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  • War with Iraq?

    Hello,

    I just finished reading an article that states that Bush said that the war with Iraq may be unaviodable.

    So, I'm curious, how will this affect our ability to safeguard our national interests in other regions as America may have to use all of its available military resources from other strategic regions in overthrowing Saddam Hussein and insitituting a regime change in Iraq?

    How realistically can we expect the general public willing to incur the military causalties and unaviodable political fallout from our little military adventure into Iraq? I'm just curious....seeing some of you are professional military officers (or noncomissioned officers or whatever).

    Can we expect the Iraqi Army to learn from its mistakes in the previous war (Gulf War)? Will the Republican Guards be better prepared for a major assault or offensive on their positions?

    I am curious about Israel, if we attack Iraq, there is a high chance that Saddam will attempt to incite Arab sympathies by provoking Israel into acting against a fellow Arab country. We can't realistically expect Israel to sit with its hands tied, unable to defend itself, not after seeing how it was humiliated during Gulf War, reducing itself to depend upon American Patriot missiles, and warplanes on search and destroy missions.

    Will we try to draw out the Iraqi troops stationed in the cities before having to fight our way into them, fully expecting a high causalty rate? I once read an article that says a marine unit was given an assignment, it was to train its troops in urban setting. It was given a mission to clear all of its objectives in a fake city setting. It proceeded on, suceeded, but suffered a near 80 percent causalty rate, and it showed that even the lowliest ranked soldier has to have substantial training in communicating with fire support units and tanks in order to coordinate things better and more effective. The problem is the tendency of enemy forces to target any and all professional officers first in order to reduce a certain unit's capabilities and its leadership so that any enemy has a better chance of surviving a battle. Is this true in the professional circle?

    I'm just curious on how we can proceed from a military prespective without the talking heads on a televised show or calling themselves the "experts" when they really know nothing.

    Thanks,
    Dan
    Major James Holden, Georgia Badgers Militia of Rainbow Regiment, American Civil War

    "Aim small, miss small."

  • #2
    Originally posted by Cheetah772

    So, I'm curious, how will this affect our ability to safeguard our national interests in other regions as America may have to use all of its available military resources from other strategic regions in overthrowing Saddam Hussein and insitituting a regime change in Iraq?
    Indeed, there is some concern that a campaign in Iraq will stretch our already thin military resources. The US military operates at a level allowing it to fight two major wars simultaneously. However, military downsizing, Peacekeeping operations, the War on Terrorism, etc, has seriously threaten this capability. Our present mandatory committments might already be equal to a single major war. So fighting in Iraq will be cause problems.

    Military planners are hoping for a rapid conclusion to offensive oerations, allowing the bulk of the invasion forces to return home rapidly. Yet, even then these units will need time to rest, re-train, and equip, before resuming operational capability.

    If we take out Saddam Hussein's regime in a matter of days, maybe threats to our interest will not have time to react before our forces re-direct their attention. If they do, we will likely have to rely on National Guard, Reserve, and local governements for protection.

    However, I don't any major threat will materalize during the Campaign. Any that does, can be addressed by the US high level of mobility, and allies closer to the area of interest. I mean the United States will not be left necked. The discussion of manpower strains concern our ability to maintain committments while ensuring soldier's health. Soldiers can fight with little rest inbetween, but morale, etc suffer. A longer term effect might be a large number of sodlers choosing not to re-enlist.

    Originally posted by Cheetah772

    How realistically can we expect the general public willing to incur the military causalties and unaviodable political fallout from our little military adventure into Iraq? I'm just curious....seeing some of you are professional military officers (or noncomissioned officers or whatever).
    This is a very serious problem. I wonder just how the American people will react to high casualties. Again, the military is banking on a rapid conclussion to hostilities to minimize the number of KIA/WIA. Yet, BC weapons and urban combat will likely make the minimum number high.

    The American people did, to some degree, accept the risk of high casualties in 1991. Fears were degraded by the early success and low human cost of the air war. Yet, military and political commanders were still very concerned. There were very tight controls on the media when the ground phase began. That's one reason why so little footage of this operation exist. What little that does was shown many hours after being shot. You can expect a similar display this time around. Maybe the American people will discover the actual number after the worst is over. It will lessen, but not eliminate the political fallout.

