CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
War in Iraq
Aired March 24, 2003 - 00:31 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
AARON BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: We should check -- we should catch everyone up on the headlines, and we'll come back and take care of some more business here.
Daryn Kagan is in Kuwait and she has a quick overview of the day -- Daryn.
BROWN: Has it been difficult there the last 12 hours?
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, we had about -- we had about 24 hours where things had quieted down, no sirens. Then we woke up at 1:00 a.m. local time to sirens and a loud boom over the city. It was yet another missile being launched from Iraq toward Kuwait. The Kuwaiti Air Force was able to shoot that down using American-made Patriot missiles and that landed north of the residential area of Kuwait City. Then there was another siren around 5:00 a.m., but that turned out to be a false alarm.
BROWN: Daryn, thank you. Stay safe. It's...
BROWN: If it's not one thing, it's another, I guess. Thank you.
BROWN: ... this is actually a bit of what we were talking about before, we were talking about the force and the limitations of the force. This is -- these missiles don't travel that far, right? I mean they're...
GENERAL WESLEY CLARK (RET.), FORMER NATO SUPREME COMMANDER: That's right. I mean maybe 100 miles.
BROWN: And so -- right. So even though the Americans and the British have pushed, and as the Defense Secretary would say the Polish and the Australian forces that are also there, have pushed well beyond the 100 yard, 100 mile line, they have not cleared out all of the dangerous pockets that exist behind them.
CLARK: That's exactly right.
BROWN: And that's because they -- I don't -- I have no business being critical one way or another, but that's because there aren't enough forces there to do it.
CLARK: Or because the commanders have decided to accept the risk of what's left behind and push to Baghdad and get it over with because, in their view, the timing of it is a rapid conclusion to Baghdad is the fastest way to reduce the risk. And you know that's a commander's call.
BROWN: Well that's a pretty -- OK, but that is a pretty considerable risk, it would seem to me. A missile that can get to Kuwait City, for example, that's a big city with a lot of people, and if something really bad is on the tip of that missile, that would be an awful thing, right?
CLARK: Well, we've been worried about that and it was part of the calculus that went into this operation. But they did leave behind the Patriots there, U.S. Patriots, plus the Kuwaiti Patriots, slightly different systems, but they left them specifically to protect. And thus far they have been effective...
BROWN: That's right.
CLARK: ... at shooting a Patriot.
BROWN: And in fairness to their -- in...
BROWN: ... to their position, the Patriots have worked so far, as best we know. There was all this controversy in the first Gulf War about what was originally reported and what turned out to be. There does seem to be a little more vetting (ph) of the information this time and they seem to have worked so.
CLARK: It's a matter of risk. And you're -- everything in this campaign is, in one way or another, it's tradeoff, it's timing, it's risk and so forth, and that's the risk that was accepted. And you know it'll -- we'll have to wait and see the results, see if it was good judgement.
BROWN: Thanks, sir.
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