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Permission for U2 Flights?
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Here's a list of key points from Blix's most recent report to the U.N.

One of these concerns the flights of U2 surveillance planes over Iraq:

Iraq has failed to comply with the inspectors' request to deploy a U2 plane to carry out aerial imagery and surveillance.

Now I honestly don't get this. Why do the inspectors need permission to fly the plane over Iraqi airspace? Have the Iraqis actually said they will shoot such planes down?

It's my understanding that the U2 can fly high enough to avoid anti-aircraft weapons anyway, so why are they especially worried? Why can't they fly with bomber or fighter escorts? And if they're fired upon, wouldn't this be an egregious enough violation to justify military action by a U.N. coalition?

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