    I believe that if the Bush Administration convinces the American people this war is imperative to ensure National Security, we can expect a tolerance for higher casualties. This is the case in Afghanistan. I think even if we suffered a few hundred dead, the American people would have reasoned it a necessary cost. Americans must accept Bush's position in any case. If not, even one soldier dead, will cause political ramifications.

    Then there is the long term commitment. US troops will need to be in Iraq for many years to come. The nation-building/stablization operation could be more costly than the invasion. The political situation in Iraq is shaky at best. Dictatorship rarely promotes the kind of political leadership growth needed to create experienced politicians. Those that are experienced will likely be banned from participating in the new government because of their association with Saddam Hussein's regime. Thus a new Iraq will be led by a bunch of amateurs relying on outside advisors to counsel them. That can lead to trouble.

    The various factions opposing Saddam Hussein have already enlisted the support of other nations. A new government in Iraq will be influenced by Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Jordan. Any one of these could demand the faction they support receive more say than the other. Any opposition by the West to this will result in that faction claiming the US is being bias, or trying to create a puppet regime in Iraq. Whether this is true or not is irrelevant. Soon, those who appeared to be our allies at the beginning, will turn on our forces and efforts.

    The mission has the high risk of turning into a quicksand for our troops. Bin Laden and company, along with every nut with a gun could run to Iraq to take a shot at the vulnerable American and western soldiers. In response, the military launches a counter-insurgency operation that might anger the local population making matters worse. Disarming the people is often seen as an attempt by the disarmer to establish more control. So people are less willing to give up this "equalizer." Soon we are fighting Iraq and it's allies.

    Pulling out without completing the job is not going to be a great option. Instability in the Middle East is often contageous. If the US isn't there, many of Iraq's neighbors will compete, with force if necessary, for control. Syria, Iran, Turkey, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia all have very good reasons for taking Iraq.

    Many of the Persian Gulf States would then blame the US for the problem, and oil goes up, another war needs to be fought, etc. Yet, if we stay, the same make occur anyway.

    On the plus side, unlike Afghanistan, Iraq does have the means to reasonably support itself. A stable economy could go a long way to stablizing the country. However, all Iraqis must see the benefits. Remember money is a reason "to" go to war.

    Originally posted by Cheetah772

    Can we expect the Iraqi Army to learn from its mistakes in the previous war (Gulf War)? Will the Republican Guards be better prepared for a major assault or offensive on their positions?
    The Iraqi regular army is not a great threat. Saddam keeps them weak to prevent possible insurrection. The major threat comes from the Iraqi Repubian Guard. RGFC is still a very effective fighting force. The recently released Iraq Dossier released by the British suggest that release authority for BC weapons have been delegated to some degree. While Saddam still maintains the supreme authority. I am certain RGFC commanders have their orders.

    The Iraqi military overall is very centralized. Saddam's strict control doesn't allow the personal initiative needed for military forces to adjust to the ever changing battlefield. If we can sever communications with Saddam Hussein and senior Iraqi leaders at the outset, our military operation could be easier.

    The US military seems to agree. Some plans can for a massive air assault to secure Baghdad early on in the invasion. CNN reports that anywhere from 50,000-100,000 troops would land rapidly, seize Baghdad, hopefully capturing or killing Saddam, deafeating RGFC in defensive positions, before holding for linkup with other Coalition forces. This is a very risky plan with many problems. I'm very daring, but I just don't see an air assault succeeding without incurring some serious casualties. It would be a logistical feat since the force will have to rely on cargo planes for their lifeline. I'm not saying it's impossible, just very difficult.

    In any case, I do believe seizing Baghdad quickly is imperative to a rapid, positive conclusion of the invasion. The Iraqi military at all levels will have a very difficult time recovering from such a blow.

    Yet, again, it capturing Baghdad can't be seen as the Golden Bullet. We must have forces in position to capitalize on the shock value such an success will have.

