Fake surrender results in American casualties...

Got no problem with that, astro. BTW, I don’t usually look at the date registered/post count info.

Yet another btw: I can believe kankle wrote his posting fast because he is justifiably pissed off at the Iraqi army’s immoral and unlawful conduct.

Saddam is currently in a war with an opponent that has vastly superior military force and equipment.
Faced with that, and combined with an absolute resolve not to let his country taken by Allied Forces, do you not think he was going to try any method conceivable to get US and British soldiers killed?

You have to keep in mind that Saddam views this war is completely illegal, as it was not endorsed by the UN security council, and therefor probably feels he’s been given Carte Blanche to deal with this war the best way he sees fit.

This was always going to be an ambush and guerilla warfare from the Iraqi side. Makes sense, as they could not possibly win any other way.

In the parlance of military historian Archer Jones, I think that the Allied strategy can be described as a “combat persisting” strategy. The objective is to draw the Iraqi forces onto the battlefield where they can be destroyed by the superior Allied armed forces, while at the same time occupying Iraqi territory to deny its use to the Iraqi forces. This, by the way, is virtually the same strategy employed in the same place over two millenia ago when Alexander the Great successfully toppled the Persian Empire.

The logical response to a combat persisting strategy is either a combat-raiding strategy or a logistic-raiding strategy, or a combination of both. The objective is to avoid decisive battle with a more powerful enemy. Both options attempt to delay ultimate victory through attrition and sapping morale. Since the Iraqis are unlikely to be able to stem the tide of men and materiel which the Allies can bring to the battlefield, combat-raiding looks to be the most available option.

This is sometimes known as a “Fabian strategy,” after the Roman consul who partially frustrated Hannibal’s logistic persisting strategy in the south of Italy. While similar to guerrilla warfare, a Fabian strategy is carried out by regular troops. Guerrillas can, of course, work in conjunction with regulars, as the NVA and VC did in Vietnam.

So, they’ll snipe at our soldiers to slow them down, fake surrenders, suicide bomb, sabotage, and otherwise make nuisances of themselves, attempting to hit the Allied forces where they are weak in order to force them to protect themselves instead of advance. It only makes sense–it’s virtually the only option the Iraqis have open to them right now.

Makes you wonder why Saddam didn’t just load the jet with gold bricks, diamonds, and Deutschmarks and skedaddle, doesn’t it?

Well, the damned thing is that the strategy has an annoying habit of actually working. We go to all that trouble to assemble a fighting force of extraordinary magnitude, and the bastards go and fight by another set of rules. Very unsporting.

Off the top of my head, the American Revolution, the Vietnam War, and the original Star Wars trilogy are all examples of a Fabian strategy ultimately paying off. Worse, all of them took years to come to a proper completion.

I may be saying this with tounge firmly planted in cheek, but this is a serious problem. The Allies have an alarmingly low ratio of force to space, and if hearts and minds are not won, and quickly, this whole damned thing could go south in a hurry and stay there for a long time.

That’s one of the reasons I opposed this war. Now that we’re in the middle of it, we’d better find a way to win it fast.

The Iraqis are hopelessly outmatched. Surely nobody expected them to engage our army at our level? I would have been surprised if they didn’t resort to desperate measures. And I seriously doubt they would be concerned whether they make it more difficult for other soldiers to surrender.

So you could say they forge their strategies in the traditions of our ancestors?

I only had to read it once to know he was talking baout the Iraqi army…

Monty, you have indeed made yourself look silly. There are at least two things which make it very clear I am talking about the Iraqi military when I say rag-tag. I do not see how you could not get that as others seem to have understood it perfectly. It seems you spoke before thinking it through, and then you were too proud to admit you were mistaken.
What other “fucking clowns” are currently “wearing civilian clothes” and fighting us and uk GIs?? Seems simple to me.

And yes, I realize there are no conscripts or draftees in the US military. And that is why I mentioned that in my message. The Iraqi soldiers who are dressing in civilian clothes are the fucking clowns who will be partly to blame for Iraqi civilian casualties.



This sounds like it’s the strategy for the Iraqis to follow, but what about Baghdad? They appear to be dug in in a ring around it with a heavy concentration of force, in a static position with little room to maneuver. How do you think they intend to avoid fighting a decisive battle here?

The coalition did not expect the Iraqi forces to go guerilla.


This is all very true.

I’m not saying the strategy can’t work for Iraq in the long run. They can kick us out. Since the plan, allegedly, is to leave anyway that might be a good exit strategy. :wink: But, I’m not sure that the strategy can save Saddam’s life. I don’t see GWB pulling out before he has Saddam in a morgue next to his dental records.

