High price for „Blitzsieg”

Posted in Iraq | 16-Sep-03 | Author: Dieter Farwick

Editor-in-Chief WSN

The enduring difficulties of the US-led coalition in Iraq are subject of public discussions.
There have been numerous hypotheses as to the cause of the difficulties.
Surprisingly, one obvious reason has thus far not been mentioned: That is the “Blitzsieg”.
The quick military success is causing the major part of the problem, because the enemy was not destroyed in great numbers.
The military infrastructure was pushed aside. Iraqi soldiers preferred not to fight and die, but to go underground with their weaponry and form a very dangerous coalition with terrorists from outside and many losers of the old system. The hatred against the coalition of war is the common denominator. There is certainly enough money to pay for the terrorists. A living Saddam Hussein keeps hopes alive that the regime change might not be forever.
The high toll of own casualties after the “war” is a result of an almost intact military structure now underground. Some people in the media, who had predicted tens of thousands of killed and wounded soldiers and civilians, now use the relatively low number of post-war casualties to prove that they were justified in opposing the war.
If the coalition forces had killed the majority of Iraqi soldiers – with more own casualties - and destroyed most of the civilian infrastructure the post-war problems would have been fewer.
This is no plea for that kind of attrition warfare, but it’s a fact worthy of discussion.
The coalition of war must take into account that, in addition to small groups of terrorists acting on their own agenda, there must be a network of former Iraqi forces. To orchestrate and conduct attacks against the coalition there must be a kind of technical communication which is vulnerable to intelligence operations. There must be opportunities to penetrate that system.
An overall objective should be to find and neutralise former leaders of the Iraqi forces, because they are the candidates for underground leadership – with Saddam at the top.
They possess the authority, the political and religious resolve and the necessary resources for long-lasting “guerrilla warfare”.
To find Saddam Hussein dead or alive must remain a very high ranking priority. In the Islamic world rumours about Saddam Hussein play an important role and there is a widely held belief that their leaders will come back to fight the final battle against the infidels – the Christian crusaders.