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U.S. Will Redeploy if S. Asia War Erupts

June 08, 2002|From Associated Press

BRUSSELS — The U.S. plans to reposition American troops operating in and around Pakistan if war breaks out between India and Pakistan, Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Friday.

Myers told reporters that he could not discuss details of the contingency plan, which had not been implemented as of Friday.

About 7,000 U.S. troops are in Afghanistan, which shares a border with Pakistan. A smaller number of American forces are in Pakistan, and sailors and Marines are in the northern Arabian Sea. Thousands of troops from allied countries also are in the area.

In Afghanistan on Friday, U.S. and British forces said they uncovered a cache of weapons and explosives during a raid on a tiny farming village that soldiers said Al Qaeda had turned into a site for planning attacks.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday June 11, 2002 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 5 inches; 211 words Type of Material: Correction
Afghan weapons--A photo caption Saturday on A2 transposed the description of two soldiers guarding a barn in southern Afghanistan where a cache of weapons had been discovered. The soldier on the left was a member of the U.S. Special Forces and the guard on the right was a British Royal Marine.

About 120 U.S. Special Forces and British marines swept into Atalay village in southern Afghanistan before dawn Thursday. They seized four compounds and took 17 people into custody, British Lt. Cmdr. Gary Lydiate said.

All but five of the prisoners were later released, U.S. spokesman Roger King said Friday. Those five were thought to have "intelligence value," though they were still being questioned.

Troops found weapons, plastic explosives and bomb-making equipment, as well as documents of intelligence value that were being analyzed, King said.

The contingency plans for the repositioning of U.S. forces were drawn up by Gen. Tommy Franks, who is responsible for U.S. troops in Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Arabian Sea, and Adm. Thomas Fargo, chief of the U.S. Pacific Command, whose area of responsibility includes India.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has expressed concern that the dispute over the Himalayan region of Kashmir could distract the Pakistani military from helping the Pentagon pursue Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters near the Afghan border.

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