Key U.S. bases vulnerable

By WND Staff

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Strategic terror attacks could disrupt the deployment of Army troops from U.S. bases, reports Geostrategy, the global intelligence news agency.

Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz has ordered all U.S. bases to draw up emergency plans for a terror attack by mid-December. The Pentagon believes terrorists aligned with Baghdad could target front-line troops in response to a war with Iraq.

A classified Defense Department study conducted several years ago revealed terrorist operations against Fort Bragg, N.C., could delay the rapid deployment of thousands of troops needed to reach international hot spots on short notice.

Fort Bragg and nearby Pope Air Force Base were most vulnerable, according to the study.

U.S. officials believe terror attacks against those bases could be carried out shortly before military action elsewhere, such as in the Middle East or East Asia, with the goal of slowing U.S. troop deployments.

Fort Bragg’s base garrison commander says the post is safe but that it’s not possible to protect it from every attack scenario, according to the report.

“I am always going to give my opponent a lot of credit for being very smart, very crafty,” said Col. Tad Davis.

Last week, Army forces at Fort Bragg conducted an exercise called “Orbit Comet.” It simulated a terror attack involving a truck loaded with fake liquid chlorine. The truck broke through a checkpoint and “crashed.” The mock attack revealed several people would have been killed had it been the real thing.

“The biggest challenge for us is constant vigilance. Monotony sets in. But you never know when that one truck that goes through late at night and isn’t properly checked might contain a nuclear device,” said Davis.

Fort Bragg is home to the Army’s 18th Airborne Corps. It includes the 82nd Airborne Division, a front-line combat unit that can be deployed around the world rapidly.

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