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"Shock and Awe"
Interview with military analyst Vladimir Slipchenko by Aleksandr Khokhlov;
Vladimir Slipchenko, is military analyst, doctor of military sciences, professor, and major general of reserves, is a major Russian specialist on future wars.
His predictions of the course of US military operations in Iraq (1991, 1996, and 1998), Yugoslavia (1999), and Afghanistan (2001) coincided almost 100% with what subsequently happened in reality. Today the military analyst predicts the course and outcome of the next US war against Iraq, which the American military themselves have already dubbed Operation "Shock And Awe."
[Khokhlov] Vladimir Ivanovich, so much has already been said about the reasons and causes of the new war in Iraq, but I cannot get rid of the feeling that they are either talking about something entirely different, or not telling the full story...
[Slipchenko] The main purpose of the war is indeed being left out of the picture and nobody is saying anything about it. I see the main purpose of the war as being the large-scale real-life testing by the United States of sophisticated models of precision weapons. That is the objective that they place first All the other aims are either incidental, or outright disinformation.
For more than 10 years now the United States has conducted exclusively no-contact wars. In May 2001 George Bush Jr., delivering his first presidential speech to students at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, spoke of the need for accelerated preparation of the US Armed Forces for future wars. He emphasized that they should be high-tech Armed Forces capable of conducting hostilities throughout the world by the no-contact method. This task is now being carried out very consistently.
It should be observed that the Pentagon buys from the military-industrial complex only those weapons that have been tested in conditions of real warfare and received a certificate of quality on the battlefield. After a series of live experiments -- the wars in Iraq, Yugoslavia, and Afghanistan -- many corporations in the US military-industrial complex have been granted the right to sell their precision weapons to the Pentagon. They include Martin Lockheed, General Electric, and Loral. But many other well-known companies are as yet without orders from the military department. The bottom line is $50-60 billion a year. Who would want to miss out on that kind of money? But the present suppliers of precision weapons to the Pentagon are also constantly developing new types of arms and they must also be tested The US military-industrial complex demands testbed wars from its country's political leadership. And it gets them.
And that is the main aim of the new war in Iraq.
Peculiarities of the War
[Khokhlov] How will this war differ from the no-contact wars previously waged by the United States?
[Slipchenko] First, in terms of its political objectives. For the first time since 1991 the United States sets the goal of changing the political system in the enemy state and removing or physically eliminating the country's leadership.
They have not previously succeeded in this. Remember, the Americans did not previously try to remove Saddam Husayn from politics, and even Milosevic was not removed from the post of Yugoslav leader by military means. The US Armed Forces carried out their required tests of new weapons and then packed up their guns and went home. Now they face a very difficult mission.
Therefore, second, because of the change of objective the strategy of the war also changes radically For the first time the war aims mean that the United States must without fail achieve total victory. To that end it is necessary to achieve three objectives: rout the enemy's Armed Forces, destroy his economy, and change the political system.
The Iraqi army will be subjected to very powerful blows. It will be physically annihilated. In order to impose a new puppet government in the country (and I am sure the Americans have already formed that government) and to give that government the opportunity to get on with its work, the United States will be forced actually to occupy Iraq. The occupation of territory within which seats of organized resistance could persist would lead to large losses among US Army personnel. Guerrillas, and in the context of the Arab world also shahid martyrs wearing explosive belts -- naturally the Americans do not need this Therefore they will totally annihilate the Iraqi army. Practically all Iraq servicemen will die. There will be terrible carnage.
[Khokhlov] Does Iraq have any chance of offering resistance to the United States?
[Slipchenko] In Iraq we will once again see a situation where two generations of warfare meet. Iraq is strong and prepared for a war of the last generation -- on land and for land, for every target. But 600,000 soldiers, 220 military aircraft, something like 2,200 tanks, 1,900 artillery guns, around 500 multiple rocket launchers, 6 SCUD missile launchers, 110 surface-to-air missile systems, and 700 anti-aircraft installations will prove useless when they meet the aggressor.
In fact, there will not be a meeting on the battlefield as such. The Americans, waging a no-contact war, will methodically use precision missile strikes to destroy all the key facilities of Iraq's state and military infrastructure, and will then wipe out enemy manpower with missile and bombing raids.
Progress of the War
[Khokhlov] How will the Americans begin hostilities?
[Slipchenko] First of all there will be precision strikes against bunkers and command posts where Saddam Husayn and the Iraqi leaders might be hiding, against Army headquarters and troop positions, and against components of the air defense system. Sophisticated ground-penetrating vacuum-type precision munitions will be used to destroy buried targets. Even if one of these weapons explodes not exactly inside, say, an underground bunker, in any case the exits from the shelter will be blocked. The bunker will become a mass grave for everyone who is unfortunate enough to be in it.
To destroy armored equipment, in the very first days the Americans will use cluster aviation bombs with self-guided munitions. The "mother"-cluster bomb gives "birth" to several tens or hundreds of "baby" bombs, each of which independently chooses its own target to destroy on the ground.
