Watching events unfold even with the typical misinformation and rumours caused by the confusion and secrecy of a war I am beginning to wonder if something is amiss.
Is this opening of the War something the Military wanted or was it a stumble out of the gate?
First was the surprise attack on Sadam which appears to have missed its target. It seems from all information that this was a last minute decision. Then there is a sand storm which must have delayed some preparation and grounding many helicopters.
Next was the surprise reprisal of Iraqi missiles forcing the preparing troops to duck and cover creating some more confusion. I’m sure certain air units would have to be rerouted to find these launch platforms and drawn from previously planned missions.
Then the Oil wells are set ablaze bringing out forward troops to suppress the Iraqis in the area. Followed with skirmishes on the boarder.
I have the feeling that the actual battle plan was for the “Shock and awe” to happen tomorrow but they have to put out smaller unsuspected fires in a shucks and aww manoeuvre
I’m certain the US will prevail on the battlefield but I’m questioning how easily the Iraqis may roll over as they are not overwhelmed by surrendering Iraqis yet.
Is this a bad start or Is everything still under control?
Everything you’ve suggested as skewing the plan would have been expected.
I have enough faith in our military that the planners didn’t simply expect mass surrender.
But the interesting thing is, what will happen next?
While Baghdad is the ultimate target, it is reasonable to assume that securing the rest of the country is a higher priority, for at least three reasons:
[li]Secure the “scud zone” in western Iraq, to prevent any missle attacks directed at Israel.[/li][li]Secure the Turkish border, to minimize any sort of conflict between the Kurds and the Turks.[/li][li]Humanitarian - secure the country for distribution of food and medicine.[/li][/ol]
Not having direct access through Turkey, all the mechanized support needs to cross at Kuwait, and make their way to secure these other areas (not to mention Basra to start). I would expect quick movement to cover both of those areas, and begin to surround and choke Baghdad.
Without Turkish border access, I would expect paratroopers to fall en masse into northern Iraq to help cover the border till the armor arrives.
I would also expect either paratroopers, or perhaps just special ops, to quickly attempt to prevent the lighting of oil wells.
And at the same time, keep whatever troops aggregate in Baghdad pinned down with surgical air strikes and cruise missles, with additional focus on command and control infrastructure.
Keep in mind that most of what you hear on the news is wrong or intentionally misleading. All it takes is one person to say something wasn’t expected, and that’s enough of a source to get a headline on CNN.
I think they want to give the Iraqis time to surrender before they unload on them with both barrels. The goal is to topple the regime, not destroy the army. I assume that there are a lot more ground operations going on than are actually being reported. Give it a couple days. Iraq is a big country.
The attack on Saddam did seem somewhat last-minute, but I doubt it was really expected to take him out. I’m guessing that Bush got some last-minute intelligence that he may or may not have been anticipating, and opted to make a quick-and-dirty attempt to nail him at the get-go, under the assumption of “Hey, what the hell?” At the worst, it’d throw the fear of God into some of the RG. Better yet, it may kill a few higher-ups, and throw the RG into confusion for a bit. And at best, though far from likely, it may nail Saddam.
Outside of the initial attack, it doesn’t look to me that the allies have been caught off-guard. Saddam lobbed some SCUDs (that he supposedly didn’t have ), but we must have anticipated that, and they were all shot down. We haven’t begun “shock and awe” mode, but we’re probably just waiting to secure a few loose ends before we begin. Whether that phase happens now or tomorrow is pretty irrelevant - it’ll come, and it’ll scare the living hell out of the Iraqis, and then is when we’ll start seeing some mass surrenders.
Bottom line: I have full faith in the way we’re handling this thus far.
I would say that if we’re all confused over what’s going on, then everything is probably going according to plan. (-:
As far as I can tell, the only thing that’s happened so far that can really be counted as an undesirable thing is the lighting of those oil wells. But it’s only three or four so far, and I’ll bet they have those fires out within a few days.
The long range missiles over Kuwait are worrisome, but so far they haven’t done any real damage.
And I don’t think yesterday’s ‘decapitation’ attack was a failure. They may not have gotten Saddam (although we’re still not sure), but it’s almost certain that some of the leadership was hit. And today the Arab news was reporting that Qusay, on of Saddam’s maniacal sons, had suffered a ‘brain hemmorhage’. Yes, I’ll bet shrapnel could cause a pretty good hemmorhage.