I visit strategypage.com far too infrequently. Dunnigan is pretty good and goes way back in quantifying war as a game designer back in the 1970s. He has a good map of Iraqi deployments and estimated US/British invasion force. 2-1/3 heavy divisions (including a cavalry regiment?), 101st Airborne, and a Marine Expeditionary Force backed by three British brigades (a division). I assume 10th Mountain and a parachute brigade too, but we're in the ball park here.
The people at strategypage.com seem to assume a Kuwait springboard. Here I have to disagree. We'd have to cross rivers, advance through broken terrain through 2 regular corps (or take them prisoner-and guarding them might drain more of our power than killing them), watch a corps on the Iran border in case the commander gets delusions of counter-attack glory, smash a Republican Guard corps, and then battle the Special Republican Guards in Baghdad. All the while, being doused on the road north with chemicals.
Why do it the hard way?
We think the regular Iraqi army will defect or stay in the barracks so why go near it? If we get close to a regular force, we probably have to kill it just in case.
Why risk the chemical highway by advancing between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers? And if we go west of the Euphrates, can we supply the divisions as they work their way up to Baghdad if the supply line goes back to Kuwait?
Why do anything but feint out of Kuwait?
As I've mentioned before, were I God, I would base the invasion's main effort out of Jordan and head right for Baghdad down that very good highway from Jordan with two heavy divisions and the 101st. The British and Marines and one heavy brigade simulating all of V Corps advances out of Kuwait. With nothing down there, who would know it was not the main effort until XVIII Airborne Corps arrived in the western Baghdad suburbs? 10th Mountain out of Turkey. The parachute brigade to seize some important airfield. Rangers to drop on Saddam's caravan as he runs or to hit a WMD site if it looks like it is about to be used.
News tonight said we plan rolling start to invasion, attacking while we deploy. The way the Iraqis are pulled back out of fear of us, this might work. I am wary of dribbling in the troops piecemeal but it could work, especially since we have the heavy armor already out there.
If we are really lucky, defecting Iraqi units shepherded by our special forces will spearhead any assault on Baghdad should that be necessary to win the war.
But it appears that we really will need to see a big airlift prior to invasion. We did not manage to secretly deploy the troops to start the war on the 27th. How long must we airlift troops before we go? Don't know. But the air bridge should start before we go. I sure as heck hope we aren't truly going to wait until February. I'm not convinced we will wait, but my old timetable is shot.
Stop stalling. Our enemies prepare for us. Hit them before they figure out how to stop us.