More Wrong Predictions

Andrew Sullivan has compiled a long list of predictions that have been proven wrong. Included is Robert Fisk's statement that Iraqi defenses around Baghdad were "impenatrable." Fisk did not mention this in his piece yesterday where he interviewed one of the Marines aroound the cricle where the statue of Saddam was taken down. His new line is that the task of ruling Iraq will be more difficult than going through the impenatrable defense. Fisk obviously is not listening to coalition policy makers who have repeatedly said that Iraq will be ruled by Iraqis.

Strategy

The success of the attacks against Saddam's regime is due to many things done right. Classic tactics in using force were combined with new levels of coordination, while still having the flexibility for subordinate commanders to take advantage of situations as they emerge. While speed has been touted as one of the reasons for the success, history has shown that fast victories are achieved through the coordinated use of combined arms that present the defenders with several unpleasant dilemmas at the same time. The speed did keep the Iraqis off balance and very likely prevented them from using their WMD. Units were destroyed before orders could be given to use the weapons. Bridges were crossed before the order could be given to destroy them. The attacks on the Iraqi command and control put the US forces action "inside" the Iraqi's decision cycle. Intelligence permited coaltion forces to strike Iraqi leadership meetings within minutes of the gatherings. This led directly to the break down of resistance in Basra and Baghdad where the US believes Saddam and his sons were killed in a bombing of a meeting place within 45 minutes of intelligence showing Saddam's presence. Coalition forces used coordination, flexibility, new levels of precision in targeting and speed to kill the Iraqi regime. The technology that permitted the precision also permitted the coordination necessary to speed the attack.

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