It gets even worse…

MSNBC is now reporting that the city of Basra is a military target again. It seems that all those soldiers who ‘abandoned their weapons and went home’ actually abandoned their light weapons and headed into Basra, where they met the General who had already ‘surrendered’, and where they have heavy weapons intermixed with the population.

This was pretty much my worst nightmare, and I’ve had a sinking feeling about the lack of actual POWs for a couple of days now. I kept thinking, "So, Iraq has what, 700,000 soldiers, and we’ve captured 1,000-2,000? Where ARE they all?

The coalition is in a real pickle now. The people of Basra are going to run out of water in a few days. That means the coalition is either going to have to go into Basra and fight tank battles in the streets and hit targets in the city from the air, or they’re going to have to try and topple Baghdad very fast before the other cities dry up.

And they are also reporting that there is evidence that the Republican Guard around Baghdad will use chemical weapons if the coalition cross certain lines in the sand. And how much do you want to bet that they’ll fight until they’re about to be overrun, then they too will pull back into the city, where they have new caches of heavy weapons waiting for them. They’ll abandon the ones ringing the outside of the city, booby trap them, whatever.

I hope the coalition military commanders have considered these possibilities and have a good counter-strategy. Or rather, I know they have been worried about this scenario - the question is whether they came up with a good counter strategy that doesn’t result in tens of thousands of civilian casualties.

Negotiations? Gas the cities with something temporary? Give them a two week virus? Um, those last two might look bad.

We really have become the world’s policeman. We have a hostage crisis. The Iraqi regime is holding the Iraqi population hostage as leverage to force a US withdrawl or negotiations. Oh, and not just human shields, but whole cities. We have not seen anything like this since Stalin gave no retreat or evacuation orders in Leningrad, Stalingrad, and Moscow.

I guess the stuff about Saddam having studied Stalin is true.

The media is also reporting that the formerly ‘secure’ oil fields in the south have come under attack again, forcing the withdrawal of the civilian firefighters trying to put out the oil fires.

The strategy of the Iraqis looks pretty clear, and I think our ‘worst scenarios’ that we talked about a few weeks ago turned out to be exactly right. Let the coalition have a free run to Baghdad, get them to stretch out their supply lines, bog them down in the cities, and then attack the supply lines on their flanks. Use human shields, bury heavy weapons into densely populated civilian areas, and force the coalition to dig them out with high casualties on both sides. Hope that the casualties mount quickly and humanitarian problems with food and water supplies force the coalition to withdraw.

Hopefully, they underestimated the coalition forces, and they’ll adapt and find a winning strategy. I imagine they probably expected this all along. The 3rd infanty is rocketing towards Baghdad as fast as they can - I suspect the reason is because they know they need to go for a ‘quick kill’ of the regime before the Humanitarian problems become critical.

This is, quite frankly, one of the most bizarre things I have ever read.

I read that the “taking of Badhdad” could cost some 3.000 US-coalition lifes.

3.000 is a hugh underestimation in a city, where You have to fight house by house.
Tanks can be used at the outskirts of the city, after that it is man against man, in a surrounding where those that are defending, knows every corner and hide-out.

3 - 4 million refugees waiting outside the city, infiltrated with whom-ever.
To combat Baghdad, an area that is bigger than New York…

I would say that it takes some 30 - 70.000 soldiers, or USA has to flatten the whole city. (In which case USA probably has half the Iranian army on its neck.)

It depends how the defenders fight.
5.000 snipers will do.

They have already shown that they fight very well on their own soil. USA have much heavier causiliaties than they officially admit.


Then add everything that is blown up in the next months around the world.

Naturally there will be a victory, if You count that calming down an area within 20 - 50 years is a victory.

Henry (from Finland)

This may be flamebait, but is it possible to conceive that there may be one or two, or one or two thousand individuals living in a country that are not members of the national army that may resent the arrival of a hostile foreign invader?

And my impression is that the Middle Eastern civilian population has a guns-owners ratio possibly even higher that the US.

And these individuals, or groups of neighbours may not have read the Geneva convention in it’s entirity.
They may even have already come to the conclusion that they will not do well by standing up in lines and fighting ‘fair’.

I think these (totally fictitious) constructs are unlikely to be wearing uniforms.

I think a battlefield is an extremely confusing place to be.

Go figure. What would a gun-owning patriot do when the invading force (who he has been told to expect the worst from) pulled into his suburb and his army was elsewhere - go read up on international law?

Where is the line drawn between a militia member, a guerilla, and a man keeping other guys with guns out of his hometown?

Yes, I also appreciate that any good strategist is also capable of creating the FUD discussed in this thread, but does that mean that EVERY incident is manufactured?


I would think that this eventuality WAS expected. Certainly it was on the table. In fact I seem to recall hearing talk about Iraqi soldiers in civilian clothes being a concern as the war began.