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Scott: You awake? Need some intel.(15 posts)

Scott: You awake? Need some intel.OldEdScott
Apr 9, 2003 6:41 AM
What's your take on this eerie 'war?' Near as I can tell, there's BEEN no war. Action, killing, bombing, noise, suffering, sure, but no WAR.

I'm at a loss to explain the Iraqi 'strategy.' They did not oppose us when we crossed into Iraq from Kuwait, a time when they could have slowed us significantly. They have not used chemical weapons. They've lobbed no Scuds at Israel. There were plenty of oil fields they could have fired but didn't. Didn't blow bridges and dams. The 'defense' of Baghdad, while inevitably described as 'fierce' by bonehead reporters, has been laughable. I think the college kids in Grenada put up more thoughtful resistance.

There were tons of things, militarily, they could have done but didn't. Near as I can tell, Iraq utterly failed to conduct a war at all. I've not detected an Iraqi military mind at work anywhere at any time over the past three weeks.

Is this all there is? Or is something yet to come that they've been planning all along? Something's making me useasy ...
LikeHoopes of glory
Apr 9, 2003 8:16 AM
a big nuclear/chemical device buried under the centre of Baghdad.

Let's hope not.
re: Scott: You awake? Need some intel.gtx
Apr 9, 2003 9:00 AM
interesting article on Debka today...
Apr 9, 2003 9:04 AM
Just got home from DC. More later....sn69
Apr 9, 2003 3:04 PM
re: Scott: You awake? Need some intel.sn69
Apr 9, 2003 5:26 PM

Again, I apologize for the delay--I had to fly to DC today, and I'll be in Iowa tomorrow. You know Iowa...the great bastion of Naval power. Actually, I've never been there, but perhaps there will be time to zoom over to Ohio to stage a raid on Akira's bike basement....

There are so many levels to this conflict that have gone unnoticed and will probably remain forever hidden from the light. I'm still undecided on whether or not that's good or bad. Yes, there has been a war, a real one at that (the new face of war is a subject for a different discussion, but something that NWC, RAND and CNA have been studying dilligently for a while). In typical Iraqi style, the military leadership of those units who fought was utterly inept. Remember, Saddam, like most dictators, frequently purges his credible, professional military leadership for fear of a coup. He's averaged roughly one purge every other year since his rise to power. Thus, the "strategists" who fought and managed those forces we engaged were little more than Ba'ath party lackies. Where were the real military leaders? Hmmm. Ask yourself this: where was his air force? They didn't fight, they didn't run to Iran, they never made their presence known even once. Likewise, his air mobile units never entered the fray (heliborn or para's). Oh, but we did engage and destroy over 400 tanks, mostly by armor-on-armor and helo-on-armor combat.

I'm GUESSING (which means I've heard repeated whispers) that a lot of the "discussions" that Rumsie referred to at the start were very real, and a great many of the Iraqi regional commanders who are legitimate military professionals knew that opposition was senseless, and I'd guess that they were banking on a future role in Free Iraq's leadership (a dangerous proposition for us that should be the subject of a different thread). While I doubt that they openly acquiesced to our innuendo and offerings, I would offer that they "rogered-up" to SH's orders and then disobeyed them once the war began in earnest and SH was forced to go to ground in Baghdad.

That, in turn, poses other risks. How many of these guys are playing possum and how many are sincere in their intent to go with the flow? Don't forget, we didn't engage the whole of the Iraqi Army and we never heard a peep from their Air Force. Their miniscule Navy made a brief effort at open combat, but our Navy made quick work of that.

Yes, there were tons of things they could have done. There were many things those that fought did do. In most cases, inept leadership on their part was put to good advantage by coalition forces who, incidentally, really are THAT GOOD. Powell Doctrine or not, a few years ago we couldn't have imagined doing what we did with 2 Army divisions, 5 carrier battle groups and 1 MEF. From the standpoint of logistics and operational analysis, we accomplished damn near the impossible; in fact, modern siege theory suggests the invading force needs a 16:1 numerical advantage. It was effectively the other way around in this war.