I am confident that in the very first hours of the war the United States will also use new pulse bombs They are also called microwave bombs. The principle by which these weapons operate is as follows: an instantaneous discharge of electromagnetic radiation on the order of two megawatts. At a distance of 2-2.5 kilometers from the epicenter of the explosion the "microwaves" instantly put out of action all radioelectronic systems, communications and radar systems, all computers, radio receivers, and even hearing aids and heart pacemakers. All these things are destroyed by the meltdown method. Just imagine, a person's heart explodes!...
As a result of the use of these weapons Iraqi systems for command and control of the state and troops will be destroyed practically instantaneously.
[Khokhlov] What other new types of arms could be tested?
[Slipchenko] Since this war will be experimental for the United States, several new types of precision cruise missiles will be tested with a view to obtaining quality certificates. I believe attention will be devoted first and foremost to missile launches from submarines. The Americans are planning to make their submarine fleet the main launchpad.
The Pentagon will continue to perfect the mechanism for targeting precision weapons. In 2000 with the help of the space shuttle Endeavor the United States scanned around 80% of the surface of the Earth and created an electronic map of the planet in three-dimensional coordinates. The level of detail of objects on this map is down to the size of a window. That is to say, you could train a lens -- installed in a military satellite -- first on Baghdad, then on the city center, then on Saddam's palace, and on his bedroom window. You give the command -- and in a few minutes' time a targeted cruise missile flies into that window...
[Khokhlov] How long will this war go on?
[Slipchenko] I predict that Operation Shock And Awe will last not more than six weeks. The first period of the war -- the "shock" -- will last around 30 days. Some 400-500 sea- and air-based precision cruise missiles will be launched against targets in Iraq every 24 hours. During that month Iraq's troops and its economic potential will be annihilated. Anything that survives for any reason will be guaranteed destruction in the next two weeks. In the second stage -- "awe" -- the Americans will conduct a piloted version of a total cleanup of the territory. To this end the United States will use B-52 and B-2 Stealth bombers. In four hours of flight one Stealth is capable of detecting and destroying as many as 200 stationary or moving targets on the ground. The United States intends to use at least 16 B-2 bombers The Stealths will be in the air constantly, one replacing the other.
[Khokhlov] Will the Iraqi air defense system be able to counter the American planes and cruise missiles?
[Slipchenko] Iraq already has no air defense facilities in the north and south of the country -- US aviation is constantly bombing these areas. What remains in the center of the country will be destroyed in the first 10 minutes of the war. Iraq's anti-aircraft system is based on the classical active radar detection system: emit -- detect -- illuminate -- destroy. The Americans will exploit this for their own purposes. As soon as an Iraqi radar reveals itself by emitting electromagnetic energy, a precision cruise missile will be dispatched against the "revealed" air defense facility using this same beam. Iraq has no chance of countering this.
[Khokhlov] How much will this war cost?
[Slipchenko] According to my estimates, $80 billion. But the total sum spent could rise to 100 billion. We will never know the exact figure of expenditure, if only because the war will be partly funded by private companies offering the Pentagon their experimental models of precision weapons for free in the hope of future dividends. The program for rearming the US Armed Forces is about $600 billion Therefore today the military-industrial complex need not stint, it can give weapons to the Army for free.
[Khokhlov] What human losses could Iraq suffer?
[Slipchenko] Very considerable ones. Since the Americans are planning to physically annihilate the Iraqi army, I reckon that at least 500,000 people will be killed. This will be a very bloody war.
After the Apocalypse
[Khokhlov] What will come after the war?
[Slipchenko] The Americans will have to occupy Iraq. The occupation corps will apparently consist of four mechanized and armored divisions, one parachute division, and one division of the British Armed Forces. All these troops will not fight. There will be no ground operations in Iraq! The US Army will enter a burning desert -- the Iraqis will certainly set fire to the oilfields -- without a single shot being fired. There will simply be nobody to shoot at them.
[Khokhlov] How long will the direct occupation last? Will the Americans stay in Iraq forever?
[Slipchenko] They will certainly leave Iraq. There is no point in their staying there. The occupation will last one and a half, two, or at the most three years and will cost American taxpayers a further $80-100 billion to maintain the troops in Iraq. Then the United States may enlist in an operation that they will undoubtedly call "peacekeeping" the Poles, Czechs, and other "new recruits" to NATO, the Estonians, but they themselves will leave. The "peacekeepers" will stay a further one to one and a half years in Iraq.
During this time major investments will be made in the country with a regime friendly to the United States, and in two years' time Iraq's oil sector will reach a level of oil extraction of 2-2.4 million barrels a day. In five years they will be extracting up to 5 million barrels of oil a day. The world oil price will fall to $12-15 a barrel. The currently stagnant US economy will soar.
[Khokhlov] And what will happen to Russia's economy, which is currently supported exclusively by "petrodollars"?
[Slipchenko] I have no answer to that question. I am an expert in wars.
Copyright Rossiyskaya Gazeta 2003. For fair use only/ pour usage équitable seulement .