Russian Expert on War in Iraq

The war in Iraq will be a lengthy one and will infer heavy losses, Colonel-General Leonid Ivashov, the Vice-President of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, said on Tuesday.

"For the United States, the war in Iraq will be far from an easy stride," announced the general. Despite the USA having amassed a powerful fighting force, it will hardly be able to achieve a blitzkrieg, he said, adding that Iraq had a distinct advantage where land forces were concerned and that once the US launched a land operation, the war would become a lengthy affair.

In Ivashov's opinion, the States would conduct the war in accordance with "the classic scheme": a crippling stroke on the state management infrastructure and Iraq's troops' command posts with the help of aviation and cruise missiles, a stroke on what remains of its air defence systems, and a stroke on Iraq's land forces.

"US specialists are planning to test up to 300 types of new weapons during the military action in Iraq, maybe including low-power nuclear warfare," said the general.