Sunday, July 11, 2004

Thunder Runs Were NOT in the Plan

Journalist David Zucchino, in an interview, discusses one of the key events in the 21-day Iraq War.

As I point out in the book, the U.S. military command clung to the conventional wisdom about armor in urban combat while planning the attack on Iraq. The Pentagon is still leery of fighting in cities, in part because of the disastrous Mogadishu raid described in Black Hawk Down. In fact, the plan in Iraq was for armor to set up forward operating bases surrounding Baghdad in order to provide blocking positions for the 101st Airborne Division and the 82nd Airborne Division. The idea was to have infantry from the two airborne divisions clear the city block by block while the armor stayed on the city’s periphery.

The commander of the Second Brigade, Colonel David Perkins, turned that strategy on its head. Even when Perkins raced into the city with two tank battalions on April 7th, the higher commands at V Corps, CFLCC and CENTCOM were under the impression that this was just another thunder run – a quick strike in and out of the city, to be followed by a series of thunder runs over the next couple of weeks. The intent was to use the armored strikes to gradually wear down enemy resistance as, simultaneously, the airborne infantry cleared sections of the city.

But Perkins intended all along to speed into the downtown palace and governmental complex and stay there. He persuaded his superiors to let him stay late on the morning of April 7th – even before his infantry battalion was able to secure the supply lines along Highway 8. I think Perkins was successful because he blasted past the enemy’s heaviest defenses, which were along Highway 8, and penetrated the heart of the regime before the Iraqi military could react. He got inside their decision cycle and stayed a step ahead. He used speed, firepower and surprise to cut in behind enemy lines and collapse the regime from within.

Toward the end of the interview, Zucchino includes an article in which he interviews some of the Irqqi military about their views of the war.

Talal Ahmed Doori, 32, a burly Baath Party militia commander and former bodyguard for Hussein's older son, Uday, recalled turning a corner in his car early April 7 and coming face to face with an American M1A1 Abrams tank posted next to a tunnel in central Baghdad.

"I was absolutely astonished," Doori recalled. "I had no idea there were American tanks anywhere near the city."

After the information minister claimed that Iraqi forces had retaken the Baghdad airport from U.S. troops, two former commanders said, Republican Guard Gen. Mohammed Daash was dispatched to check out a rumor that four or five American tanks had survived the Iraqi counterattack.

Daash returned to his headquarters in a panic. "Four or five tanks!" the commanders quoted Daash as telling his fellow generals. "Are you out of your minds? The whole damn American Army is at the airport!"


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UPDATE: AYS at Iraq at a Glance responds to all the Arab "analysts" trooping through Al-Jazeera's television studios.

If G.W.Bush did not take the most important decision for Iraqis and topple Saddam, we would be under that tyrant till now..starving and dying and no one cares about us..

Instead of crying for Saddam, they have better help us in securing our borders and rebuilding our country.

However, let’s consider that there is a part of those Arab ‘analysts’ are paid for the few words they say on the TV, and the others are a bunch of mean, selfish and idiots... So.. just ignore all the Arab analysts who’re talking drivel and let’s listen to what the ordinary people in Arab countries say, where are they? What do they think?
If they have the same thoughts of their ‘analysts’ then they really deserve Saddam to be their great leader, for us we don’t want him..take him for free!


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ANOTHER UPDATE: Just came across a very good blog by an American soldier in Mosul. I've read all the entries to date. You should too. What do you need in Iraq? Here's one item:

SLINGSHOT: These are great when non-lethal force is needed. Like when they start throwing rocks and bricks at you. Tons of stray dogs out here with all kinds of crazy diseases, and they all love to chase and bark at American soldiers and give away your position. Slingshots are a good way to get them to move out and shut the fuck up.




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