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November 12, 2001 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 2001-11-12

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2A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, November 12, 2001


War may cost $1 billion a month

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WASHINGTON (AP) - A U.S. helicopter lost in
Afghanistan a week ago cost up to twice as much as
the government spends yearly on scenic byways.
Each cruise missile is worth several American
The total expense of the Afghan war may be nearly
as hard to find as people hiding in Afghan caves. By
one estimate, the military assault is costing $500 mil-
lion to $1 billion a month - and above the $1 billion in
promised U.S. economic assistance to Pakistan, and
debt relief for the country.'
The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assess-
ments, a private research group that closely exam-
ines the cost of war, offered that monthly figure.
Precision is impossible without knowing more about
how many bombs are being dropped and what is
happening with U.S. forces on the ground, among

other variables.
Still, parts of the war are adding up: the estimated
$5,000 an hour to fly a Navy FA-18 fighter-bomber,
the $25,600 cost of one of the frequenty used Joint
Direct Attack Munition bombs, the top-of-the-line
Tomahawk cruise missiles.
As for a running total, "It's very much ballpark,"
said Steven Kosiak, the center's director of budget
studies. Some other analysts have projected higher
Stretched over a year, the price of the war could be
$12 billion, half of what the federal government
spends on medical research.
By comparison, the bombing campaign against
Yugoslavia in 1999 cost the United States about $3 bil-
The 1991 Persian Gulf War'cost America an esti-

mated $61 billion, but all but about $7 billion was
reimbursed by allies. By some accounting methods,
the United States may have even made a profit.
Munitions at the disposal of U.S. forces in the
Afghan war vary wildly in price.
From the bargain basement: the 500-pound M-117,
dropped from a heavy bomber, for a mere $300 apiece.
At the high end: Tomahawk cruise missiles costing
$600,000 to $1 million each, many times more than
the $147,100 median price of an American home.
U.S. officials said 50 Tomahawks alone were
launched in the opening assault, some from British
forces, making an expensive debut. Dependence on
cruise missiles has lessened since then.
Pentagon spokeswoman Susan Hansen said it takes
time to calculate costs above those normally associated
with having forces abroad in peacetime.


Japan enters war against terrorism
Japan is planning to commit about 1,500 military personnel to the war
against terrorism under a new law allowing its armed forces to transport
supplies and provide other non-combat support, a newspaper reported yes-
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's conservative administration is
expected to approve by the end of the week a plan outlining Japan's total
military contribution to the U.S.-led campaign in Afghanistan.
That contribution will include six or seven naval vessels carrying about
1,400 sailors, plus C-130 military transport aircraft and medical teams
from Japan's Ground Self-Defense Force, the mass-circulation Yomiuri
newspaper reported, citing a draft copy of the plan.
Ordering its military to provide support for forces engaged in combat is
a first for Japan since World War II. During the Gulf War ten years ago,
Japan agreed to send minesweepers to the Persian Gulf only after the
fighting was over.
Three warships have already left Japan on a reconnaissance mission to
scout sea lanes and gather other information for military officials plan-
ning the operation.


Rebels claim Taliban is on the run

JABAL SARAJ, Afghanistan (AP)
- Opposition forces claimed to have
the Taliban on the run across much of
northern Afghanistan yesterday, as
the ruling Islamic militia abandoned
stronghold after stronghold in a with-
drawal south toward the capital,
The foreign minister of the north-
ern alliance, Abdullah, claimed the
opposition had seized half the coun-
try in the past two days and dealt the
Taliban a severe blow as a fighting
force. U.S. officials warned that a
counterattack was possible.
As Taliban fighters fled south,
President Bush urged the opposition
not to take Kabul before a new,
broad-based government could be
However, Defense Secretary Don-
ald Rumsfeld acknowledged yester-
day that "we don't have enough
forces on the ground to stand in their
way" if the northern alliance tried to
seize the capital.

At a press conference here, Abdul-
lah said the opposition had recap-
tured its former headquarters,
Talogan, and three other northern
provincial capitals since Mazar-e -
Sharif, linchpin of the Taliban
defenses in the north, fell to the
alliance on Friday.
In Washington, however, Rumsfeld
said that while the opposition had
"effective control" of Mazar-e-Sharif,
"there are pockets of resistance with-
in the city."
"There could always be a counter-
attack," he said. The city's airport
had not yet been secured, he added,
though he thought it would be soon.
Taliban officials acknowledged
their forces were in a "strategic with-
drawal," apparently toward Kabul and
the ethnic Pashtun strongholds to the
south. The alliance is dominated by
Tajiks and Uzbeks, while Pashtuns_
the nation's largest ethnic group _
form the core of Taliban support.
Abdul Hanan Hemat, chief of the

Pakistani president won't relinquish office g

Gen: Pervez Musharraf, who seized power in Pakistan in 1999, said yesterday that
he has no plans to relinquish the presidency in elections next year. He plans instead
to eventually become a neutral "figurehead" to his people.
Musharraf's remarks were the first time he explicitly counted out including the
presidency in October 2002 national and provincial elections, the first since his
bloodless coup.
"I myself will remain as the president, and that is for sure, beyond 2002," he said
on NBC's "Meet the Press."
He said participating in elections would undermine his status as a unifying figure.
"I would rather like to remain in my position as implementing something for the
good of the country. I'll be a neutral figurehead."
Opposition parties fear that Musharraf will rewrite the nation's constitution before
the elections to broaden the president's power.
Before Sept. 11, Musharraf had been under pressure from the West to democra-
tize Pakistan. Since the terrorist attacks, the United States has come to rely on Pak-
istan in the war against suspected terrorists and their protectors in Afghanistan.

