NATO Memo Says Iraq Planning Preemptive Strike With Missiles Near Kuwait
27 February 2002
A classified memorandum from NATO Secretary General George Robertson states that Iraqi military forces have moved missiles close to Kuwait.
The memo said NATO intelligence indicated Iraq could use the missiles near Kuwait to conduct a preemptive attack in advance of U.S. military action.
"Today's (NATO) intelligence reporting ... shows that Saddam has moved CBW-capable ballistic missiles close to the Kuwait border," Robertson stated in the memo, which was first reported by Belgian state television.
The NATO secretary general asked in the memo why Iraq would move the missiles to a position where they can be attacked. "There can be only one reason: that Saddam is planning to use these weapons preemptively," he stated.
"He is giving himself the choice of using them or losing them. I have no doubt which he will choose," Robertson said in the memo marked "NATO Confidential." The memo was derived from speaking notes of a NATO meeting of ambassadors Feb. 12.
Roberts said the missile deployments near Kuwaits border with Iraq were justification for bolstering Turkeys defenses with Patriot anti-missile systems and AWACs radar planes.
"If he is planning pre-emptive action against Kuwait, why would he not
be doing so against Turkey, especially as Turkey's allies cannot agree on providing
even the bare minimum of military assistance," Robertson stated.