At first I was a bit discouraged to learn that Blix was planning to act, well, Blix-like in his inspections. If he was going to waste time inspecting places the Iraqis would like us to inspect, how would that bode well for getting this wrapped up before the year is out? I was worried we would have less international support for invading.
But on a little reflection, this may actually work for us. Given that we probably aren’t expecting too much from Blix anyway, maybe this isn’t so bad. That is, if we are counting on the December 8 deadline to show that Iraq is lying, does it matter whether Blix plans to spin his wheels for years rather than weeks? Indeed, knowing that they will only have to meet Blix standards of inspections, they may be encouraged to hide more and fail to disclose their programs by December 8. If they thought they would have to face effective inspections (which would face a hard time anyway in the face of Iraqi deception) they might disclose more.
But now… we may get our reason for war with time to spare.
And this article notes the dramatic increase in our air strikes in the no fly zones. Blix shields us too, I guess.
Last, Globalsecurity.org’s list of equipment for our heavy brigades shows six brigades worth of equipment already out there from Diego Garcia to Kuwait. The two at Diego Garcia could ship to the Gulf or Red Sea without too much notice at all, I imagine. That’s all we need, folks—two divisions worth of heavy stuff, and it is already there. I think my guess of a month to be ready is too high—although I still think we go just after Christmas. And the carriers still need to gather, of course. Could we be planning a third heavy division? Now that would be a sledgehammer.
On to Baghdad.