Just do it?
Here's an article
by the aforementioned
Joseph Galloway. And it paints a pretty uncomfortable picture. Basically the civilians at the Pentagon are pushing Tommy Franks to attack Baghdad before the arrival of the 4th Infantry Division. Here's one of the key passages ...
So it apparently falls to one heavy Army division, one light Army division and a division-plus force of Marine infantry to destroy at least two and possibly more Republican Guard tank divisions dug in and blocking the approaches to Baghdad.
In other words, roughly 100,000 U.S. servicemen could face about 30,000 Iraqi troops, not enough for the 4 or 5 to 1 ratio that conventional military doctrine calls for when attacking an entrenched enemy.
The Americans are far better trained and equipped than the Iraqis, and they have a huge technological edge, especially when fighting at night. But military analysts say there may not be enough of them to do the job.
On CNN last night, Wes Clark made an interesting and ominous observation, which he said he based on recent conversations with various region experts. The gist of it was that we have a four or five week window to finish this up. And if we don't do it before then, a bad chain of events kicks off. Saddam starts to look strong, like he's making a stand against America, and so forth. Then Arab or non-Arab Muslim volunteers start streaming into the country to take up the fight. Basically, instead of just being angry and marching in their own countries because they think we're clobbering Iraq, they decide that Saddam's actually making a fight of it and go to get in on the action.
I can't say whether this is an accurate prediction or not. But it has the ring of truth to it -- in my ears at least. And, regardless, it's probably one of the issues that's being considered. Unfortunately, says the Galloway article, the 4th ID won't be ready for at least three weeks.
That math doesn't add up too nicely, does it? Maybe we do have to hit Baghdad now to prevent some broader regional deterioration.
The one thing that seems really clear is this: We should not be in this position of having to decide whether to go in under-gunned or wait longer than we can really afford to. This is what's so nice about having the world's most powerful military, several times over: you shouldn't have to wing it. We should have had all the necessary troops and hardware in position when we pulled the trigger on this war, rather than having what turns out to be a critical component on the ground in Texas.
Why was that allowed to happen?