"Shock and Awe" - Russian Expert Predicts 500,000 Iraqi Dead in War Designed To Test Weapons
Rossiyskaya Gazeta in Russian, February 23, 2003
Global Research translation -
Interview with military analyst Vladimir Slipchenko by Aleksandr
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
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
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
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
[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
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
[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
[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.