In consecutive columns {"End Saddam's Reign of Terror," op-ed Sept. 25, and "A War of Liberation," op-ed, Sept. 26}, Jim Hoagland called upon the United States to stage a preemptive strike against Iraq's "military and secret-police apparatus." He stated that the United States has sufficient air power to save Kuwait and that a victory was "necessary and possible." However, Mr. Hoagland left out important points that may suggest why his imprudent strategy hasn't been employed.

In neither column did Mr. Hoagland cite the probability that scores of American and other foreign nationals, not to mention innocent Iraqi civilians, are in close vicinity of U.S. bombing targets.

It's unlikely that the Tomahawk cruise missiles he suggested using are so accurate that they would harm only evil-doers. He also failed to mention that Iraq might respond to a U.S.-led air strike by bombing and gassing American soldiers stationed in the region and by increasing terrorism around the globe.

True, while the world waits for economic sanctions to strangle Iraq's economy, the lives of American soldiers and citizens are at risk.

But even an obstinate dictator such as Saddam Hussein is unlikely to attack the powerful international forces now surrounding him without serious provocation.

The blitzkrieg suggested by Mr. Hoagland would only destroy the chance for a peaceful solution, which still can be achieved by increasing international pressure on Saddam Hussein.