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Objectives of Iraq Airstrikes

December 17, 1998

The Clinton administration had several objectives when it launched airstrikes against Iraq:

``They are designed to degrade Saddam’s capacity to develop and deliver weapons of mass destruction and to degrade his ability to threaten his neighbors. At the same time, we are delivering a powerful message to Saddam: If you act recklessly, you will pay a heavy price.″ _ President Clinton.


``We want to degrade Saddam Hussein’s ability to make and to use weapons of mass destruction. We want to diminish his ability to wage war against his neighbors. And we want to demonstrate the consequences of flouting international obligations.″ _ Defense Secretary William Cohen.


``We commenced a military operation, Operation Desert Fox, that includes American and British forces, to carry out military strikes and degrading the very capabilities that Saddam has tried to preserve.″ _ Army Gen. Hugh Shelton, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

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