Thursday | March 27, 2003
With apologies to CNN, where I stole the map above (until I get a letter from their lawyers, anyway), here's a look at how things seem to stand.
On the other hand, the unexpected Iraqi resistance in the south has tied up the Brits in the region, forcing them to quell continued unrest in Umm Qasr, protect against Iraqi incursions, and try to somehow take Basra from its fanatical defenders. I am obviously not privvy to US/UK plans, but I would assume they hoped to be using the Brits to protect US supply lines and help distribute (and protect) aid shipments now being unloaded at Umm Qasr. So by keeping the Brits tied up in this area, the Iraqis are helping keep US logistcal lines exposed.
1st Marine Div
So what's wrong with this picture? A glaring lack of manpower. Given the need to take Baghdad as quickly as possible, it's clear that two or three additional divisions would've been priceless -- the current forces could've engaged Iraqi forces on the path to Baghdad, clearing the way for the 101st, 1st Cav and/or 1st Armored Div. We'd be knocking on the door to Baghdad right now, rather than fending off Iraqi counterattacks, bogged down by a group of fanatical thugs.
Simply having the 4th ID driving through Iraqi Kurdistan toward Baghdad would've changed the battle equation dramatically. Losing the Turkish front was disastrous and a diplomatic failure of epic proportions.
Shorting the number of forces in theater -- in order to prove Rumsfeld "airpower + special forces = victory" doctrine correct -- was a tactical failure of epic proportions.Posted March 27, 2003 12:23 AM | Comments (207)