    Originally posted by Cheetah772

    Will we try to draw out the Iraqi troops stationed in the cities before having to fight our way into them, fully expecting a high causalty rate? I once read an article that says a marine unit was given an assignment, it was to train its troops in urban setting. It was given a mission to clear all of its objectives in a fake city setting. It proceeded on, suceeded, but suffered a near 80 percent causalty rate, and it showed that even the lowliest ranked soldier has to have substantial training in communicating with fire support units and tanks in order to coordinate things better and more effective. The problem is the tendency of enemy forces to target any and all professional officers first in order to reduce a certain unit's capabilities and its leadership so that any enemy has a better chance of surviving a battle. Is this true in the professional circle?
    Urban combat is very dangerous. Poorly trained, and equipped units (by Western Standards) can really give even the best fighting force hell. the Iraqis might employ BC weapons, use civilians as hostages & to eat up logistics, boobytrap buildings, and turn cities into hells. One retired Marine General said taking Baghdad would be like seizing Los Angeles from a hostile force. Soldiers will need to fight in this urban setting in MOPP suits. The physical and mental demands of urban combat will only be worse as a result. The room-to-room fighting eats up ammunition and supply. And the concrete jungle can consume whole companies. it will not be pleasant.

    The good news is that the Iraqis will have many of the same problems. Saddam might talk alot about Urban combat, but he doesn't understand it. In spite of the urban environment's equalization, the Iraqi's will be in serious trouble. They already have alot of trouble with coordination. We will seal off the city, then attack it. Our forces will get supplies. the Iraqis will not. If any of them have doubt about their cause, they will break under the stress of the urban fighting. While Saddam might prefer uban warfare, but his troops might not. That could make a difference.

    I would prefer to not see any urban fighting. However, it is unavoidable. While costly, you will not see 80% casaulties. Defensive positions can easily become targets for our indirect fire support. However, overall the actual number depends largely on how or if BC weapons are a factor. the BC weapon threat could keep our forces moving. Commanders opt to mount hasty instead of deliberate attacks. This might result in higher casualties. The actual employment of BC weapons makes matters worse. However, if BC weapons are not a real threat, casualty numbers will be much lower. Without this, the Iraqis will have serious problems fighting US forces.

    Of course, we would like to lure the Iraqis into the open. Our fast moving forces will eat them alive in the desert.

    Originally posted by Cheetah772

    I am curious about Israel, if we attack Iraq, there is a high chance that Saddam will attempt to incite Arab sympathies by provoking Israel into acting against a fellow Arab country. We can't realistically expect Israel to sit with its hands tied, unable to defend itself, not after seeing how it was humiliated during Gulf War, reducing itself to depend upon American Patriot missiles, and warplanes on search and destroy missions.
    This without a doubt is causing some major headaches. I find it hard to ask the Israelis to just sit back and take attacks, especially chemical and biological strikes, and do nothing. I know I would probably want Bush's head on a platter if that were to happen here. we must neutralize the SCUD threat immiediately. Patroit Missile Batteries will not be enough.

    The US is likely going to employ alot of SOF and Iraqi dissendents to counter this threat. They can cover more terrain and call in air strikes.

    Ultimately though, the best solution is a rapid end to the war. We need to end the fight before the Iraqis have time to react. Military planners are likely focusing on a plan that will accomplish the mission in days, not weeks.

    I have no doubt we will win the fight. Saddam's ass is toast the moment President Bush gives the order. However, it's the cost that bothers me. Can we honestly look at the love ones of the dead and say, "their life was an acceptable price." We need to decide now how many dead we are willing to tolerate, both now and in the future to depose Saddam Hussein.

    There clearly needs to be more open and honest debate on the issue.
    "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

    Comment


    • #3
      I agree with everything Deltapooh said. This is a much more complicated problem than the Gulf War. In that situation we were faced with the problem of ejecting the iraqi forces from Kuwait, and bleeding them a little in the process. There were problems to be sure, but it was more or less a straightforward operation. This situation is far more complicated, and far more dangerous.

      First, the Iraqi leadership is wise to attempt to shift the fighting into the urban areas if possible. The Iraqi military leadership may not be able to exercise a great deal of independant initiative, but we shouldn't totally discount them. They have learned much over the last ten years. They are well aware of their vulnerability to our technology and agility in the open desert. They will try to avoid such situations where possible. The playing field is far more level in the cities. Not only does this nullify much of our technological advantage, but it also virtually guarantees a very high civilian death toll. The American public may be more willing to tolerate losses among its own soldiers than it is among the enemy civilians! This is an exaggeration, but it does have some measure of truth. If there are masses of Iraqi civilans killed the Arab world will very quickly become restless and violent. A high civilian death toll could also disrupt popular support for the war back in the US, particularly among Democrats. They would no doubt use this as a way to attack President Bush and weaken him politically.

