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U.S. troops would enforce peace under Army study

By – The Washington Times – Monday, September 10, 2001

An elite U.S. Army study center has devised a plan for enforcing a major Israeli-Palestinian peace accord that would require about 20,000 well-armed troops stationed throughout Israel and a newly created Palestinian state. …

But a 68-page paper by the Army School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS) does provide a look at the daunting task any international peacekeeping force would face if the United Nations authorized it, and Israel and the Palestinians ever reached a peace agreement.

Located at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., the School for Advanced Military Studies is both a training ground and a think tank for some of the Army’s brightest officers. Officials say the Army chief of staff, and sometimes the Joint Chiefs of Staff, ask SAMS to develop contingency plans for future military operations. During the 1991 Persian Gulf war, SAMS personnel helped plan the coalition ground attack that avoided a strike up the middle of Iraqi positions and instead executed a “left hook” that routed the enemy in 100 hours.

The cover page for the recent SAMS project said it was done for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. But Maj. Chris Garver, a Fort Leavenworth spokesman, said the study was not requested by Washington.

“This was just an academic exercise,” said Maj. Garver. “They were trying to take a current situation and get some training out of it.”

The exercise was done by 60 officers dubbed “Jedi Knights,” as all second-year SAMS students are nicknamed.

The SAMS paper attempts to predict events in the first year of a peace-enforcement operation, and sees possible dangers for U.S. troops from both sides.

It calls Israel’s armed forces a “500-pound gorilla in Israel. Well armed and trained. Operates in both Gaza . Known to disregard international law to accomplish mission. Very unlikely to fire on American forces. Fratricide a concern especially in air space management.”

Of the Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service, the SAMS officers say: “Wildcard. Ruthless and cunning. Has capability to target U.S. forces and make it look like a Palestinian/Arab act.”

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