Pentagon Expands War Plans Against Syria
By Patrick Martin
September 09, 2013
While the Obama administration reiterates claims that its forthcoming attack on Syria will be a limited one-off affair, Pentagon planning envisions a much broader effort, according to a report Sunday by the Los Angeles Times .
The newspaper cited unnamed military officials who said the Pentagon “is preparing for a longer bombardment of Syria than it originally had planned, with a heavy barrage of missile strikes followed soon after by more attacks on targets that the opening salvos missed or failed to destroy…”
Two US officers told the newspaper that the Obama White House had asked for an expanded target list that would comprise “many more” than the 50 targets initially selected for possible attack. This gave an impulse to the planning of a more intense attack, which could involve at least three separate military components:
* Tomahawk cruise missiles launched by five US guided missile destroyers currently on patrol in the eastern Mediterranean.
* Cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles launched by Air Force bombers.
* Cruise missiles fired from the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier strike group, with one cruiser and three destroyers, now stationed in the Red Sea. These missiles would travel over Saudi Arabia, Israel or Jordan to hit targets in Syria.
The Washington Post gave additional details of the set of targets that could be struck with US missiles, including “air defense infrastructure, long-range missiles, rocket depots and airfields.” The newspaper noted, “With roughly three dozen Tomahawk missiles loaded onto each of the four destroyers, a US strike could inflict significant damage on government forces…”