Thursday, January 23, 2003

Northern Front

Countdown to Invasion: 8 Days.

So this article talks about the Turkish front with a heavy division from Europe (but 1st Infantry is occupied with Kosovo duties) and elements of 101st Airborne. Military analysts say so. And with all the divisions alerted for war, it appears we have enough for multi-division assaults from everywhere. As long as the North Koreans are quiet. Oops. Ok, as long as we can ship in that much. Well, it might be July before we get all the alerted units to the Gulf region. And then there's that 15,000 cap. Three brigades would reach that level and who provides logistics? What about special forces? What about 10th Mountain? Does it go directly into Kurdish areas from New York? And I know we are good, but are we really going to stick three brigades up against all the Iraqis up there?

In the face of the military analysts who say a major thrust comes out of Turkey, I say it is all a feint to freeze the Iraqis up there until we attack. Since this deception falters once major troop elements are in place in the south and west and noticed, we'd have to go very fast after deploying.

I've gone over all the reasons for a major attack from Jordan in order to strike Baghdad from the west, with supporting attacks out of Turkey and Kuwait, so I won't repeat myself. I just don't think we are going in big from Turkey to grab the oil wells up there. Hopefully the Turks will, but not us.

Of course, there has still been no surge of airlifts, so once again maybe my guess of January 31 as the invasion date is wrong. Still, the Pentagon seems to think a rolling invasion will work. And given Iraqi deployment, the south and west are undefended. As long as the follow-on forces aren't delayed, it would work. With 3rd Infantry in place, a Marine brigade airlifted in to the equipment unloading in Kuwait from the Mediterranean prepositioned squadron joining Marines from the east and west coasts sailing in, we'd have two divisions ready. Plus the Royal Marines could be there. Could the airlift start the morning of the 27th, with the State of the Union address highlighting the failure of Iraq to comply with 1441 and announcing that the Security Council had until Friday to vote?

Ok, I wrote "Remember, if you won't part with ANSWER, you're part of the problem." in an earlier post. I must have been sleepy or something. I think I was trying to make a play on "if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem." Not even close to being clever. Sorry 'bout that, chief.