Thus, I come back to my first point. I believe that vast numbers of SH's remaining credible military leaders refused to participate. Some did, and lots of elements lead by Ba'ath goons and Fedayeen sickies did...and they are all pushing up the daisies now.

BUT, there's a second and more sinister possibility. There's also a concern that many of those who left the RG and Fedayeen divisions did so with the intent to cause damange as insurgents. We can only wait and see. At least in Basra the Fedayeen who sought to blend back into the populace were flushed, flayed and practically eated by the Shi'ites. In answer to your question...yes, there might be something waiting. Again, we'll have to see and remain vigilant. It makes me very uneasy too.

Chemical weapons. Again, nothing more than hushed rumors and extrapolated information from second/third hand sources. I think there migh
Apr 9, 2003 5:27 PM
Chemical weapons. Again, nothing more than hushed rumors and extrapolated information from second/third hand sources. I think there might have been some rudimentary use of blistering/choking agents on a limited basis in the form of artillery. I've heard weird suggestions to that effect by friends on the carriers working with the SEALs. Dunno how much "filtration" has diluted that story, though. Still, in recent days, the photos of dismounted operations in Baghdad have yeilded some interesting food for thought. Specifically, I've noticed almost all of the troopers and Marines are wearing full MOPP gear minus their gloves and masks. That's not normal, particularly not for dismounted urban combat. Something has been up. Dunno what though.

SCUDs. Do you remember my comments about the imbedded media playing the willing albeit unknowing dupe? Well, let's ponder that with a scenario. The war is starting, and the SEAL and SAS teams in the western dessert have, in concert with other "National Assets," been localizing and tracking SCUD staging/assembly points. Once the ground campaign kicks off, the imbeds are rushed forward with the lead elements of the Army and Marines, who are reporting almost real time as they breech the Kuwaiti berm and head north towards Kafji and Umm Qsar. SH and company watch that and focus their efforts down there, stymied to a certain extent by the lack of full mobilization by some field commanders who, for some reason, aren't in comms anymore. At the same time, SH can't make land-line or cell-phone calls to any of the territorial outposts because he knows that the US is listening and using those communiques as a means to triangulate his position. Bunker busters give SH migraines, you know. Meanwhile, the SEALs platoons and SAS squads mark their postions while MC-130s, MH-47s and MH-53s blaze into the western dessert unseen and unhead (remember, the Iraqi air defense grid is down and all remaining assets are shooting at targets over Baghdad and Basra). They conduct assault landings at H-2 and H-3 with Rangers, Royal Marines and Delta siezing both fields and various forward SCUD posts being obliterated by lightening, nightime strikes, both on the ground and in the air (courtesy of the orbitting AC-130s). The media, meanwhile, keeps blabbering away about how the ground war has begun, yada yada yada. They never knew that they were part of a diversion.

Now we have to ferret-out the remainder of the loyalists and truly de-arm those who remain. Then we'll have to seperate the blood fueds that spring up between the Shi'ites, the Sunnis and the Kurds. Then--if not first priority--we have to rebuild every bit of infrastructure that was destroyed/damaged and establish law and order. Then comes the next government. Then, and then, and then, and then....... The war is hardly over. Fighting will continue, new conflicts will arise, and the profoundly monumental task of nation building begins. Geez, I hope and pray we get this right.

Oh, and by the way, the war in Afghanistan is hardly over either. Some here feel that the Iraqi action will further stir the pot with Bin Idiot, as if to suggest that another round of diplomacy would have disarmed the homicidal yutz. I don't believe that for an instant. He's a killer and a sociopath. This might have served some purposes with him, but its reality did nothing to further his goals. Lest we forget, he has been at war with us since before the first Gulf War.

In any case, I'm worried too, Ed. ...And I desperately hope we're up to the job that comes next.....

