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Showing posts from March, 2003
More Iraqi War Analysis
I wrote my friend on Friday, March 28, 2003 to give some observations for the days to come. I'll update this in about a week to see how things have unfolded.

The road ahead...

1. Clearly, the British need to gain control of Basra. This will take several days at least and maybe a week.

2. The US has to secure its long supply line. If reports of supply problems are true that is priority number one and there will not be a big battle this weekend that some news outlets are forecasting. Franks must resist any political pressures to make an attack on Baghdad sooner rather than later. The welfare of his troops must be paramount.

3. With clear weather for the next several days forcasted, air efforts will shift heavily to hitting the Republican guard units south of Baghdad.

4. Chemical weapons... the great unknown.... my fear is that Hussein will order their use. If the winds ever completely quiet down, he will fire them at coalition forces. His calcul…
Iraqi War Analysis
I wrote an email to a friend who has a great interest in Foreign Affairs giving my view of what might unfold. The message was sent: Sat, 22 Mar 2003. I've typed in the bold face what the situation looks like today nine days after that email.

My analysis:

1. The Iraqi leadership has probably been disrupted but I suspect enough of the leadership is intact to keep them fighting. The bottom line is not whether Hussein is dead or alive. We know from the UBL story that these bad guys are notriously tough to kill and have a few dozen cubby holes to hide in. So even if Hussein is injured, enough of his inner circle is still alive and sending out orders. These guys will not surrender willingly because they will be torn limb from limb by Iraqis if caught by them or will be tried for war crimes if caught by the USA/UK troops.
Hussein shows up only on tape of indeterminant time frames so his fate remains uncertain. Iraqi TV is still on the air and the level of resist…
Lt. Col. Collins' message to the Royal Irish battle
groupSaw this item on Hugh Hewitt's site.


As Quoted in a 'Times of London' Commentary


Mar. 23, 2003 -- Maintaining morale among troops facing combat is one of the greatest responsibilities -- and challenges -- for military field commanders. A commentary by Ben MacIntyre in the Times of London this weekend quoted a battlefield speech given by Lt. Col. Tim Collins, a 42-year-old commander of the Royal Irish battle group. Just hours before his troops went into battle, Col. Collins said this:


"The enemy should be in no doubt that we are his Nemesis and that we are bringing about his rightful destruction. There are many regional commanders who have stains on their souls and they are stoking the fires of Hell for Saddam. As they die they will know their deeds have brought them to this place. Show them no pity. But those who do not wish to go on that journey, we will not send. As for the others, I expect you to rock thei…
More thoughts on the UNAt the moment, the vote counters tell us that Russia, France, China, Germany and Syria are against (5) and that United States, Britain, Spain and Bulgaria (4) are in favor and Cameroon, Chile, Angola, Guinea, Pakistan, Mexico are undecided (6).

What if instead of Germany, Italy "happened" to be on the UN Security Council? And while we are at it, what if Czech Republic held the spot instead of Cameroon? And lastly, what if Kuwait was in a coveted seat in place of Syria?

That would be 3 votes against, 7 in favor with 5 undecided. How do you think the 5 undecided (Chile, Angola, Guinea, Pakistan and Mexico) might vote if the tables were slanted in this direction?

The point being simply this: UN Authorization is nice to have but the vote count means nothing in regards to the rightness or wrongness of military action. If the war is wrong, a UN stamp doesn't make it right. Likewise, if a war is right, a UN red light means nothing.
Did you know?How many times has the US sought UN authorization for military action in the 50 some odd year history of the UN?

One.

Two, if you count the Korean War when the UN acted because the USSR was boycotting the Security Council when the vote was taken.

Glenn Reynolds cites an article by David Frum written for the American Enterprise Institute. Here below is the Frum paragraphs:

For most of the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, Americans dismissed the UN as a basically useless institution. Dwight Eisenhower did not ask it for UN authority before his military actions; neither did John F. Kennedy; ditto Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. Neither for that matter did Bill Clinton. The one and only U.S. President of the past 60 years to trouble himself with UN authority for the use of force was George H.W. Bush before the Gulf War of 1991.

The UN's ability to act decisively in 1991 rehabilitated the old talking-shop on the East River in America…
Why now? If not now, when?Watched the Nightline discussion on the Iraq situation and it was a pretty even panel with 3 in favor of action now and 3 saying we should wait. Wish Claudia Rosett of WSJ was there to speak her mind. Below is an excerpt from her latest column:

Let's do the math. To get even a show of forward motion from Saddam, it has taken 17 failed U.N. resolutions, 12,000 pages of pointless documents from Baghdad, umpteen visits to Iraq by Mr. Blix, the concentrated attention for many months of the entire world, plus--and most important--the deployment to the Persian Gulf of six U.S. aircraft carrier groups and 250,000 troops.

And what have we got to show for it? Saddam as of yesterday had forked over one spare suspected biological bomb and bulldozed two dozen or so missiles he got caught lying about.

Folks, this arithmetic is not going our way. Perhaps if America doubles its troop strength in the gulf to half a million, Saddam will then render up a stray canister of …