|No Job Security|
George (WWW.) Bush is no longer denying that the plans for an Iraqi Invasion
are on his desk - they are, strategy and all. But is this saber rattling
to avoid fighting at all?
SMH-2002-07-30 Suggests that the favored US strategy is an 'inside-out'
strategy. It aims to strike right at the heart of Baghdad instead of taking on
the forces in the desert. The theory is that Iraq's soldiers, like the Bruce
Willis' Fifth Element Mangloids are not encouraged to make decisions
when their chain of command is broken. Once the top of the pyramid is removed,
the whole thing will crumble.
Of course then there is the added doubt that Saddam's army's will fight at
all if they think he is dead.
This new-found 'scalpel' approach by the US will come as a
disappointment to many. US troops are famous for their brute-force approach to
everything, and watching the complete route of the Iraqi army was probably the
most entertaining 100 hours that CNN has ever screened. Better than watching
countless reruns of 2 identical buildings falling down, anyway.
A little planning, and a whole host of new US weapons would also make much
better viewing than images of US Daisy Cutters blowing up miserable
half-starved Taliban fighters and over-exuberant Afghan wedding goers.
Hollywood has educated us to expect better.
Regardless, Americans are not known for their subtlety, and they risk
another Mogadishu if they try to use a scalpel approach.
They also run risks if they ignore the psychology of the Iraqi army, and
of the Iraqi power-block. At the core of Iraq's power is a group of
people who's lives depend on keeping Saddam in power - because they
will be killed by a vengeful replacement (like a democratic government) if he
is gone. They
will defend him to the death, because death is the alternative.
But outside that is a larger group who will have a better life with Saddam
present, but will still survive without him. If they are convinced that he is
going down, the best thing they can do is to change sides, or organize a
surrender. The ERG (Elite Republican Guard) is part of this group.
Ten years ago the ERG gambled that Saddam would survive the Americans, and they
were right. But now is different. The goal now is not to remove Iraq from
Kuwait, but to remove Saddam from Iraq. Once the first M1A1 tank rolls over the
border, that will be a certainty.
The ERG will have a choice. Make peace with the Americans,
or risk almost certain death. History teaches us
that self-preservation usually wins over loyalty if people are given time to
consider their options.
Hence, the US war should not actually be
with the Iraqi command, but with the psychology of the ERG. With the ERG out of
the picture, Iraq would fall without further resistance. Elements of Iraq may
even do the job for the US - they wouldn't even have to go to Baghdad.
What the US needs to organize is not a sophisticated and dangerous
operation with a scalpel but an old-fashioned face-off with the ERG. If the ERG
blinks first, they could win the coming Iraqi war without firing a shot. And it
would still make good TV.