probably cannot reach the most deeply
buried Iraqi targets. ... "We believe that Iraq maintains a small
force of Scud-type missiles, a small stockpile of chemical and
biological munitions, and the capability to quickly resurrect
biological and chemical weapons production," the Defense Department
said in a report Nov. 8. (ASSOCIATED PRESS report by Robert Burns,
Saturday, November 15, 1997, The Detroit News, http://www.detnews.com)

Retired General Kemal Yavuz, former Commander of Military Academies,
[and the commander of Turkish army forces to invade Northern Iraq in
1991] said: "Air strikes will strengthen Saddam. If Saddam is not the
target, something else must be searched for." (Milliyet, 8 Subat 1998)

5. Media black-out

Although the crisis over UN inspectors in Iraq is revolving around
making the nuclear strike acceptable, neither the Western governments
not the media is making much noise on this terrifying possibility. The
media have in the recent days promoted the new "bunker buster" bomb
B-61 Model 11, but not as a nuclear weapon but as a smart,
environmentally-friendly option. Television broadcasts or
newspaper reports on the crisis talk about the new weapons, and indeed
the amazing penetrative capability of the new B-61 is glorified, but
the mention of the words "nuclear" or "nuclear explosion" is strictly
avoided. It is interesting that now almost everywhere they replace the
words "nuclear explosion" with euphemisms like "30-second explosion
with a very high temparature", the latter sounding much more
acceptable than the former. As this main aspect of the crisis is
being kept secret, Russian President Boris Yeltsin's strong warning
against a third world war and terrorist groups to revenge the American
attack with stolen nuclear weapons fell on deaf ears in the West.
Some commentators, many ignorant themselves of the multi-Hiroshima
nature of the bomb, dismissed the Russian president's speech as a
bizzare outburst.

Some examples from the media, hiding the nuclear aspect of
"bunker buster":

British defense expert Paul Beaver [says:] "there will also be, we
believe, the deployment of something called the "joint direct attack
munition," which is something a little bit out of a comic book. It
is capable of hitting a target, penetrating that target's bunker
systems and exploding in the first, second, third or fourth floor,
depending on where you know the target is. now what is critical about
that, is it will generate a very high temperature. That temperature
will incinerate all of the chemicals that are stored there. So if you
want to take out the chemicals and not allow them to disperse across
baghdad, that is the sort of system you would use. (Voice of America,
radio broadcast, Feb 5 1998, by Andre de Nesnera)

"One of the few things Iraq does well is dig and then put large
amounts of concrete and metal on top of it," says defense expert
Anthony Cordesman. "These are targets the U.S. has not been able to
successfully hit in the past." The solution is new "penetrator"
warheads with "smart" fuses that can be told to pound through layers
of concrete or other barriers before exploding. There are 2,000-pound
penetrators and a 5,000-pound penetrator, both of which can be dropped
from the F-15E fighter/attack jet. The Air Force is also working to
put the 5,000-pounder on the Stealth B-2 bomber so that the bomber
could be used for the first time in live combat. But the penetrators
create their own political and moral problem: What might happen if
they blow up a bunker filled with germ weapons or poison gas? The
resulting cloud could kill thousands of innocent civilians.
Technicians at Eglin Air Force base say they may have solved the
problem by creating a warhead that, instead of just exploding, ignites
a 30-second inferno that would vaporize chemical or biological
agents. The resulting cloud would be harmless. (ABC News, Jan 29 1998)

NBC News reported Wednesday 28 January 1998 that,"So-called
bunker-buster bombs would be used to penetrate deep underground to
take out hidden weapons, supplies and possibly his (Iraqi) top
military commanders."

Australian television ( Channel 9 and SBS ) ran a story yesterday
from the American based ABC News about the deployment of new
penetrator bunker busting bombs by the US against Iraq.

6. International Support

United States cannot easily stand responsible alone for reinitiating
the nuclear explosion era. It needs support from the majority of world
leaders, especially of the permenant members of the UN Security
Council. It may afford to leave China outside go on, even with
a Security Council veto, but cannot start a nuclear strike leaving
China, Russia and France firmly against such an option. International
reception has not been as warm as in 1990/1991, there is even the
complaint that British support may not be as much as counted for.
Israel has been firmly behind US military action throughout the crisis
and US granted it to use nuclear weapons if Iraq launched Scud missles
with chemical warheads against Tel Aviv. Turkey, Israel's new ally,
was against any military action until last week but following a visit
of a US team, the prime minister is now supporting the strikes. The
B-2 stealth aircraft to drop nuclear bombs in Iraq may use the US
airbase near Incirlik, Turkey.

