Door to door in Iraq
If the US offensive on Iraq enters Baghdad, US military
planners must find strategies to overcome an enemy 'with the home-field
advantage'. All of the state of the art weaponry in the world cannot do the
dirty work of going through the city, flushing out the enemy
Time, 16 September 2002, "...That's why if the U.S.
takes on Iraq, America's military planners will do whatever they can to avoid
fighting in the streets. In their most optimistic scenarios, the war will begin
once again in the skies, with satellite-guided bombs...initially try to take out
air-defence and command-and-control sites. Next to go would be Saddam's
palaces and other symbols of his power...the mobile missile launchers in western
Iraq capable of lobbing Scud missiles -– perhaps laden with biological or
chemical weapons -– toward Israel..."
Bush and his administration have not determined the number of
ground troops they would send in -– but estimates are between 80,000 and
An all out urban gun battle in the streets of Baghdad would
be a terrifying scenario: "This battlefield compression means that low-ranking
corporals and sergeants -– not colonels and captains -– must often make
life-and-death decisions. These choices come fast and furious when you're
fighting downtown: 90% of the targets are less than 45m away and seen for only
seconds. Killing innocent civilians -– or your own men -– is a risk that goes
with the terrain...
...Pentagon planners are poring over maps and plotting
potential invasion routes along Baghdad's streets and even through its sewers.
The sprawling capital is marked by broad boulevards, labyrinthine alleys and 5
And in a statement made to British newspapers in the month of
August, Saddam showed that he has been developing hard hitting, original
speeches: 'We will fight them on the streets, from the rooftops, from house to
Such a siege could help nurture one prized U.S. goal: Saddam's
falling at the hands of his own people. 'Baghdad is one of those classic
cities that happen to contain all the kindling necessary to spark a revolt,'
says Scales, 'You'd have the ruling elite and the army cheek by jowl with
the people, who despise both the elite and the army.'"
Germany's stance with regard to a US invasion of Iraq
reflects the thinking of most European Union nations -– If you do this, who
is going to take responsibility ' long term' for the security of the region,
ensuring that having removed one tyrant, we don't end up with someone far
worse taking his place?. The concern is the idea of a US victory in Iraq,
followed by a US withdrawal from Iraq, leaving the region particularly unstable.
Iran sits quietly watching... In short -– if an invasion is to occur, it must
be seen as a long term (decades long) commitment to the region and her people.
Furthermore, until proof is gathered with regard to Saddam's weapons of mass
destruction and links with al Qaeda -– from an EU perspective, the situation in
Israel is viewed as a more serious threat.