Thursday, March 27, 2003

Shock and Awe...

These are the buzz words that senior military commanders and government officials stated in describing the effect that ANGLICO, Bombing, and Close Air Support would have on the Iraqi infrastructure. True enough Iraq has sustained quite a bit of damage, and in some places the people have shown signs that they are "sick of him". But, the number of casualties sustained due to friendly fire, accidents, and enemy fire has shocked the American people. The level of resistance experienced has surprised everyone, everyone that is aside from the troops on the ground. Any war historian, or for that matter, anyone who read anything about the first Gulf War would have seen that this war would be more costly in both logistics and casaualties. The objective is much more different, and the Iraqui nationalism was grossly underestimated by some Senior Planners. Although I personally feel that the war is a worthwhile effort, the problems that we are experiencing only serve as ammunition for the anti-war protestors and other naysayers. This shock is attributed to the purported arrogance of America in her self assessment of her combat abilities. I disagree, the arrogance lay on the part of even those who protested the war. Many people argued that bombing a helpless country like Iraq "back to the stone age", and coming in with our superior weaponry and tactics was merely reinforcing our place as the world's "bully". But, if you talk to Infantry, Armor, FSTers, Combat Engineers, Pilots, and Logisticians, you will see that while confidence of overall victory is high, the cost of the endeavor was in the back of all of their minds. The Gulf War has absolutely NOTHING on the conflict that is going on now. Though we did lose people and equipment, our forces on the whole had a much easier time rounding up an unwilling enemy. I am not sure what is in store for us once we enter the Red Zone, but I am not anxious to see it. Whether it is conventional, or unconventional weapons all of our soldiers will be in for the fight of their lives. The sacrifice, heroism, and fortitude that will have to be shown will be up there with some of the more legendary military campaigns of the 20th century. I would hope that I was wrong in my assessment of the situation, but I fear I am not. Presently there are 44 casualties thus far in our war on Saddam. I say we will see a minimum of this number at 10 fold while Baghdad is taken. But, for all that the carnage that is to come, I have to say that this is a successful military campaign that has shown nothing but progress since its start. I just don't think that it has been successful enough for those of us at home. Those of us who are really inconsequential at the moment. God bless our troops.

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