By Kelly Canright and Greg D'Avis
Arizona Daily Wildcat
While U.S. troops continue to enter the Persian Gulf region to act as a deterrent to Iraqi forces, local military units prepared to travel to the area while others questioned the necessity of action.
"We went through this once, and we thought this problem was resolved," said Col. Terry Thompson of the University of Arizona Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps.
"I think it's very unfortunate that we have to go back," he said.
Master Sergeant Sam Haney of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base said three EC-130 aircraft, with 180 crew and support troops, left the base bound for the gulf region yesterday. Three other planes left earlier this week, and 600 troops are on standby at the base.
"I don't think this is going to break out into war," said David Spiro, a UA political science professor.
Spiro said he believes Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's main objective is to get United Nations sanctions against his country lifted. He said an earlier "charm offensive" Ä in which Saddam attempted to get the sanctions lifted through good behavior Ä failed, so he is switching tactics.
"I think Saddam is just trying to flex his power. There are so many sanctions against him. They can't take him out because his kind of government is the only kind we can handle, so we're kind of stuck," business sophomore Jeremy Lammon said.
Some students said they think the United States government did not adequately handle the situation the first time military intervention was used as a means to control policy in the Middle East.
"I definitely think we should get involved again. Steps were taken but there was never a real solution. The job was never finished the first time," undeclared sophomore David Himmel said.
Spiro said the problem with the previous action in the area was that the United States did not have any specific objective, a problem he sees again this time.
"We're just reacting to very small events rather than having any idea what we're doing on a large scale," he said.
"I don't really believe in war, but it is unrealistic to think there will be no war. The biggest problem is we didn't finish the job the last time," microbiology sophomore Stephanie Leonard said.
"I think we should've taken care of it the first time so this didn't happen again," finance sophomore Dan Frayer said.
Lisa Schoen, exercise and sport science junior, said she was unsure about actually following through with military intervention.
"If anything further develops, we should act," she said. "But right now, we should just set aside military precautions."
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