by Selwyn Manning
A shroud of secrecy is tonight being cloaked around the United States' preparations for war.
The labelled “War against terrorism” will certainly be fought with a shield of silence [rhetoric aside] not seen since the height of Cold-War years.
Today, the Pentagon continued to close down and restrict access to US military websites – a precaution against information being of use to its enemies.
The US government has been preparing its citizens to be patient while the government moves toward retribution and retaliation against those who bombed civilian New York on Tuesday last week [New Zealand time].
Locations of US Navy warships and aircraft carriers is no longer accessible from the Department of Defence’s news website. And other information, relating to the strategic placement of ground forces and air-strike craft is also being shielded.
Today, US President George W Bush stated to reporters: "I want to make it clear to the American people that this administration will not talk about any plans we may or may not have," President Bush said Monday. "We will not jeopardize in any way, shape or form, anybody who wears the uniform of the United States."
The secrecy is a code higher than exercised during the Gulf War in 1991 – then journalists were able to travel to the war-zone, often aboard US military vessels to report “on location” the events hour by hour throughout the conflict.
But not this time: journalists and news agencies are being prevented access to not only information, but also to the theatre where this new-century war will be played out.
CNN is reporting two military strategies are likely:
a low-end and high-end attack.
"High-end" options include air strikes against countries that support terrorists – this could include Iraq.
"Low-end" plans include the use of special-forces to capture or kill terrorist leaders, such as Osama bin Laden. These special-forces will include the Green Berets and other key US commando-type strike units.
The United Kingdom also has its elite SAS soldiers at the ready – a group that is likely to include New Zealand SAS personnel.
US President Bush said this morning that bin Laden is “wanted: dead or alive”. But details of military strategy and plans are secret and will not been shared with news agencies. The rationale reported by CNN, according to Pentagon officials is: Terrorist organizations lack the intelligence-gathering capacity that nations possess, relying instead on news organizations to find out what their enemies are doing.