      An air assault into Baghdad without a massive coordinated ground assualt wouldn't be a calculated risk, it would be a gamble. Despite what people think the US Army and Marine Corps are hardly invincible. We bleed like anyone else. The trick is to make the enemy fight your way, in a manner that plays to your strengths and the enemy's weaknesses. It's going to be very difficult to do that in this situation. I totally agree with Deltapooh that a rapid and decisive victory isn't a preference, it's a must! A long campaign works to the Iraqi's benefit, not ours.

      The issue of WMD only complicates the issue. Saddam will almost certainly use them if he thinks he is facing death or capture. He lives in a fantasy world and doesn't really understand the world outside his own borders. He is fed news and information by terrified underlings who indulge his fantasies and feed his arrogance. Ten years of flouting the UN may have convinced him that he can actually win such a confrontation if he plays his cards right. Unfortunately, there are some situations where he could be right. This is not going to be any cake walk.
      Editor-in-Chief
      GameSquad.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Too bad...

        Hello,

        Some very interesting points....

        If US Army is fighting in Baghdad, then how can we find Saddam Hussein in middle of a firefight? Can we follow the example of Panama conflict? Of course, there's some major differences. We're dealing with Arab world, which has far more political clouts and capability to be pissed off pretty much more quickly than the Latin world. Iraq's a big place geographically, and hell a lot more hiding places for our Saddy man. Saddam has a lot more firepower at his disposal than dictator Noregia. It's a lot easier to invade Panama than Iraq. There's a lot of subtle differences.

        Can we really believe that by removing Saddam's power and home base from Baghdad would in effect allowing the regime change to occur? How much nation-building we have to do with Iraq?

        With all due respect to Iraqi population, I think they're old enough to rebuild Iraq from stratch by themselves without US or anybody else's helps. I honestly don't want to help Iraq out with rebuilding its civilian infrastructure, but it's to our advantage that we can place our own favorites and certain people far more cordial to our demands and politicking manuveurs in Middle East policies. It's Machiavellian politics at its best. Besides, we have a mixed record on controlling the Middle East nations in our favor.

        I would prefer to occupy Iraq in order to achieve our immediate objectives. I don't believe that our military should be stationed as a policing agency in any other nation. It's not the primary function of our armed forces in my opinion. I believe that the primary functions of our military should be subdue the hostile nation by any means necessary, and to occupy in order to fulfill its immediate objectives, then get the hell out of there. That is why I don't support peace-keeping operations, they're a strain on our human resources and material resources as well.

        I admit that I'm a bit old-fashioned person even though I am only 23 years old, but I strongly believe in old-fashioned values relating to political and military events and situations.

        Thanks,
        Dan
        Major James Holden, Georgia Badgers Militia of Rainbow Regiment, American Civil War

        "Aim small, miss small."

        Comment


        • #5
          I don't know if hidding will be an option for Saddam. He is a hands on brutal dictator that has to work pretty hard to keep someone from putting a bullet in the back of head. Once he's hidding in some Baghdad slum he's out of the loop and become irrelevant.
          "There is no great genius without some touch of madness."

          Seneca (5 BC - 65 AD)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Cheetah772

            If US Army is fighting in Baghdad, then how can we find Saddam Hussein in middle of a firefight? Can we follow the example of Panama conflict? Of course, there's some major differences. We're dealing with Arab world, which has far more political clouts and capability to be pissed off pretty much more quickly than the Latin world. Iraq's a big place geographically, and hell a lot more hiding places for our Saddy man. Saddam has a lot more firepower at his disposal than dictator Noregia. It's a lot easier to invade Panama than Iraq. There's a lot of subtle differences.
            Capturing Saddam Hussein will be very difficult under any circumstances. He is a very elusive and paranoid individual. He rarely appears on television. When he does, the video is dated. During the Gulf War Saddam took to driving around in a cab or mobile home. A former assassin himself, the man knows how to hide and survive.

