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markharju

Saddam's Defense Strategy (Long, and probably boring)

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From military analyst James F. Dunnigan:

26 Jan 2003, Saddam's War Plan: Knowing his troops cannot defeat the US Army in an open field battle, Saddam has decided to dig his best units into and around Baghad and draw the US and British troops into a battle on his terms. Satellite photos show elaborate defense works being built around the Iraqi capital in two rings. These works include battle positions, obstacles, ditches, barriers, ammunition stockpiles, command bunkers, minefields, and other engineering works. Construction began last November and has included shifting troops from bases around the country. The outer ring will be held by the Republican Guard and the best of the Iraqi regular Army units. The inner ring will be held by the Special Republican Guard, the most fanatical of Saddam's followers. In theory, the outer ring would serve as a tripwire to force US and British troops to deploy into assault formations, and during the battle of this outer line the Special Republican Guard would bombard the invading armies with chemical and biological weapons. The Iraqis know that the US could not respond with tactical nuclear weapons (as it has threatened) because of the civilian population present in the area. As the zone between the two rings is urbanized, the US and British troops would have to slog through nasty block-by-block fighting before even reaching the main defensive line of the Special Republican Guard. The zone between the rings would be infested with tens of thousands of Saddam Fedayeen militia units, which Saddam would use as cannon fodder. Three smaller towns near Baghdad (Baiji in the north, Ramadi in the west, and Suweira-Kut in the south) are heavily fortified and would have to be reduced before serious attacks could begin on the main defenses of Baghdad itself.

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Harju's analysis: It appears that the lessons of PGW1 were not lost on Saddam and his stooges. We were very successful then for one main reason, in my observation: habituated to ten years of WWI-style attrition surface warfare against the Iranians, Saddam's military planners naturally did what a lot of strategists do - prepare to fight the new battle using the tactics of the last one. Uh-uh. Big mistake.

Another critical weakness of Saddam's PGW1 strategy was to totally underestimate the use and value of air power. This is also understandable, since the air forces of Iraq and Iran were both poor, despite the influx of many Soviet-bloc aircraft and technicians (Iraq) and the French version of same for the Iranians. The combination of these two factors (Saddam's failure to defend / prepare against an air onslaught that he should have forseen, and the effective use of it by Allied forces) proved devastating. In the end, he truly believed we wouldn't attack.

This time around, it seems he's learned to place his best assets where they will survive, and to put his bullet-catchers out front to slow us down and make us waste our ammo.

This "Stalingrad" approach to the defense of Baghdad is his only option. Fortunately (for him, anyway), it's a good one. Troops entrenched in well-prepared defensive positions are hard to get at, and by being close together, his troops can reassure each other. This is also handy for crew-served weapons, such as antipersonnel artillery, machine guns, etc.

Our response: My analysis is that our planners will "go for the head of the snake", using rapid airlift to get troops past the outer, weakened defenses.

Saddam undoubtedly knows this and is saving his small- to medium-sized AAA for this eventuality. There won't be any radar-guided SAMs or other sophisticated ground-based counter-air weapons, as they will draw attack much as cowpies draw flies.

However, look for such weapons to be used as decoys or to create diversions.

Once our troops get into town, it's going to get bloody. Saddam's most fanatical troops will be fighting in an urban area on the home turf, and defenders usually have a three-to-one advantage.

If it goes on the ground in beautiful downtown Baghdad, Harju predicts losses will be approximately 1500-2000 KIA, ~4000 WIA.

If Saddam uses NBC, it will be the last thing he ever does, because he will have to die after that. If, however, he puts up a good fight and then surrenders, he will be exiled, where he can plan his comeback.

Don't look for a lot of civilians to take up arms against us in Baghdad. Saddam may press many into service, but many more, having good sense, will disappear as best they can into shelters, basements, etc. and wait it out.

They also know that anyone bearing arms, if captured in a combat zone without a uniform, or wearing the uniform of the opposition, is subject to summary execution (Says so in the Geneva Convention [Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 68]).

mh
"The mouse does not know life until it is in the mouth of the cat."

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Well, not being in the military and not having had any training (and not having anything better to do on a Thursday night) I might be wrong but...

Could we not just take the rest of Iraq (which should be easier as most of his troops will be holed up in Baghdad) and then lay siege to Baghdad. This might not look good politically as it takes time but would it not save more Allied lives this way?

