Considering I see miscalculations in this war on almost a daily basis, (I support the troops and know it’s a very difficult job) I’ve been thinking about the best way to go about this.
I have a brother on a boat headed there and I’m losing faith that the military can win this WITHOUT significant Coaltion losses. Taking a city of this size with a determined, experienced enemy has not panned out well historically. (see Stalingrad) …only the Nazis weren’t trying to limit civilian casualties. Our Job is intrinsically harder. We have a very capable force with the right plan.
This is briefly what I would do. I’m sure it has flaws:
Set up huge camps outside the city. This is an enormous undertaking, I know.
Begin a simple campaign directed at those inside who would leave to allow them to do for the safety of their families. It’s going to be difficult to do this but with the right incentives, message and patience I believe many would leave. Make it clear that they very well could be a target if they don’t. A neutral neighbor could even be in charge of the camps. Have the neighbor process them.
This is an attempt to limit American/British and Civilian lives.
I’m not a fan of this War. I know Saddam is a bad man that needs to be removed. At what cost is the question.
There have been reports (from Basra) that civilian refugees trying to leave have been shot at and/or forced to return at gunpoint. Of course, one never knows what to believe, but that may be a problem WRT a siege.
My understanding is that the war is heading for a fairly enormous, lengthy siege.
The impact on civilian Iraqi life will be catastrophic. Iraqi militia and Baath will of course take priority in terms of rations/water/medicine.
The idea of setting up refugee camps outside might work, but maintaining and policing them will be a nightmare. How can you tell innocent Baghdadi refugees from Baath terror thugs masquerading as refugees to wreak terror and havoc in those camps?
I think that we need to stop thinking about specifically military casualties, and start thinking about minimising overall human casualties. War is about bloodshed. A Moral War is about sacrifice. If the US and Britain have gone in to deliver innocent Iraqis, they may well have to give their lives for Iraqi lives.
So it may be that things need to be done more swiftly and aggressively - with more risk to US and British troops, but with less risk of starvation to Iraqis.
IMO the US also needs to start behaving vis-a-vis the UN, and crack down on the anti-French racism. Because the UN is already needed in humanitarian terms, and peacekeeping forces will almost certainly be needed to help maintain safety in those refugee camps.
I am not sure what you are saying. the reason that the allies are hesistant about attacking the cities directly is about saving both civilian (for international opinion) and military lives, Unfortunately they must make a decision soon. It sounds like they will have to destroy Iraq to save it (now where have I heard that before?)
I was talking more hypothetically - in relation to the OP’s idea of a long siege. This would possibly preserve more US and British lives - and civilian lives - than charging in (at least in the short term) but might have a greater humanitarian cost, in civilian lives, longer term.
My own perception though is that the war is heading for a siege.
I expect them to keep dropping special ops teams into the city, and have snipers outside pick off any Iraqi soldier with a gun and any officers they can see. The Spec OPs boys will hunt down and kill the top brass, while bombers blast the bad boy’s hidy holes. They have to sleep somewhere, after all.
I would agree that we’re heading for a siege of Baghdad, and it’s probably the best course as far as minimizing casualties. I would also agree that establishing large camps outside the siege lines for any Iraqi that can leave the city is a good thing. Appropriate searches and security provided or course. Now the Saddam loyalists will probably make it difficult for people to leave the city. Which may ultimately work in our favor, since people will quickly realize just what tactics those loyalists are willing to use to remain in power. We’ll have to be very careful and persistent in how we wage the war for Baghdad’s “hearts and minds”, which I think is the real prize here.
Pray tell how you envision that one.
It would be hard enough to slip in on foot during the night but how do you expect special ops teams to keep hidden, in a 99% hostile city, and actively hunt any targets?
The idea of evacuating the city so it can be flattened has occured to many. I’d be surprised if the citizens weren’t encouraged to do this by us/uk, its good PR for the coalition & shows Saddam in a bad light, but as every male in the city is going to be conscripted it begs the question - why does a man become a legit target when someone pins a badge on him at gunpoint?
If Saddam declares every man woman & child conscripted is it then OK to fire indiscriminately?
IMO the coalition will give Baghdad this “option” so it can claim clean hands.Then when the US public gets bored waiting & demands stronger action they will begin to flatten the city.After all the court of public opinion is the only one they worry about.
In that case the flight of civilians will then accelerate, & hopefully safe routes might be established (not easy)
I’m afraid they wont flee until we start bombing them.Balance of fear.
Hope your bro. gets out OK.
(Note: The following comes from layman’s perspective on some urban warfare information I’ve read over the years.)
I don’t think it’s amount to a siege, per se. More likely, coalition troops will punch a wedge into a relatively lightly defended segment of Baghdad, and then secure that portion. Then, another wedge will get punched in somewhere in the same 90 degree quarter. The space between those wedges will then be cleared–the wedge consolidates. Another wedge appears somewhere else, and the process repeats.
When most of the civilian areas are under control, then they can degrade the most heavily defended areas at leisure.
I would surround Baghdad, bomb all the way around the perimeters of the city taking out Iraqi troops holding citizens inside that were blocking exits.
Use my new broadcasting system to let those citizens know that we were there to assist getting them out of the city. I would continue to do this and if new perimeters were set up I would bomb in one step again.
With each ring you take out you close them in and pull out more innocents when gates open up.
You keep making the circle smaller and smaller until you have them pinned to nothing…
You have made a big concretive effort to get out those that are victims of circumstance and kill those that are basically holding them hostage and would resort to urban gorilla warfare…
But hey I am sure that those that have had life long military careers have a plan, so I am going to differ to the experts…
As the old saying goes…
You know you have had enough to drink when you start giving yacht design pointers to a license navel architect…lol
While a city-wide evacuation is a good thing in terms of saving lives, it still is a terrible thing to have happen.
Baghdad is a huge city. It has millions of people in it. If these people are put in regugee camps, they will likely loose everything to looters. Imagine millions of people loseing all the stuff they have worked for, all the stuff they’ve accumulated over a lifetime. Imagine how many people will lose their livelyhood- stores will be looted of their goods and anyone who’s work requires equiptment may find themselves unemployed. Not only is this a great cost in human terms, but it will really hurt Iraqui society and the Iraqui economy.
God you got that right and not only that but one that stars …
Micheal Moore, Barbara Streisand, David Duke, Jerry Faldwell, Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Susan Surandan, Pat Robinson, Al Sharpton, The Dixie Chicks, Lenny Kravitz and Crissie Hyde to name some of the more allustrious names of people who have fame for putting their mouths in motion and brains out of gear on a national scale…
But you do it and take away their personal assistance, cell phones and no manager contact…
That would shut Baghdad down and have everyone running quicker than throwing candy over the fence of a day care center…
Drop leaflets all over Baghdad telling the all citizens to get out or face certain death in 4 weeks. Police all the refugees coming out (to make sure that no people of political importance are trying to get out).
After 4 week carpet baom the city, flatten it.
Evacuate Baghdad?? Last I saw the population of Baghdad was about 5 million people. Do you have any idea how many five million people is? There is no way you could build camps to hold all of them.
We are going to try to taked their city. They know it inside and out. We really know nothing of it.
Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t one of the reasons why the powers that be kickstarted this war when they did was because they did not want US troops fighting in Iraq in the height of the summer heat, when temperatures regularly reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit? Now we are talking about an extended seige of Baghdad, which would seem to include the summer months. How on earth are US (oops, I mean COALITION) forces supposed to sit in the Iraqi desert for months waiting for Baghdad to capitulate?