Apr 10, 2003 5:20 AM
Breach the berm and head north to Kahfji? Kahfji is in Saudi, just north of Manifa Bay, which is 65 K or so south of breach of GW1, which would put your scenerio going south from Iraq?. As far as MOPP 2, THAT IS SOP. We do not want to be in close quarters and then have to stop and don MOPP suits, just the mask (tops and bottoms on already) MH designates "minesweeper helo"
Apr 10, 2003 2:50 PM
OK, got me on Kahfji...I was admittedly reaching for names from deep memory (last float there was the summer of '97). The berm? It's there; in fact my CSAR det staged to it during some of the UNSCOM/U-2 missions that SH wanted to shoot down. Perhaps the preparedness level was SOP; I'd certainly want that sort of reassurance if I was one of those guys. Still, there was also a reasonable fear that drove the posture. Think about it.

MH. Yes, it designated the MH-53E Sea Stallion, flown by HM14 and HM 15, the former out of Corpus and the latter out of Norfolk. Incidentally, both are "there," not only sweeping but also conducting VOD and troop movements. MH, however, also designated any special-use helo and certain fixed wing aircraft in the inventory. The Army, Navy and Air Force fly them. Specifically:
MH-60DAP--160th SOAR
MH-60K/L--160th SOAR
MH-47--160th SOAR
MH-6--160th SOAR
MH-53L Pave Low--AFSOC
MC-130--AFSOC (augmented by AFSOC's dedicated tanker variant, the HC-130)
MH-60R--Navy, replacing the SH-60Bs and SH-60Fs
MH-60S--Navy, replacing the HH-60H and CH-46D
HH-60H--Navy CSAR/special ops birds

As always, I welcome the correction. Trading jabs, however, is silly. If I'm mistaken in that assumption, then I apologize.
Apr 10, 2003 3:41 PM
Good one sn69; I don't know why LAV25 seems to have such a hardon for you. Please keep your perspective, knowledge, and wisdom coming - it's well appreciated. Thanks.
Apr 11, 2003 4:11 AM
If correcting traveling north from south, Iraq from Saudi, yes a raging h-o. I was part of the breach GW1. My Bn lost vehicles in Kahfji. I stood in formation (we all did) each morning thereafter with the lav-25 hull on a flatbed in front of me. I have the right to correct. Just a small correction. I too like sn69 info.
Apr 11, 2003 6:44 AM
Fair enough. Again, please don't ever misunderstand my reverence for the guys (and gals) on the ground. It's a sh!t job that rates the utmost respect.

Incidentally, I had to friends injured in an HH-60 crash yesterday. I'm still waiting for details. These are the times when it's hard being saddled on the staff-puke sidelines.....

whoops, MH-53J Pave Lowsn69
Apr 10, 2003 6:02 PM
Apr 10, 2003 3:52 PM
"There are so many levels to this conflict that have gone unnoticed and will probably remain forever hidden from the light. I'm still undecided on whether or not that's good or bad."

Do you feel that it is:

1. because of use of classified equipment, weapons, drugs/chemicals, and/or tactics;
2. To conceal it from US citizens, enemies, the world;
3. ???

Apr 10, 2003 5:32 PM
Mostly, I was thinking about the odd, behind-the-scenes stuff that DOD and DOS have been doing with the Iraqi non-Ba'athe leadership, particularly in the Army. I wonder how much more legitimacy this operation would have in the eyes of the world, particularly the Muslim world, if more of the support was made known. Then again, that would probably also get a lot of them whacked. Who knows?

There's also the standard SpecOps side of things, but that's always dark, particularly the CIA (whom I admit I know very little about).

WMDs? Dunno. Ritter certainly voices his opinion whenever able, and I had always considered him a credible source. How about now? Again, I don't know. maybe some stuff has been found, maybe most won't be. I can think of a host of different scenarios. Then again, it's easy to "hollywood-ize" the whole affair.

Wait, we shall. See, we might.