CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
President Bush Approves 200K to 250K Invasion Force
Aired November 11, 2002 - 12:07 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: Reports coming out of the White House indicate President Bush has quietly approved a plan for an Iraq invasion.
Let's get the latest on that now from CNN's Frank Buckley, who is at the White House today.
Frank -- not quite as big a force as we saw in the Persian Gulf War.
FRANK BUCKLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, but a pretty sizable force, Carol.
The broad outline of a plan has been approved by President Bush. It calls for some 200,000 to 250,000 military personal to be in place in the Persian Gulf in the event of a land invasion there. This plan's still being refined and critical deployment decisions have yet to be made.
Also, a call-up of some 265,000 National Guard and reserve soldiers would be involved. There would also be a massive air assault that would be part of the attack plan, not just to knock out air defenses, but also to demoralize and dissuade Iraqi military leaders from using chemical or biological weapons.
Today is Veterans Day, and President Bush is participating in a laying-of-the-wreath ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. He just completed his participation there.
He also used the occasion to invoke Iraq to talk about what may be the next challenge for U.S. military personal -- that is Iraq.
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GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This new kind of war also requires us to confront outlaw regimes that seek and possess the tools of mass murder. We will not permit a dictator who has used weapons of mass destruction to threaten America with chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.
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BUCKLEY: Now, all of this talk of war should not suggest that the U.S. is poised for immediate military action. If there is an indication that Iraq will not go along with the U.N. inspections that will be reported to the U.N. Security Council. The U.S. has indicated it will participate in any debate there over this. However, the U.S. is also, according to senior administration officials, retaining the right to act unilaterally without a second U.N. Security Council resolution -- Carol.
LIN: All right, thank you very much -- Frank Buckley reporting live from the White House today.
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