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Interview with Major General Nicholas Krawciw


MR. BORGIDA:
And now joining us retired Army Major General Nicholas Krawciw. He's President of the Dupuy Institute here in Virginia, a military history research center. We thank you, General, for joining us today. A lot of questions and not a lot of time, so I'll move through them quickly.

The al-Masoud II missiles that Iraq is now destroying, how important are they to Iraq's arsenal?

GEN. KRAWCIW:
They're sort of minimal importance really, because they're sort of a short-range tactical missile that could cause us some problems in some of our logistics elements that follow the main forces. But they are really not the kind of threat as the SCUD's were that hit Israel, for example, that they're probably still hiding, and also the kind of chemical, biological and other weapons that they may be hiding. Compared to those, these are minimal.

MR. BORGIDA:
Now, General, I mentioned a moment ago these trucks, the Turkish trucks, moving toward the Iraqi border. I would like to ask you how significant is it, in your view, that the United States can't use Turkey, at the moment at least, to launch the 62,000 U.S. troops they were hoping to?

GEN. KRAWCIW:
Well, again, that probably caused us some planning adjustments and problems, but I believe that the area around the center of Iraq is wide and large enough where units can move from other places and gain positions that, let's say, the same units that we would have had coming from Turkey would have used. In addition, we have the 101st Airborne Division that, of course, is sort of a very flexible unit that can come in from any direction.

MR. BORGIDA:
There have been some leaks in the press about reported U.S. strategy and plans for any effort to disarm Iraq. What do you know about it and, briefly, what do you think about it?

GEN. KRAWCIW:
I think it's a flexible strategy. There are a number of contingencies and plans that can be executed. And, depending on the exact situation as the war opens up, I think General Tommy Franks will be able to carry out that option which, in his opinion, will be the best one for the situation.

MR. BORGIDA:
And, of course, you're anticipating my next question. You have worked with General Franks; he has worked with you. What do you know about him and his character and ability to lead U.S. forces should there be an attack on Iraq?

GEN. KRAWCIW:
He's a great soldier, a very strong and active commander, and I think he's a tough person. And I think he's exactly the right person we should have at this time.

MR. BORGIDA:
Briefly, in about 30 seconds, will weather or environment play a big role, in March or April, if there is an attack?

GEN. KRAWCIW:
I think it will be a period of probably some of the better weather compared to later, hot summer periods. There may be storms. There may be dust. Weather always is a factor in military operations, but I think if it happens in April, it should be okay.

MR. BORGIDA:
The views of retired Army Major General Nicholas Krawciw. Thank you so much, General, for joining us, shedding some light on the military situation should that develop. Thank you.

GEN. KRAWCIW:
Thank you.

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