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If the numbers being tossed around on the SRG are right, I think that KIA will be closer to 2500-3000 min with WIA probally close to the same and might go way higher depending on how much civilian damage the US is willing to inflict. SRG numbers I saw tossed around were 7000 and at 3:1 advantage, and the fact that the US would be best to airlift everything into Baghdad thats only a few divisions since thats all thats got the ability to go airborne. The initial groups would take massive hits until the forces could be matched.

If it comes down to taking over Baghdad its going to be an extremely high price to pay in life, on both sides.
Yesterday is history
And tomorrow is a mystery

Parachutemanuals.com

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Yo !

Another obvious strategy would be retaliatory strikes against various soft targets within U.S. (currently called terrorism). Unlike collateral damage in Iraq, killing civilian population in U.S. during the war would look perfectly justified in the eyes of a large part of the world population. By definition, in a democracy (ok, a republic) like U.S. the majority of its population is directly responsible for what the government and the country does. Killing voiceless civilians in Iraq, on the other hand, will be seeing as a slaughter.

My office is less that 1/4 mile from the White House. If anything hits W. residence, i can only hope it's far enough. I wouldn't feel sorry for the target, though - it well deserves it.

bsbd!

Yuri.

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That (siege) is a very good tactic, but it will take too long. The fickle American public will not have the patience for it, and since we will have to occupy the entire country indefinitely in order to accomplish such a task, this is fraught with hazards greater than just wading into Baghdad, in my opinion.

The ragheads will quickly show up to start killing and dying for Allah, for one thing. An extended occupation is like putting out the Welcome mat for the ragheads.

Depending on the spirit of the people in the occupied area, a resistance movement could spring up. Such things are very hard to control without brutality, when one is unwelcome. Even passive resistance can cause problems (non-cooperation with the occupying forces, severe punishment for those who do cooperate, etc.) And that's just the passive stuff. Active resistance, even simple "sand in the gears" tactics, can wear an occupying force down.

On the other hand, analysis points to the Iraqi people as being fed up with Saddam and tired of endless war (Iraq has been at war, on a war footing, or under sanctions for over twenty years now). The Iraqi in the street knows whose fault that is; pictures and statues of Saddam on every corner and wall kinda help them reason that out.
"The mouse does not know life until it is in the mouth of the cat."

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The ragheads will quickly show up to start killing and dying for Allah, for one thing. An extended occupation is like putting out the Welcome mat for the ragheads.



Mark,

I'm sad to say that this type of thinking and vocabulary only goes to make more people hate us. To come across well and not instantly alienate your audience, try toning down the slurs. I don't like the Iraqi leadership any more than you do, but "ragheads" include both your neighbors here in America and plenty of people around the world that want Hussein out of power even more than you do. They have been living with him and near him for years, and have been hurt by him way more than you ever will. Try giving some respect a try.

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The ragheads will quickly show up to start killing and dying for Allah, for one thing. An extended occupation is like putting out the Welcome mat for the ragheads.


Try giving some respect a try.



I don't have a lot of respect for brutal, backward, inbred, cowardly, misogynistic thugs who hijack airliners and fly them into buildings. The more of their kind we kill, the better off the whole world will be. This is the 21st Century, not the 7th.
"The mouse does not know life until it is in the mouth of the cat."

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Mark,

What about the rest of the Arab world, including Arab Americans? I'm not defending terrorists, but it is as inaccurate to generalize everyone of Arab descent as terrorists as it is to think all Americans are like Ted Kascynski (sp), Timothy McVeigh, or John Walker Lindh. Got the picture?

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Here's Boobie's solution to defeating Saddam's army:

1) Gather dogs from the animal shelter that are going to be put down.
2) Wet them
3) Let 'em loose all over his neighborhood
4) Spray bacon scent while at it
5) Let pigs bathe and play in Iraqi water supply
6) Threaten to shove pepperoni and salami down the throats of his cronies to get them to disclose his hideout.

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Mark,

What about the rest of the Arab world, including Arab Americans? I'm not defending terrorists, but it is as inaccurate to generalize everyone of Arab descent as terrorists as it is to think all Americans are like Ted Kascynski (sp), Timothy McVeigh, or John Walker Lindh. Got the picture?



I wasn't generalizing - you were.

I apply the term "raghead" specifically to radical moslem fundamentalist whackos who truly deserve to be chained to my pickup truck and dragged around by their nuts.