President Clinton and prime minister Blair agreed on a plan and it is
declared that the strikes are going to be for only three to four days.
In secret talks with various heads of government, US may have promised
that it will not use the nuclear weapon B-61 Model 11 without
provocation. Following the Clinton-Blair declaration German chancellor
Kohl announced his government will allow strikes from aircraft taking
off from US bases in Germany. However it is clear that such a short
time is not enough for achieving any military objective and after the
strikes if non-conventional weapons were being developed, Iraqi
government will not allow weapons inspections at all. So a
conventional attack on Iraq makes things worse. Therefore it is likely
that the nuclear "bunker buster" B-61 Model 11, for which the crisis
is escalated and the US government is preparing itself in the last
four years, may eventually be used if Iraqi government hints the
slightest non-conventional provocation. Such a provocation may
artificially be created as well.

Some notes on the diplomatic developments:

The two leaders [President Clinton and Prime Minister Blair] are
thought to have decided on heavy three- or four-day bombardment of
targets aimed at destroying Iraq's ability to produce weapons of mass
destruction. But despite pressure from within the Pentagon, they are
not expected to back an all-out assault on Saddam and his ruling
elite. ... Mr Blair's official spokesman said last night that the two
governments had agreed on military action which could be carried out
"without damage to civilian life, which they would try to avoid, and
without environmental damage"... But the Pentagon and State Department
are voicing serious doubts about what they perceive as London's
efforts to mollify the misgivings of its EU ally, France. John Bolton,
the US assistant secretary of state at the UN during the Gulf war,
said the dispute was serious. "The British could open up a can of
worms, with countries like Russia adding amendments that could further
delay action." ... there were also signs that [Prime Minister Tony
Blair] was concerned that the British public had not yet been won over
to the need for military strikes. (The Sunday Telegraph, 8 February
1998, "US and Britain decide on Iraqi air-strike targets", by David
Wastell, Philip Sherwell, Ivo Dawnay and Tom Baldwin)

Britain and the United States this weekend moved to end their
isolation in preparation for military action against Iraq, narrowing
the goal of any attack to reducing or delaying Saddam Husseins ability
to develop non-conventional weapons. In his press conference with Tony
Blair on Friday, President Clinton issued the most precise formulation
to date of Anglo-American aims in any strike against Iraq, apparently
discounting the ousting of Saddam... Clinton said: I think the precise
question should be, Could any military action, if all else fails,
substantially reduce or delay Saddam Husseins capacity to develop
weapons of mass destruction and deliver them to his neighbours? The
answer to that, I am convinced, is yes. (The Observer, 'We'll shoot
them but it won't really be war' Ed Vulliamy and Patrick Wintour
report in Washington, Sunday February 8, 1998)

Germany said its airbases would be made available for strike aircraft.
The announcement was made by US Defence Secretary William Cohen as he
toured Europe trying to muster support for the Anglo-American stance.
(The Observer, Sunday, February 8, 1998)

Sir Peter de la Billiere, who commanded Britain's forces in the Gulf
war, believes air strikes won't stop Saddam - but that the West must
back its leaders in the dark days ahead. ("Bombs won't beat him",
The Daily Telegraph, Saturday 7 February 1998)

The Prime Minister, Mesut Yilmaz, in a move widely welcomed by
Americans and British officials, said Iraq deserved to be attacked if
Saddam Hussein failed to comply with United Nations resolutions on
destroying his weapons of mass destruction. Mr Yilmaz addressing the
Turkish parliament yesterday described the dangers poised by Iraq's
huge arsenal of chemical and biological weapons and called on Baghdat
to destroy these. Just days ago Turkey said it was firmly opposed to
America's plans to conduct strikes against Iraq and said it would not
allow the use of Turkish bases in any future raids against its Arab
neighbour. (The Daily Telegraph - 5 February 1998, Amberin Zaman,
"Turkish premier backs force against Saddam")

7. Conclusion

A nuclear bomb dropped in the Middle East is itself a catastrophic
event. But immediate consequences may be even more horrifying.

In case of a United States nuclear strike on Iraqi soil, it is
reasonable to expect that the Iraqi leadership responds with a maximum
capacity strike against the nearest target, Israel. In such a case,
if Iraq retained some non-conventional weapons of mass destruction, it
may launch Scuds with chemical or biological warheads at Tel Aviv.
If such an Iraqu response causes partial destruction of the city, at
least a nuclear strike at Baghdat should be expected. In case of
overall distruction of the city's population, it is certain to provoke
Israeli nuclear strikes at Baghdad and possibly a number of other main
cities with large populations in the region.

It may also be the case that Iraqi government does not possess any
weapons of mass destruction to respond the nuclear strike. That will be
announced as the success of the US nuclear strike and the destruction
of Iraqi non-conventional capability, and usage of the bomb will then
be legitimized, certainly at least by the Western media. Before the
whole picture is comprehended by the region's population and its
long-time effects will be felt in waves of Islamist reactions, Iran,
the main rival of Israel in the region, is certain to be the next
target, and count-down for an all out Middle Eastern war, with US,
Israel and Turkey at one side and Iran and the Arabs on the other, is

Before the first B-61 Model 11 model is dropped from a stealth
aircraft, and the world is drawn into terrifying wars, do all you can
do to stop it.

The coming days may be the most important days of recent history.

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 10 Feb 1998 to 11 Feb 1998 - Special issue