Review of Iraq Policy Under way, DoD Official Says
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Aug. 21, 2001 Will the United States and its coalition partners patrolling the no-fly zones continue to play aerial "cat-and-mouse" with Iraqi anti-aircraft missiles and guns in the months ahead?
Stay tuned, a senior DoD official said.
"We have not forgotten about Iraq," Peter W. Rodman, assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, said to reporters at the Pentagon Aug. 21. Rodman noted that the Bush administration and several government agencies, including DoD, are now reviewing defense security policy and strategies concerning Iraq.
The basic issues are part of a review of the Iraq situation, Rodman said, adding that U.S. officials "haven't abandoned the sanctions effort."
"It is not for me to prejudge how the president will decide these things or exactly when, but we're not through with the (Iraq) issue, that is certain," he said. "This is an issue that is being taken with utmost seriousness and is being looked at with great care."
Pentagon officials noted that the Iraqis fired a surface- to-air missile at a U.S. Navy reconnaissance plane inside Kuwaiti airspace July 19 and another at a U.S. U-2 surveillance plane over southern Iraq July 24. On Aug. 10 and 14, U.S. and coalition aircraft struck Iraqi air defense systems that had been threatening coalition aircrews.
U.S. Central Command officials have noted that the Iraqis have fired missiles and anti-aircraft artillery at U.S. and coalition aircraft in more than 1,000 separate incidents since December 1998.
Rodman was sworn into office July 16. Under the direction of the undersecretary of defense for policy, he is a principal adviser to the secretary on the formulation and coordination of international security strategy and policy, with responsibility for East Asia, South Asia, the Middle East and Persian Gulf, Africa and Latin America.