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The Persian Gulf war has entered its second week and by varying accounts the United States and its allies are: A.) proceeding on course in their expulsion of Iraq from Kuwait, or, B.) confounded by the persistence of Saddam Hussein's forces in defending their commandeered property. The latter view is among the scenarios tossed around out of restlessness, an analysis light on facts and heavy with unreasonable expectations. Home-front patience in this operation would help the fighting forces and serve well the wartime cause.

This coalition seeking the liberation of Kuwait has fought boldly and well. The prowess of allied forces, the tenacity of their battle plan and the precision of their modern weapons are truly awe-inspiring. We woke up just seven days ago to the stirring news that America and its military partners had been overwhelming in the skies over Iraq. Saddam's air force was overmatched invisible for the most past during the initial round of bombardment and confidence at home surged. The confidence was well-placed but a bit breathless for the situation.

Americans are to be excused their wishful thinking. Military leaders, while satisfied with the progress being made, are more cautious in their assessments. They know the formidable job that must be done. Iraq is larger than California: imagine rousting 545,000 unwilling citizens from a state that size. In this case, the 545,000 citizens, members of Saddam's armed forces deployed to Kuwait and southern Iraq, have modern weapons and are fighting for a cause, however misguided.

There have been setbacks for the allied forces. Unexpected bad weather has hindered the furious pace of bombing in Iraq and Kuwait. Mobile launchers for Iraq's Scud missiles have been difficult to track down and with painful result. Still, the allied loss of lives for a week's worth of war has been heartening, at least in the relative sense of armed conflict. It is unreasonable to think that more bloodshed is not forthcoming; likewise, though, it is logical to assume that the allied battle tactics, successful so far, will play themselves out with prolific use of high technology and ample attention to preserving the lives of our troops.

If anything, allied resolve should be stronger than ever. The senseless bombings of innocent civilians in Israel, bystanders in this Middle East conflict, only serve to remind us of the type of dictator allied forces are trying to annul.

Gen. Colin Powell, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, sounded the proper tone in a press briefing Wednesday. "We are not getting complacent," the general told reporters. The American people should also avoid complacence. While taking pride in the work of our fighting forces, the nation must take into account that there is much work yet to be done.