Thursday, December 05, 2002

Kuwait Thrust

In my mind anyway, the Kuwait thrust is the diversion. What would it have and do? First, it will have a Marine Expeditionary Force of 3 or 4 infantry regiments and a couple tank battalions (plus supporting air wing). It will have a British heavy division and maybe some infantry formations if they don’t get deployed to the northern Turkish front. It should have enough American stuff to make V Corps look real: a heavy brigade or armored cavalry regiment to screen, and attack helicopter and separate artillery brigades to provide loud and obvious firepower.

The Marines with some of the British armor attached would seize Basra and destroy the Iraqi regular forces in the region (destroy them, accept their surrender, or organize their defection). Fifth Corps would strike north into the vacuum in a really loud attack toward the Euphrates to simulate the main thrust and cover the real main effort out of Jordan. Lots of arty and attack helos ranging ahead to tear up the landscape and keep the Iraqis looking this way as long as possible until the nature of the western thrust can no longer be hidden (that attack may initially be dismissed as nothing more than an unusually big raid that is Scud hunting).

Eventually, some of the forces under Marine command could then assist V Corps in crossing the Euphrates if we want a secondary thrust to seal off Baghdad from the south and open up a supply line from Kuwait. Dodging chemical strikes may make it too much of a hazard, however, to try to clear the highways to the north. Excess forces might instead need to swing west of the Euphrates to reinforce XVIII Airborne Corps’ main attack from the west and prepare for the Battle for Baghdad should resistance solidify.

The Iraqis have pulled so far back to avoid getting hammered that we could simulate the main attack for days before the nature of the plan becomes apparent.

Of course, I really have no idea what will happen other than the big picture of a major ground invasion that will overthrow the regime.

Heck, maybe it will be a real surprise and the invasion will roll out of Syria!

On to Baghdad.