US Trains Arab Pilots for Iran War

The United States is planning training for Arab air forces in the Gulf region and organizing fly-together exercises for a possible war with Iran.

US Trains Arab Pilots for Iran War

The United States is planning training for Arab air forces in the Gulf region and organizing fly-together exercises for a possible war with Iran, The Sunday Telegraph reported Sunday, September 30.

"On its most basic level, it's about flying together, operating together and training together so, if we have to, we can fight together," Bruce Lemkin, the American air force deputy under-secretary for international affairs, told an air warfare conference in Washington last week about the future military cooperation between the US and Arab Gulf countries.

Senior American Air Force officers, led by US Air Force chief of staff Gen Michael Mosley, used the conference to seek closer cooperation and coordination with Arab chief pilots to prepare for a war with Iran if US President George W. Bush decided to bomb Tehran's nuclear project, the British newspaper added.

They have further helped co-ordinate intelligence-sharing with Gulf nations.

"We need friends and partners with the capabilities to take care of their own security and stability in their regions and, through the relationship, the inter-operability and the will to join us in coalitions when appropriate," said Lemkin.

The Pentagon has set up an air warfare centre in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where Gulf nations are training their fighter pilots and America has big bases, the Telegraph said.

It is modeled on the US Air Force warfare centre at Nellis air force base in Nevada.

Flying Together

The paper said American air chiefs have also organized combined exercises designed to make it easier to fight together with Arab pilots.

Jordan and the United Arab Emirates have both taken part in such exercises to make sure their air forces can fly, and fight, together and with American jets.

Lt Gen Prince Faisal bin Al Hussein, special assistant to the chief of staff of the Jordanian armed forces, said "concern at Iran's attempt to establish itself as a regional superpower" had led to greater co-operation, "not just at the inter-service level but also at the political level".

He said the new air warfare centre in the UAE had allowed them to "exchange information and exercise together".

The US has never ruled out using military action against Iran to destroy the Islamic Republic's nuclear projects which Tehran repeatedly said they were for peaceful purposes.

Award-winning American investigative reporter Seymour Hersh recently revealed that the Pentagon had formed a special group to plan an attack against Iran that can be implemented, upon orders from the president, within 24 hours.

And The Sunday Times revealed last week that the Pentagon was setting up a highly confidential strategic planning team to prepare the Air Force for "fighting the next war."

Vice President Dick Cheney and senior neocons are seen as the main driving force behind the military option with Iran.

Norman Podhoretz, one of the founding fathers of neoconservatism in the United States, revealed Sunday that he has privately urged Bush to bomb Iran rather than allow it to acquire nuclear weapons.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, Podhoretz said he told Bush: "You have the awesome responsibility to prevent another holocaust. You're the only one with the guts to do it."

Telegraph, IOL

Last Mod: 30 Eylül 2007, 12:59
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