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    Defense Department News Briefing

    A C-SPAN host briefly introduced the re-airing of this news conference, as part of all-day coverage of the Persian Gulf War situation.

    Defense Secretary Cheney and General Powell, chairman of the Joint
    Chiefs of Staff spoke to reporters on the progress of the eight day
    old military operation against Iraq. In a generally optimistic news
    briefing, the two men said the coalition forces have achieved air
    superiority over Iraq.

    Secretary Cheney said that although Saddam Hussein’s army continues
    to be a threat, the operation “shouldn’t take that long.” He said
    the air operation will continue for as long as possible, hoping to
    avoid the necessity of ground troops entering Kuwait and Iraq for as
    long as possible. The entrance of ground troops into the war would
    lead to higher casualty rates, a factor the U.S. forces are
    specifically hoping to avoid. Clouds over Iraq and Kuwait had
    thwarted the allied air attacks somewhat during the previous two
    days, extending the air attack and delaying the entrance of ground
    troops into the conflict by at least one week.

    Secretary Cheney and General Powell also cautioned against attempting
    to judge how the war is going by studying casualty rates or bomb
    damage assessments. They answered reporters' questions.

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    Future of the Internet

    Vint Cerf, also known as a co-founder of the Internet, spoke on the future of the Web. He addressed the importance of adopting new technologies to ensure Internet security. Other topics included Internet policy, “net neutrality,” and encryption technology. Following his prepared remarks he answered written questions from audience members.