            In the opening phases of the invasion, arresting the Iraqi dictator will likely be secondary to denying him and his top advisers & commanders, the ability to communicate with their forces in the field. Removing Saddam from the equation does not guarantee immediate success. RGFC commanders probably would do better without his supervision. Saddam is not a very skilled military commander. He doesn't understand modern warfare, or warfare in general (logistics, calculating risks etc).

            If this air assault were to occur, the primary objective would be to seriously cripple Iraq's centralized command. Most military leaders are so intimidated by Saddam's ruthless authority, they can't exercise initiative. Some units, like the Republican Guard, can function without Saddam Hussein. However, in likelihood, the Iraqis will hesitate, thus providing Coalition forces some additional time. Seizing a capitol of a nation can be psychologically devastating. The Iraqis do have HQ's outside of the city. Yet, the heart of Iraq, and Saddam's control, is Baghdad.

            Of course the down side to this is the Iraqis will fight very hard to maintain possession of the city. As in 1991, the RGFC will likely move the bulk of it's forces to defend or recapture Baghdad. We can't rule out Chemical and biological weapon employment. The Republican Guard is a ruthless force. They will use humans as shields, and to consume Coalition supply. People could be herded into the streets just to block our advances.

            Helicopters will be imperative. The light force must be able to rapidly seal off the city and establish blocking positions. At the same time, key facilities and installations would be captured to improve mobility, disrupt Iraq C3I, and remove Iraqi leadership.

            Like in Somalia, the helicopter can be both a strong friend or your worst enemy. Baghdad is heavily defended. Suppressing ADA units within the city will not be very easy. You can also expect an increase in accuracy. C-5, C-17, C-141, C-130's, and transport helicopters make much larger targets than the F-117, or F-16C. If we start loosing assets, the entire force can become bogged down in rescue operations. This kind of interdiction will also threaten the Air Assault forces only lifeline (the sky).

            Key locations throughout the city are very well protected, and difficult to assault. Take “The Republican Palace” for example. It's an enormous location protected by a garrison on the premises. You would probably need a Battalion Combat Team to take the building. And that is just one of many.

            Originally posted by Cheetah772

            Can we really believe that by removing Saddam's power and home base from Baghdad would in effect allowing the regime change to occur? How much nation-building we have to do with Iraq?
            Again, taking Baghdad will not cut off the head, but might deliver a decisive blow to the enemy. One that the Iraqis can't recover from.

            As for how nation building would be required. The answer is a lot. While Iraq could provide for itself, years of dictatorship have robbed the country of many resources, created much debt, and eliminated any real kind of political structure outside of the Ba th Party. Any new government would have to include factions that don't get along. A major party, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) actually allied with Saddam Hussein in 1996 to defeat the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). In spite of this, the KDP will play an important role in rebuilding Iraq.

            Everything must be designed from the ground up. A Coalition government has to be formed, laws pasted, voice for the people establish. Democratic elections do exists in Iraq, but Saddam just fixes it. We just need to legitimize the process and make sure everyone is represented.

            The bad news is that everyone will want the most say in how Iraq is shaped. Unlike in Afghanistan, Syria, Turkey, and Iran, just to name a few all are major powers in the region. Each have their own agenda. This is where I fear problems will begin. Whoever is unhappy will likely blame the US, and “call upon all Iraqis to resist the imperialists.” Soldiers soon become sitting ducks. The situation deteriorates. Nation-building turns to counter-insurgency.

            If only it were that simple. The Iraqis can indeed do it themselves. In fact, I feel only the Iraqis can decide their country's faith. Deposing Saddam and going home would not achieve much in the long term. It might even result in a worse Iraq. Chaos is a perfect environment for mischief to thrive in. Without our presence, the everybody will be fighting for a piece of that country. This can spawn other wars that eventually consume the US.

            As I stated earlier, Syria, Iran, Turkey, Kuwait, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia all have some interest in a post Saddam Iraq. I can see several major conflicts in the above sentence. At some point, the US will be involved.

            Your opinion Cheetah772 is one reason why there is opposition to invading Iraq. Everyone feels the party will go smoothly, but the clean can turn into a real nightmare.
            I seriously question US staying power. We will want to exit Iraq quickly. As a result, the foundation created by our action will crumble, and we're back to square one with a new leader, and a new (or same) threat. How many rounds would you like to go in Iraq? One should have been enough.

