BRITAIN MOVES TRIDENT SUB INTO PERSIAN GULF IN MAJOR ESCALATION OF WAR PREPARATIONS AGAINST IRAQ
Number 9, March 21, 2002
"BRITAIN MOVES NUCLEAR SUB INTO PERSIAN GULF TO BEEF UP PREPARATIONS FOR WAR ON IRAQ
by Gordon Thomas (EXCLUSIVE)
Britain has moved one of its Trident nuclear submarines into the Persian Gulf. It is a significant escalation of the preparations for the widely predicted war against Iraq.
The Trident carries a pay-load of missiles capable of destroying every military target in Iraq.
At least one U.S. nuclear weapon-carrying submarine is also said to be in the region.
The decision to move the Trident from its regular patrol area in the southern Indian Ocean was authorized by Prime Minister Tony Blair after meeting with Vice-President Dick Cheney during his stop-over in London.
London intelligence sources report that Blair needed no convincing that it was appropriate to have the Trident in place.
The submarine was already on the move at flash speed says a Naval source while Cheney was on his way to the Middle East to brief Arab leaders on the options for war with Saddam Hussein.
The first hint that the Trident was cleared for action came from UK Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon. He told a crowded House of Commons that Britain is ready to make a retaliatory nuclear strike against Iraq if Saddam uses weapons of mass destruction against British or U.S. forces.
Later Hoon briefed a top U.S. Defence Committee on the time-table for war. He said it was coming closer by the day.
Britains willingness to confirm its readiness to use nuclear weapons is seen as a clear signal that both the UK and Washington are alarmed that Saddam is poised to launch a bio-chemical attack.
Intelligence sources have said that while there is undoubted conflict within the UK defence establishment with the Foreign Office calling for restraint the signs are that Blair feels Saddam poses such a threat that it has to be met with a strong response even a nuclear one.
But as Cheney headed home he knew there was little support from Arab nations for an attack on Saddam.
Even Mossad sources say there is as yet no solid evidence.
London defence analyst John Casey, writing in the conservative Daily Telegraph said: Saddams main relation with Islamic radicals has been to fight them. There is no evidence anything has changed. He fought Iran for eight years with very useful help from the CIA, who gave him regular satellite updates on the battlefield dispositions of Iranian troops.
Now those satellites will be scouting for targets for that Trident nuclear submarine.
Gordon Thomas is a writer on intelligence for a number of leading European newspapers (the Sunday Express, UK; El Mundo, Spain; Welt am Sonntag, Germany). His work is also syndicated internationally by World Wide Syndication. Any use of the above must carry a clear attribution to both Gordon Thomas and Globe-Intel. He is a Contributing Editor to Globe-Intel, an international newsletter devoted to intelligence matters.