Thursday, August 01, 2002

Imagining War

If General Tommy Franks is thwarting "imaginative" planners who want to go to war with Iraq on the cheap, give them hell, general. I say those who want to drop paratroopers directly on Baghdad or who want a small armored force to drive straight for that city to accept its surrender are ones who are insufficiently imaginative. Can they not imagine the Iraqis fighting? Can't they imagine that things go wrong in war?

Going in with a small force is an invitation to the Iraqis to believe they can win this. If they have hope, they will fight. Go in with overwhelming force and crush the Iraqis rapidly and we will emerge victorious, in a short time, and with low casualties. I'll take the criticism that we "over-prepared" any day over the recriminations that will follow a setback in the war and heavy casualties.

And I don't think that planning a shoestring campaign to "please" our allies is smart. They seem to "understand" every tin pot dictator that attacks somebody else or their own people; yet they are throwing a hissy fit because we want to end this murderous regime in Iraq? They will whine regardless. Let's at least give them the chance to whine about a decisive victory. Don't assume victory. I think imagining has edged over into hallucinations. Our technology is not magic and we need to fight to win this war. Marshall a powerful heavy corps and then smash the Iraqis. Use overwhelming force in a rapid conventional campaign and end this crisis with victory. As Anthony Cordesman testified, "I think it is incredibly dangerous to be dismissive. It is very easy to send people home alive. It is costly to send them home in body bags because we did not have sufficient force when we engaged," Cordesman said. "And to be careless about this war, to me, would be a disaster."