We're Winning--Don't Ask Where!

Foss Tighe

WE NOW TAKE you live and direct to a news briefing during a future U.S. military action.

Good Afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen, I’ll be making a short statement, then Admiral Hirtrigger and myself will entertain your questions.

During the last twenty-four hours of Operation White Hat massive air assaults continue on all types of enemy targets including troop concentrations, bridges, roads, air bases, as well as command, control, communications and intelligence facilities.

To date over 24,000 sorties have been flown and our success rate has been well over ninety percent. During these sorties a wide array of ordnance has been used, including some really small missiles and bombs all the way up to some really big missiles and bombs. We continue to do our best to limit cot-lateral damage. In fact we have a little video footage to show you.

You’ll notice the light gray square area in the center of the screen. You can make it out because the surrounding area is a darker gray. Now see the white X, that is the targeting mechanism. Now watch here as the light gray area explodes. That was one of the thousands of enemy targets destroyed in these first few days of the operation.

On the ground our troops have initiated a series of probing operations. As you can understand, I cannot inform of the details of these operations, but let it suffice to say that they are going very well and exactly as planned.

The admiral and I will now take a few questions.

General, in that spectacular video piece could you provide more details on the weapon system involved?

Yes, I’d be happy to. That is a George Bush-12 missile, which uses a system that combines laser tracking, heat-seeking, infra-red and wire guidance techniques. Operation White Hat is the first time this weapon system has been used and it has performed flawlessly.

As you know the GB-12 is manufactured by General Dynamics. You’ll find literature and ordering information at the table in the back. They run about $2 million each. Next question.

General, also related to the video, can you tell us exactly what kind of target we saw being hit. Was that some kind of building?

Actually, Bob, the image was electronically altered to make the target unrecognizable. We do not want information from this video to in anyway aid the enemy. It could have been any of a series of things, a building, a tank, a bridge, an airport, a cemetery etc. But if we identified it for you now, it would help the enemy determine how much damage we have done to them.

General, now that this operation has been on for several days is it possible for you give us some indication of who White Hat is directed against?

As you know, we want to work with the media to provide as much detail to the American public as possible. However, at this point we feel that revealing who it is that we are attacking could limit the element of surprise, and therefore play into the hands of the enemy.

I repeat again that the President has determined that these are bad people and that operation White Hat was needed to decisively defeat them. That is all I can say at this time regarding the nature of the enemy forces.

I have a follow, up…. In various European capitals there have been rumors that the operation is somewhere in sub-Saharan Africa. There was also a report from Bangkok that the operation was in Bangladesh. Can you confirm or deny either of these?

No, Jam sorry I cannot. I can only repeat that at this time we cannot provide you with any information related to the location of Operation White Hat. Dan…

During your statement you mentioned air and ground forces, can we assume by the presence of General Hirtrigger with you today, that naval forces are also involved?

I’m afraid that this question also relates to not giving away the location of the operation. By revealing that air and ground forces are involved, we reveal little information about the location of this operation. But if we were to tell you that the navy was or was not involved, it might make it possible for the enemy to more closely figure out who they were. You should assume nothing based on the presence of the admiral.

Yes, next question…

Without going into detail, you repeated the President’s assertion that the enemy are bad people, and the President wants them decisively defeated. Can you be a little more specific to the political if not the military, goals of the operation? Are we removing an evil dictator, destroying a military machine, liberating an occupied nation, or securing the free world’s supply of some vital resource?

Even if I could tell you the political goals without giving away who the operation was directed against, these goals would still have to remain secret for another reason.

We learned an important lesson from the U.S. operation in the Persian Gulf in 1991. During a critical stage of that operation, the President’s policy of attempting to articulate justifiable goals almost brought the whole operation to a premature end.

Making public the operation’s political goals can provide would-be peacemakers with the information they need to negotiate a peaceful way out of the war. Such peaceful solutions leave unsatisfied the real, less justifiable motivations for U.S. policy, which include: testing new weapons systems, battle training troops and officers, distracting Americans from domestic troubles, demonstrating to the little nations of the world that they better behave and lastly, flexing a little military muscle once in a while to show our rival industrialized nations that though we can’t compete economically head to head with them anymore, we still carry a bigger stick then they do.

General, could you tell us…

I’m sorry, that will be all for today. Good day.

May-June 1991, ATC 32