            Short term solutions to long term problems waste energy and lives. If America ask soldiers to risk their lives, we should at least make damn sure their efforts will achieve permanent positive change. Otherwise, why get PVT. Joe Smith killed just to buy enough time for Joe Smith, Jr to grow up, join the military, and die in the same country?

            As you pointed out in another post Cheetah772, we do need clear political objectives. No soldier should leave their barracks without clear, achievable political and military objectives. I hate open-ended commitments.

            I once talked to some troops returning from Bosnia. They felt alienated, and unappreciated by the local population. Worse, when their unit returned to the States, each knew fellow soldiers would replace them. And maybe, at some point, these soldiers would have to return.

            The same guys also discussed their humanitarian mission to Nicaragua. They went on and on about how they built schools, how nice the population was, etc. Each man was eager to return home. However, as they left, each believed they had accomplished something, and were more than willing to go back.

            Soldiers are professionals who want to excel in their chosen field. That's not much different from any civilian. Yet, these open-ended operations that seem to go on forever robs soldiers of the since of achievement. If we are going to invade Iraq, we owe it to our soldiers and future generations that it will not have to be repeated.

            Sure the US can adopt a policy similar to the one in Afghanistan. Basically we said, “if you guys are not serious about creating a stable government, then we are out of here.” Yet, just walking away might leave loose ends that eventually drag us back into the hell we tried to avoid. The region is too important to allow instability. (Another reason the US should get out of the Middle East.)

            I don't disagree with your concept Cheetah772. I actually like it. At 24 yr old, I understand the importance for taking firm stance. Unfortunately, politics and real world situations don't always materialize so simply. The process of making war is extremely complex filled with booby traps. Mistakes result in soldiers loosing their lives for futile causes. I don't like Saddam, and would be quite pleased if I woke up one morning to find the bastard had been beaten to death by a mob of crazed camels! And I know we will hand the Iraqis their butts if we go to war. We must look past the obvious to pounder the future. How Iraq will look ten years from now depends on how we act now and in the next nine years. I personally don't like what I see down the road, and would prefer to take another route. Yet, if the President gives the order, I know that no matter what, a fine armed force will do everything they can to make it come out right in the end. Unfortunately, politics is not that simple.
            "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

            Comment


            • #7
              Saddam might actually give some serious consideration to going into exile as has been suggested by the administration, but I think he will only consider that if he believes he is going to be killed. He is a paranoid individual and probably believes if he gave up power willingly the international community will just haul him off to a war crimes tribunal. He might be right about that...

              I do think Saddam would be extremely vulnerable without his command apparatus. He rules by complete fear and intimidation and has a lot of enemies. It's not clear he could survive long on his own. Whether this is true or not he certainly believes it. That's why he goes to such extraordinary lengths to protect himself. He will react like a cornered animal if he is boxed in...a particularly brutal and ruthless animal.
              Editor-in-Chief
              GameSquad.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Deltapooh....

                Hello,

                you made some good points.

                Granted, I'm not a military professional, but if it were up to me, I would rather pound Baghdad into grounds in a very "Russian" style than going through the city in street fightings. Blow every corner you see, bomb any high buildings, etc. Of course, that would be a politicial disaster, and a high percentage of civilian causalties (not to mentiona additional collateral damage, and bogging down in rubbles, a great place for enemy snipers and other ambushing teams). That wouldn't be flexible from a military perspective.

                I would rather avoid the urban combat engagements. But as long we receive adaquete fire supports in air and artillery assets, we should come out with a slim edge which is better than nothing. Couldn't we just block the city and let them starve out? Of course, if Congress or President sets a time limit, then it's not exactly a very good option.

                I bet we have some special covert forces already within Iraq to recon the positions for the future assaults and to check out the layout of any major city that needs to be assaulted.

                If it were up to me, I would send in some top covert operators to operate behind the enemy lines first, even it's not wartime yet. Trying to gather intelligence is of paramount importance to me. I prefer to have raw information (preferably less than 12 hours old, if possible) in real time mode. Then work with them to coordinate any air strikes on key city infrastructure to eliminate any external threats first. This should be done simaltenously with either airborne assault on Iraqi positions outside of city or around the key defensive positions, then following up with an infantry assault with close combat support assets.

