Military Planing For Opening Days Of 'Shock And Awe' In Any Iraq War

(PENTAGON, March 5th, 2003, 11:25 a.m.) -- The U.S. military is preparing for any war in Iraq that would begin with what officials call a campaign of "shock and awe."

Officials say this means opening with a thunderous volley of strikes by aircraft and missiles. In fact, they say there would be ten times the number of bombs in the opening days than were used at the start of the first Persian Gulf War.

Also, officials note a new campaign would concentrate on using precision-guided munitions. Officials say at least 80 percent would be guided by lasers, satellites or video cameras. In the last Gulf war, nine out of ten bombs were unguided, or so-called "dumb"

Military officials explain the precision-guided munitions mean five times the number of bombs can be launched with the same number of aircraft used in the last war.

U.S. officials are aiming for a war that could be executed as quickly as possible -- to "shock" the Iraqi regime into believing that an end is inevitable.

Some of the military's top brass, including the commander of any war in Iraq, General Tommy Franks, met at the White House today with President Bush.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)