A northern alliance fighter covers his ears near a firing mortar near the Quruq
village in northern Afghanistan yesterday.


Taliban's Bakhtar news agency,
denied claims that Taloqan had fallen.
The reports could not be indepen-
dently confirmed. Foreign journalists
do not have access to many of the
front lines and have been speaking to
opposition commanders by satellite

The opposition's Abdullah, who
like many Afghans uses only one
name, said some 200 Taliban fighters
were killed in fighting for Taloqan
and other towns. Both sides have
exaggerated claims in the past.

Bin Laden says he has bio-weapons
but knew nothing of anthrax attacks

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) - Osama bin Laden
said he had nothing to do with the anthrax attacks in
the United States, and declared he would never allow
himself to be captured, in the second part of a newspa-
per interview published yesterday.
"America can't get me alive;" bin Laden was quot-
ed as saying. "I can be eliminated, but not my mis-
Bin Laden granted the interview Wednesday to Pak-
istani journalist Hamid Mir, who said he was blind-
folded and bundled -into a jeep in the Afghan capital,
Kabul. He said he was driven five hours to a cold, mud
hut where he spoke with bin Laden for two hours.
It was impossible to independently verify Mir's

account of the interview.
Mir's newspaper, Ausaf, published part of the inter-
view Saturday and included additional excerpts yester-
day. Mir, who has written a biography of bin Laden
that will be published soon, said the terror suspect
declined to answer many of his questions.
When Mir asked if bin Laden was responsible for
the anthrax attacks, he laughed andsaid: "We don't
know anything about anthrax."
Bin Laden did claim in the portion of the interview
published Saturday that his al-Qaida organizatior had
nuclear and chemical weapons and would use them if
the United States employed such weapons on him.
Mir wrote that when he asked bin Laden where he

allegedly got the mass destruction weapons, bin Laden
replied: "Go to the next question."
The United States says it has no evidence that bin
Laden possesses nuclear weapons. Intelligence
experts believe al-Qaida has experimented with
crude chemicalweapons at a training camp in
FBI officials say there is no direct link between
anthrax attacks in the United States and any cell or net-
work, including al-Qaida.
Mir said bin Laden vowed that if his Taliban allies
lose Kabul and other cities, "we will move to the
mountains. We will continue our guerrilla warfare
against the Americans."

British troops help
northern alliance
British ground troops are inside
Afghanistan, providing assistance to
northern alliance fighters, Defense
Secretary Geoff Hoon said yesterday.
It was the first time the government
has confirmed the presence of British
troops in the country.
"I can certainly confirm that there
are members of Britain's armed forces
on the ground in northern Afghanistan
liaising with the northern alliance pro-
viding advice and assistance," Hoon
told British Broadcasting Corp. radio.
The Ministry of Defense would not
give details of the number of British
troops in the country or their units.
Last month, Britain announced that
600 special forces troops would be
available for operations in Afghanistan.
The plans called for 200 Royal Marine
commandos operating from two assault
ships in the region, with 400 men from'
the same unit on standby in Britain.
Palestinian killed
while making bomb
A Palestinian militant was killed
yesterday when a bomb he was mak-
ing exploded, Palestinian security
officials said, and an Israeli was shot
dead northeast of Tel Aviv in what
police suspected was a Palestinian
The incidents came as Secretary of
State Colin Powell met in New York
with Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon

Peres, who is working on a new
peace initiative that reportedly calls
for the establishment of a Palestinian
state in the areas already under Pales-
tinian control as a first phase.
Peres discussed the plan Saturday
with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon,
whose stated positions contrast with
elements of the plan reported in
Israeli media, namely that the Pales-
tinians be granted more land in the
Gaza Strip and West Bank as part of
negotiations over final borders.
JAKARTA, Indonesia
Indepence leader
killed; riots erupt
Riots erupted yesterday after an inde-
pendence movement leader was kid-
napped and killed in Irian Jaya, one of
several Indonesian provinces plagued by
violence amid a traumatic transitioi to
democracy after decades of dictatorship.
Villagers found the body of Theys
Eluay in his ┬░wrecked carin aravirie 8
miles east of the provincial capital,
Police said he appeared to have been
strangled and that his assailants had
tried to make the killing look accidental
by pushing the car off a remote stretch
of road. There were no clear suspects,
and his driver was missing, they said.
Eluay's widow, Yaneke, blamed the
Indonesian military, which is often
accused of human rights atrocities.
Police said Eluay was killed as he
returned home after dining with local
Indonesian army commanders Satur-
day night.
- Compiledfrom Daily wire reports.


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