                In the case of chemical or biological weapons, it's best to use napalam which is only thing that's hot enough to vaporize the chemicals or bactericas, and more importantly, I prefer preventative strikes rather than reactionary strikes, which mean using SOF more effectively, allowing them to operate independently of the central command in order to go after the deployment positions of WMDs without any prior authorizations. Let's keep up intense pressure on them, never to give up or stop the pursuit.

                I know I don't have any military training, thus not qualified to make some basic military strategies on achieving any real life objectives, but I would want to keep it simple as much I can.

                Oh well, I guess that's it!

                Bye,
                Dan
                Major James Holden, Georgia Badgers Militia of Rainbow Regiment, American Civil War

                "Aim small, miss small."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Cheetah772

                  Granted, I'm not a military professional, but if it were up to me, I would rather pound Baghdad into grounds in a very "Russian" style than going through the city in street fightings. Blow every corner you see, bomb any high buildings, etc. Of course, that would be a politicial disaster, and a high percentage of civilian causalties (not to mentiona additional collateral damage, and bogging down in rubbles, a great place for enemy snipers and other ambushing teams). That wouldn't be flexible from a military perspective.

                  I would rather avoid the urban combat engagements. But as long we receive adaquete fire supports in air and artillery assets, we should come out with a slim edge which is better than nothing. Couldn't we just block the city and let them starve out? Of course, if Congress or President sets a time limit, then it's not exactly a very good option.
                  First, I'll like to say you ask very good questions. They are not just out there. You seem to read the post, and figure out what you either don't understand, or develop a policy to. Cool

                  Street clearing Russian style is unacceptable, and to a large degree ineffective. The USSR suffered around 300,000 casualties trying to take Berlin. In the hell that was Stalingrad, I believe the number was at least 750,000. Rubble can be a defender's best friend. It obstructs movement, and create excellent defensive positions. the Iraqis might demolish buildings as part of their defensive strategy. The fires, smoke, and non-combatant casualties all create serious problems for the offensive commander.

                  The fight for Baghdad will be a high-intensity urban battle. It will also be casualty-intensive for both sides. When I say the field is leveled, I mean as to the negation of technological advantages. However, troops still have tactics and training to rely on. Not all our technological advantages will be elimated either.

                  Saddam Hussein doesn't understand modern urban combat. The stress alone can break your Army. They are looking at Somalia, Chechnya, Jenin, and other urban engagements. It's alot more complicated than it appears. The RGFC is not a huge force, and will likely defend to protect Saddam Hussein and his interest, not strategic locations. Our strategy of isolate and assault will really turn Baghdad into pure hell for his troops. We will be getting supplies. They won't. Sure even a poorly trained Army can give us hell in an urban enviornment. Yet, let's not forget, the Somalis suffered far heavier casualties. Training and skill are still very important factors. The RGFC might be ruthless, but they are going to get a rude awakening if the US should pay a visit.

                  There are political and humane reasons to consider as well. The Coalition, and American people in general, will more than likely not accept scores of dead women and children, killed by US forces. We have classified Saddam as evil because he kills and tortures the innocent. It would be a serious mistake, no matter the reason, to venture anywhere near our definition of cruelty. While civilian casaulties are unavoidable, we have a duty to protect the innocent, all of them.

                  I know I might be sounding like a peace sign carrying wussy. However, I just feel our military is better than the Russians. And I believe our soldiers are smart enough to win without incurring the blood of the innocent. In my opinion, the senseless slaughter of civilians in an futile effort to minimize our own military casualties would be equal to what the Romans barbaric tradition. They raped and slaughtered captured cities in part to minimize future casaulties in other seiges. No, we are better than that. Saddam has picked a fight with some of the finest armies ever assembled, and the RGFC will get their asses handed to them.

                  Originally posted by Cheetah772

                  Couldn't we just block the city and let them starve out? Of course, if Congress or President sets a time limit, then it's not exactly a very good option.
                  Yes we could just block off the city, and make demands for civilians to come out and let the enemy starve. However, as you stated, most operations have a time limit. Another risk is that it will lmake us sitting ducks for chemical/biological weapons. Also, remember, Baghdad has major HQs. One of our objectives is to limit this. Sealing off the citiy alone will not accomplish this.

