March 13, 2003
WASHINGTON -- Iraq could try to jam U.S. military satellite signals during an invasion, but the United States has defenses against such attempts, Pentagon officials said Wednesday.
Indonesia reportedly jammed signals from a commercial satellite leased by the Pacific nation of Tonga in 1997, and Iraq could try to do the same, said the Air Force's space operations director, Maj. Gen. Franklin Blaisdell. Iraq also reportedly is seeking ways to jam the Global Positioning Satellite signals that help guide U.S. bombs.
"Any enemy that would depend on GPS jammers for their livelihood is in grave trouble," Blaisdell said at a Pentagon news conference.
Also Wednesday, Gen. Tommy Franks, who would run the war in Iraq, arrived at the military's command center in Qatar. It was not known whether he would return to the United States, visit other nations in the Persian Gulf region or stay in Qatar to position himself for the start of military action.
The Army chief of staff, Gen. Eric Shinseki, testifying before a House appropriations subcommittee, repeated his view that several hundred thousand troops would be needed to occupy a postwar Iraq.
U.S. aircraft dropped 120,000 leaflets between Baghdad and Basra, warning Iraqi military not to use chemical or biological weapons according to U.S. Central Command.