Also, and without naming anyone here, I find it amusingly ironic (and hypocritical) how hardcore "atheists", who despise Christians, and ridicule and mock their beliefs, are suddenly so "tolerant" when it comes to radical moslems.

And as far as "making people hate us" --- THEY ALREADY DO, and frankly, the feeling's mutual.
"The mouse does not know life until it is in the mouth of the cat."

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>I don't have a lot of respect for brutal, backward, inbred, cowardly,
> misogynistic thugs who hijack airliners and fly them into buildings.

How about the brutal, backward, inbred, cowardly thugs who burned over 300,000 people to death with nuclear weapons? Oh, that's right, we had a good reason and they didn't. What about the cowardly, inbred, fanatical villians who sent children to die for them during a crusade? Oh, that's right, that was a US approved religion. The money grubbing, evil, murderous people who 'accidentally' killed around 13,000 people in Bhopal, India? Oh yeah, that was a US executive, so that's different. And those 13,000 were funny looking ragheads.

I get a little sick of the moralizing that goes on here. We've done worse things than any terrorist you can choose; we just decide that we have a better reason than them. Concentration camps, use of nuclear weapons against civilians, slavery, mass murder of our own citizens, secret government prisons - all uses as examples of the horrors of our enemies, all used by us when we have a good reason. I'd stop the moralizing; we are more likely to have it used against us (and believed by the world.)

We try to do the right thing more often than not, which is good. When we are pressed, though, we are capable of the worst atrocities the world has seen in the name of the USA. Don't pretend otherwise.

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There is a difference, for those of you who may have just tuned in, and may be suffering from moral ambiguity, or worse, moral relativism.

"who burned over 300,000 people to death with nuclear weapons?"

We were at war, and once again, a LOT more lives would have been lost otherwise, on both sides.

"done worse things than any terrorist you can choose".

I'm not saying we don't have blood on our hands, but a lot of the good that we do goes unnoticed, or worse, criticized.

Perhaps you'd like it better if you were forced to wear a beard of a length demanded by a religious leader, or women were beaten with rubber hoses because they showed an ankle while walking down the street in a burqa.

I don't subscribe to the reasons for war in Iraq, but the more fundamentalists of every stripe that cease to breathe air, the better I'll feel.
"The mouse does not know life until it is in the mouth of the cat."

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deserve to be chained to my pickup truck and dragged around by their nuts



And this will show them that we are civilized, and have both a country and government worth respecting? It will illustrate how much better we are then their "brutal, backward, inbred, cowardly" selves? It is how we would want our soldiers to be treated in a war, should they be captured?

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I find it amusingly ironic (and hypocritical) how hardcore "atheists", who despise Christians



Assuming you are referring to me...

I don't despise Christians. I just despise people that use their religion as an excuse for violence (ANY religion). I despise people that see their religion as the only "true" religion and lay scorn on all the others, when they are all equally intangible and unprovable. I despise religious hypocrisy. If you feel those dislikes of mine fit you, then that is because of your departure from the true tolerant values of your own stated religion.

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Oh, that's right, that was a US approved religion.

Umm . . . I think I missed that legislation item, Bill. Which religion, precisely, is now "US approved"? Did it have the full support of the US Secretary of Religion, or was it pushed through while he was occupied with those of us heathens that don't practice an approved religion?


CZ

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deserve to be chained to my pickup truck and dragged around by their nuts



And this will show them that we are civilized, and have both a country and government worth respecting? It will illustrate how much better we are then their "brutal, backward, inbred, cowardly" selves? It is how we would want our soldiers to be treated in a war, should they be captured?

They might not like us, but they will respect us.

"It is better to be feared than loved." - Macchiavelli, The Prince

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I find it amusingly ironic (and hypocritical) how hardcore "atheists", who despise Christians



Assuming you are referring to me...

No, I wasn't.

I don't despise Christians. I just despise people that use their religion as an excuse for violence (ANY religion). I despise people that see their religion as the only "true" religion and lay scorn on all the others, when they are all equally intangible and unprovable. I despise religious hypocrisy. If you feel those dislikes of mine fit you, then that is because of your departure from the true tolerant values of your own stated religion.



Hear, hear. something we agree on!
"The mouse does not know life until it is in the mouth of the cat."