                  Now containing sections of the city is a different story. Isolating objectives (be it a house or a neighborhood) is a critical step to assaulting it.

                  Originally posted by Cheetah772

                  I bet we have some special covert forces already within Iraq to recon the positions for the future assaults and to check out the layout of any major city that needs to be assaulted.

                  If it were up to me, I would send in some top covert operators to operate behind the enemy lines first, even it's not wartime yet. Trying to gather intelligence is of paramount importance to me. I prefer to have raw information (preferably less than 12 hours old, if possible) in real time mode. Then work with them to coordinate any air strikes on key city infrastructure to eliminate any external threats first. This should be done simaltenously with either airborne assault on Iraqi positions outside of city or around the key defensive positions, then following up with an infantry assault with close combat support assets
                  You are very much on point here. SOF will play a critical role in the urban battle, but I would have them doing other things than just reconning and spotting targets. COLT, FO, and Scout teams can do the job nicely. SOF can take down locations like the Republican Palace.

                  http://www.globalsecurity.org/milita...can-palace.jpg

                  And here is a link to some additional Sat images of interest.

                  http://www.globalsecurity.org/milita...aq/baghdad.htm

                  Originally posted by Cheetah772

                  In the case of chemical or biological weapons, it's best to use napalam which is only thing that's hot enough to vaporize the chemicals or bactericas, and more importantly, I prefer preventative strikes rather than reactionary strikes, which mean using SOF more effectively, allowing them to operate independently of the central command in order to go after the deployment positions of WMDs without any prior authorizations. Let's keep up intense pressure on them, never to give up or stop the pursuit.
                  Again you are correct on many points. However, I'm not sure napalam is the best technique. I know we have something hotter. Of course, we have to find the dang things in the first place. That will be difficult in itself. However, reportedly, the US is planning to make extensive use of SOF in this role.

                  We can't remove the threat of WMDs though. The RGFC likely have already been issued, or has easy access to Chemical and Biological weapons. The best route to eliminating this threat is rapidly destroying those who would use them.


                  Originally posted by Cheetah772

                  I know I don't have any military training, thus not qualified to make some basic military strategies on achieving any real life objectives, but I would want to keep it simple as much I can.
                  There are no military experts in the true sense of the word. There are just those that know and understand more than others. It doesn't mean someone not wearing the uniform can't understand military tactics. You are trying to minimize our casualties. Every General strives to do the same. And you realize that plans must be kept simple. That's a long standing, well-established law of war.

                  Just remember, another rule is that War is never simple.

                  "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

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                  • #10
                    About Sat pictures....

                    Hello,

                    About these Sat pictures, I checked them out. Oh boy, it looks tough taking that palace! I sure wouldn't want to be in Iraqi troop's place as SOF aren't looking to be nice to enemy in their path!

                    I can imagine it's gonna be a nightmare mapping out these layouts of different luxury and key party buildings owned by Saddam. I'm glad that many of our SOFs are some of the best trained guys in the world...just like SAS or German special forces, I can't spell their name. I've heard that Germans have one of the toughest mountain training schools in the world, I'm not sure if this is right. Maybe some of you can correct my misconceptions. I know that US armed forces aren't necessarily at the center of world stage or best of all.

                    I just hope and pray that our armed forces will react quickly to prevent any deployment of WMDs. I wished to hell that we didn't develop WMDs at all, and throw away the remaining samples of smallpox. No matter what strategy we develop, we have to live in fear of Saddam's reactions to our invasion and his rationale in using the WMDs. I hope Saddam is rational, and isn't willing to use WMDs because that would prove Bush and USA were right all along, and I'm sure Saddam doesn't want to give in.

                    It's funny, we hope like hell Saddam is stupid in mastering the military warfare, but we pray like hell that he doesn't degrade into mental delusions or falling apart losing his ability to rationalize the events around him.

                    Let's give Saddam a real piece of hell!

                    Dan
                    Major James Holden, Georgia Badgers Militia of Rainbow Regiment, American Civil War

                    "Aim small, miss small."

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