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

Tuesday | March 25, 2003

Big US victory, Iraqi overconfidence?

The US is claiming a big victory against Iraqis attacking 7th Cav near An Najaf.

It's clear that US forces can decimate any Iraqi efforts in the open desert -- indeed, if Iraq fought all its battles in the open the US would wipe them out completely while suffering only a handful of casualties. The Iraqis seemed to understand this, dictating their "unconventional" tactics to date.

But to attack the armored spearhead of the US onslaught head on? Folly. Any more of these and we'll get that cakewalk after all.

Two possibilities -- the Iraqi forces perhaps thought they could sneak up on the Americans in the blinding sand storm, especially with US airpower grounded. But thermal sights can see through sand, and the Iraqis were easy pickings. Indeed, while hundreds of Iraqis were killed, the US suffered no casualties (though a couple of vehicles were reportedly disabled).

The other possibility? Things have been going reasonably "well" for the Iraqis. This is all relative of course, but the fact Iraqi defenses in southern Iraq have held undoubtedly raised morale.

So perhaps the Iraqis have become overconfident, suffering from the same hubris that infected Bush and the rest of the Chickenhawk Brigade. As both sides undoubtedly realize by now, overconfidence is a negative battlefield trait.

The Iraqis will undoubtedly stick to the urban centers now and wage their defensive war of attrition.

And it looks like the Americans are also ready to slow things down, allow consolidation of existing gains and give the 3rd ID (my old division, btw) and other spearhead units some much needed rest and maintenance. Perhaps rearguard units can consolidate the supply lines and -- dare we hope -- pacify Basra and Nassiriya?

The Battle of Baghdad starts March 29.

Posted March 25, 2003 09:02 PM | Comments (115)


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