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I agree with what you say about the urban warfare, I am also led to believe we will see ALOT more remote control land assault vehicles backed up by fixed wing gunships targeting the enemy weapon fire that is shooting at the R/C's. Kinda like using decoys, Pretty kewl. I heard the computers and sensors can watch/track a person shoot out a window and fallow him into/through the building and still shoot him in the middle of the building with a single or multi round burst, they track the person by his and his guns heat signature shooting the shooter and no one else..Thats bad ass.When I was a kid this shit was sci-fi movie stuff.

We can count on a lot of new hi-tec equipment being used and most the battle will still be fought from the air even though it will be urban, Choppers these days are also computerized incredibly efficient killing machines and most will be done at night.

My biggest worry is that Saddam will retaliate with WMD. I agree with you on Saddam possibly giving a hell of a conventional weapons only battle and when his doom is near he may try to surrender into exile, Because he and everyone else knows that if he uses any MORE WMD he will die.


------Have a good one!--------

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YEAH!!!!
Bomb them into submission, that have worked soooo good before, then throw some leaflets to add insult to injury.



Throwing leaflets afterward would be a waste of effort as the prospective readers would be dead, not injured. Instead, drop leaflets 48-72 hours ahead of a strike. Lot's of graphics pics of what is going to happen and a message "Come out unarmed, on foot with your hands up in the next 24 hours, or face the consequences." Then make good on the threat.

Armed forces don't exist to wage peace, they exist to wage war and win it. It's not about being nice.

I sure as hell hope it doesn't come to this...

Bob

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>I'm not saying we don't have blood on our hands, but a lot of the
> good that we do goes unnoticed, or worse, criticized.

As I've said, we generally try to do the right thing. So do a lot of other countries (and no, I don't think Iraq is an example of one of them.) That's good.

But even Dan BC admits when he screws up on a dive. I landed next to him on one dive, when he went low on a record attempt. Just because we're good doesn't mean we should claim that we're always right, because often we're not.

>Perhaps you'd like it better if you were forced to wear a beard of a
> length demanded by a religious leader, or women were beaten with
> rubber hoses because they showed an ankle while walking down the
> street in a burqa.

Perhaps you'd like it better if you lived in a country where they cut off the tips of baby boy's penises, or threw women in jail who bared their breasts while making it legal for men to do the same, or where college students are shot and killed by US troops during peace demonstrations, without anyone being convicted of any crimes in doing so.

Apparently you _do_ like it better since you live here. Is it better than a fundamentalist society? I think so. Is it perfect? No. Is it better for everyone, including people who believe strongly in Allah or Yaweh? No. Should we try to make the whole world like us anyway? No.

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>Which religion, precisely, is now "US approved"?

Any monotheistic religion with a single all powerful deity - we have even inserted a reference into such a religion into our pledge. Believe in several gods, like many Hindus? Sorry, your children will be taught "under god" instead of "under gods" no matter what their beliefs. Believe in no one all powerful deity, like many Buddhists? Sorry again.

That still leaves lots of religions that fit our official view. Judaism, Christianity in all its forms, even Islam - though you'd never know it nowadays.

> Did it have the full support of the US Secretary of Religion . . .

No, just the full support of our president.

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Good point Bill. While the Crusades took place members of the US Government did nothing to prevent them. They just sat back and waited for their great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandparents to be born. :S

Seriously Bill, crack is a bad idea. :ph34r: ;)

FallRate

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What on earth makes you guys think that this war will only be fought in Iraq.

Paranoia warning....
Why can't the inspectors find any WMDs in Iraq?
He has already relocated them to a more tactical location.
EG Washington, London, NYC, LA, etc....
He's had 12 years to move them.....I order to cause max chaos, all he has to do is set off some relatively inoccuous dirty devices in areas of mass transit, and the cities will grind to a halt. Nobody has to die either, the mere suggestion that you have been exposed to something like Strontium, or Caesium will have you running for a check poste haste. This will overload any local medical facility. Panic and chaos will ensue, a terrorists delight!
--------------------

He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. Thomas Jefferson

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Paranoia warning....
Why can't the inspectors find any WMDs in Iraq?
He has already relocated them to a more tactical location.



:oI wonder if he has planted any in Hämeenlinna? You know, there's a pizzeria downstairs from my apartment, operated by a few middle-eastern guys... You think they might have a WMD set up in their kitchen?

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Hmmm. justifiable cause for concern.
Dirty bomb detonates in Hämeenlinna, after effects could be felt as far away as Wales, Scotland, Norway, South Africa, and Namibia.;)
--------------------

He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. Thomas Jefferson

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