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America's New War: America's Military on the Move

Aired September 20, 2001 - 05:07   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: America's military is on the move though. Aircraft carriers are getting in position in the Mediterranean and CNN has learned that President Bush has ordered war planes to the Persian Gulf region.

The operation right now is tentatively named "Infinite Justice." And at the Pentagon CNN's Military Affairs Corespondent, Jamie McIntyre has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN MILITARY AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: In Norfolk, Virginia the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt set sail - its destination undisclosed. But it's no secret its sailors are likely steaming into harms way.

UNKNOWN MALE: Uncertainty I guess. Nobody really knows what we're going to do. Just wait and see.

MCINTYRE: Pentagon sources say within days dozens of combat and support aircraft will also begin to move to forward bases in the Persian Gulf region. And a second wave will push the number of aircraft deployed to more than 100.

CONDOLEEZZA RICE, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR OF THE UNITED STATES: The United States is repositioning some of its forces to support the president's goal. I'm not going to talk about operational matters or further about troop movements.

MCINTYRE: Sources say most of the planes will move to bases in the Persian Gulf where the U.S. already has support facilities in place. Among the first planes to go, sources say, U.S. Air Force B-1 and B-52 bombers. Sources say the B-52s, capable of firing air- launched cruise missiles would likely be based at the British island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.

Sources say a second deployment order not yet signed includes F- 15s and F-16s to re-enforce land based planes patrolling Iraq's southern no-fly zone. That could allow the United States to free up an aircraft carrier to give President Bush more firepower off the coast of Pakistan. Already the United States has two carriers in the region - the Enterprise in the Arabian Sea and the Carl Vincent, last reported in the Persian Gulf.

The Roosevelt, if it goes to the region, could put three carriers within striking distance of targets in Afghanistan.

But Pentagon officials say no attack plans have been approved and no one enemy singled out.

DONALD RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE OF THE UNITED STATES: It's that this is not a problem of Al Kiada and Osama bin laden. It is the problem of a number of networks of terrorists that have been active across the globe.

MCINTYRE: In fact, Pentagon sources say some aides to Rumsfeld have been advocating strikes against downtown Baghdad with the goal of taking out Iraqi President Saddam Hussein - a mission some in the military feel has a low probability of success. Jamie McIntyre, CNN, the Pentagon.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

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