IT'S A NOVEMBER 6 WAR
Daily Mirror - Aug 9 2002
By Tom Newton Dunn and Ben Taylor
AMERICA will attack Iraq on November 6, US defence experts believe.
They are so sure of the date that they have posted an Iraq Countdown clock on the internet to show the minutes ticking away.
Five of the US Navy's aircraft carriers will be close to the Gulf region. Weather and
political factors also favour the date picked by international think tank
GlobalSecurity.org for the start of the campaign to topple Saddam Hussein.
Respected commentator John Pike, director of the Washington-based organisation,
told the Daily Mirror: "Iraq is going to happen a lot sooner than most people think."
The eight key pointers are:
- President Bush must have resolved the Iraq situation when his re-election
campaign begins in under 18 months, and a war and clean-up will take at least a
- Delaying an attack will give Saddam more time to prepare his defences;
- A war in the desert would be almost impossible before October because it is too
hot for troops to wear protective bio-chemical suits;
- In December and January, temperatures are low enough to freeze diesel oil, cloud
hinders air visibility, and desert snow can hamper tanks;
- Elections to the US Congress finish on November 5. President Bush cannot fight a
war in the month-long run-up;
- Media speculation and government leaks had all predicted an invasion in
February or March 2003, so early November might have given the US an element
- The military will have time to replenish stocks of smart bombs that were depleted
by the Afghanistan campaign;
- Five US aircraft carriers will be close by, together with Royal Navy carrier Ark
Royal, providing an invasion base under the cover of routine deployment.
Aircraft carriers are expected to play a key role in any assault on Iraq.
Several allies, including Saudi Arabia and Jordan, that gave facilities in the 1991
Gulf War have ruled out the same support for America's drive to oust the Iraqi
Each American carrier will have a full complement of F18 Hornet fighter-bombers
and a strike force of up to 1,000 Marines. All five will be battle ready and within five
days sailing from the region on manoeuvres by the beginning of November.
Ark Royal's war games mission in the Mediterranean, announced this week, is due
to finish on November 5.
Mr Pike said: "The opportunity to attack without having to announce new
deployments to the world beforehand is likely to be far too good for Pentagon
war-planners to ignore.
"You can go to war within three weeks of making a decision about it, and within one
week of the world finding out.
"The President is under a lot of political pressure for results and his window is pretty
"If I was a betting man, November 6 is where all my money would be."