UPA (Utanian Press Agency)
Release: Wednesday, June 19th, 302 AP.

"Terrorist" threats greater than invasion threat - Tokape General

General Peter Kovacs, commander of the elite Tokape Brigade, has told a Parlia-
mentary committee that the threat of small-group or terrorist actions against
Utania are more likely than a full-scale invasion.

The Parliament convened the Special Defence Funding Committee to investigate
the perceived "explosion" of funding being provided to the defence forces.
Albeit "perceived" by the opposition for political gain, say the government.
To be fair, both the middle-ground Burovian and Utani Progressive parties are
keen to push the issue, if only to force the President to reveal more than
top-line budget expenditure figures.

In the past week, the President announced the expansion of the Battalion into a
Brigade, and two days before, General Kovacs admitted to Û80 million in
training grounds for the Tokape. So, today, General Kovacs of the Tokape
Brigade was asked to explain, as one Conservative committee MP put it, "why the
sudden vast input of funds?"

"Well, sir, much as I would like to speak on behalf of the President, it would
be a gross exaggeration of my brief and responsibilities", he said, amusing
most of the committee members. He explained that while it was not his brief to
speak on government policy, he could speak to defence policies pertaining to
his Brigade.

TOO SMALL FOR THE ARMY, TOO STRONG FOR THE POLICE

General Kovacs told the committee that there was no known, immediate threat for
which additional troops would be required, but that "a general climate of
instability pervades the region", a phrase he was not asked to explain.

"I will not tire this committee with a restatement of the fact that this nation
must be prepared for the defence of her borders at all times. What I will
stress, is that the threats to this nation may not be in the form of a mass of
soldiers pouring across the border."

"Car bombings, crime warlords, kidnappings of high office Utanian citizens, and
all manner of other terrorist action must now be accepted as part of the litany
of threats to this nation, more likely threats than a mass invasion.

"Furthermore, this country is more likely to be threatened by small para-
military or rebel groups opposed to us than a national government and its army.
Fast moving, powerful strike-forces may have substantial destructive impact on
this nation, and be too small for the regular Army to track, or too strong for
local police authorities to counter.

"The Utanian Defence Force's primary weapon against such domestic, or inter-
national, threats is primarily the 8th Infantry, or Tokape, Brigade."

General Kovacs denied that the Tokape would be used for "offensive incursions"
into nations with whom the country is at peace, such as South Bay or Rovens,
without the explicit permission of their governments. He gave the example of
the Lochboer hijacking, which, he had been told, had the support of "someone"
within the Lochboer government, but said that UPIA made the agreement.

General Kovacs also let slip that one six-man team of his Tokape "could
outmatch" a platoon of regular troops, but added the Tokape were "not designed
for open field, face-to-face combat".


©UPA, 302 AP.

<TECH>
©Mike Ham, 2002. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)