Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Sunday | March 23, 2003

Geneva convention; logistics

The US has made a mockery of the Geneva Conventions in its prosecution of the war in Afghanistan. With this administration, international law only applies to others. Be it Turkey ("no unilateral attack of Iraq, please!"), or Iraq -- who is now violating the conventions by showing American POWs on television.

The US won't get much sympathy in the world. It so blatantly outclasses Iraq's defenders, in a war without legal sanction, that no one will be too outraged at this turn of events. Indeed, it's clear that the world is rooting for Iraq. Bush has turned the US into the "bad guy". I'm not used to having my country play that role.

What's more significant to me (than the violation of the Geneva Convention) is the way these US forces were captured.

I have written a great deal about logisitics. The US faces the following problems in their logistics efforts:

  1. they only have a single logistics line running from Kuwait (because of the US' inability to get Turkey, Saudi Arabia or Jordan aboard); and

  2. US forces are bypassing towns as they head north (it minimize casualties, but allows Iraqi guerilla forces to harass supply lines running past those towns).
Throw in a third difficulty -- the rush northward is moving so quickly (to minimize domestic and international fallout) that the supply line is being stretched thin and increasingly unguarded, more open to harrassment by Iraq's defenders.

Well, CNN reports that the 10 captured soldiers were mechanics running behind the armored spearhead. They were part of the logistics chain, and easy pickings for Iraqi troops looking for a big propaganda victory.

There's no way Iraq can face off against our armor and hope to survive long. The Achilles' heel of this operation will continue to be our logistics.

Update:CNN just put this up:

U.S. Marines encountered heavy resistance and have suffered casualties Sunday in fighting near the southeastern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah.

Marines entered the city after Iraqi forces ambushed a U.S. military convoy bringing supplies to coalition forces in the region, according to CNN's Alessio Vinci.

Coalition forces had opted Saturday not to try to occupy Nasiriyah in order to speed up their advance to Baghdad.

I called it. But in this case, there's no joy in being correct.

Posted March 23, 2003 08:24 AM | Comments (60)


Bush Administration
Business and Economy
Foreign Policy

© 2002. Steal all you want.
(For non-commercial use, that is.)