How long did it take to marshall the required military forces in the Mideast for Desert Storm before Iraq and Kuwait were invaded? Does anyone care to venture if there will be a similar deployment time were the U.S. to attack Afghanistan?
(And, no, I’m not speculating on whether invading/attacking Afghanistan is a good idea or not. Different thread. Let’s stick to tactics in this one.)
Okay, I’ve belatedly found the answer to part 1 of the question here. Big thanks to the 99th Regional Support Command.
So: five+ months from mobilation to execution of Desert Storm.
On to part 2: Does anyone have a take on whether the current mobilization might have a similar timeline, and what factors might affect that timeline? Obviously, it’s unknown what action might take place, but the current indicators seem to indicate another massive military buildup followed possibly by invasion or similar action.
squeegee, the Desert Shield deployments were in two big stages, as I recall. First arriving forces were on scene in days, and the first major deployment went in Sep '90 timeframe. There was a second push of troops and equipment in November/December '90. Not everyone was called at once.
As for now, the US has MPS (Maritime Prepositioned Ships) loaded with combat gear that can be in theatre within weeks, same timeframe to get a reasonable forces on the ground there. We could have three carrier battle groups in the neighborhood in about three to four weeks, and it is possible to have two Marine Expeditionary Forces hanging around. This operation will not (IMO) take the massive troop and equipment buildup that we had eleven years ago, and the “go” could be given within 45 days or so, if a deployment were ordered today that would fit the need for the “go”.
Thanks, UncleBill. I recall that Desert Storm was indeed in two parts: Desert Shield, which was a troop buildup to protect Saudi Arabia, and Desert Storm, an invasion of Iraq and Kuwait. I agree that some of the delay was because of the 2 rounds of deployment, but I think (and IAN a Soldier) it was also the effect of wanting overwhelming force available to deploy against Iraq, which caused such a long deployment, no?
It seems fair to say that we don’t know what kind of force will be brought to bear against Afghanistan (although current reports indicate this will be done through Special Forces), but I’d think the ‘overwhelming force’ doctrine used during the Gulf War would still be some sort of factor, considering that most of the major players in that war are back again in the Bush II administration.
That having been said, it is a different kind of scenario: the Arabian Peninsula’s flat, open desert vs extremely mountainous Afghanistan, and the million-man army of Iraq to the smaller (and probably more lethal in some ways?) fighters on the Afghani side. What this says about deployment or deployment timelines, I don’t know.