IRAQ: One Invasion Won't Be Enough

R. A. Hettinga rah@shipwright.com
Thu, 25 Apr 2002 19:12:10 -0400


http://www.strategypage.com/fyeo/qndguide/default.asp?target=IRAQ.HTM

IRAQ: One Invasion Won't Be Enough


April 24, 2002; One Invasion Won't Be Enough- A recent report in the
British press on the US invasion of Iraq said something which is
interesting, if true, that planners think only 100,000 troops would be
needed. That is an occupation force, not a conquest force. The article also
said that the attack is presently planned for the spring of 2003, which is
both unbelievable and directly contradicted by the 100,000 troop figure.
The latter's implications are (assuming the report is accurate about
Pentagon planning):

1) We don't think we'll have to fight. I.e., the national command authority
expects Saddam Hussein will be dead when we go in and that our troops in
Kuwait will enter Iraq unopposed. This might happen through assassination.
Anecdotal evidence in Mark Bowden's article in the current Atlantic Monthly
indicates that Saddam's security forces have lost respect for him and are
rather cynical about him. Another, darker, possibility is that we expect we
or Israel will nuke Iraq into surrender. The latter scenario would require
Saddam to launch some SCUD's with chemical warheads at Israel or our forces
in Kuwait. I do not see any plausible scenario in which we or Israel would
nuke Iraq without Saddam first using weapons of mass destruction.


2) We won't need six months of mobilization to get 100,000 troops and all
their supporting stocks, principally aircraft fuel, to the Kuwait area. We
could probably do that in 3-4 months.

3) And if we don't plan on forcible conquest, we won't need wartime stocks
and could deploy 100,000 occupation duty troops to the Kuwait area in
perhaps as little as 45-60 days.

There are astronomical implications to American occupation of Iraq. The
intelligence haul will be incredible just from documents and computer
files, plus we'll scoop up a lot of people who will tell us everything
rather than be put out on the street wearing "I Luv Saddam" t-shirts.
Embarrassing information in Iraqi files might be among the reasons certain
governments are so opposed to our attacking Iraq.

A lot of the rats will scurry into Syria, though, so it is # 1 or # 2 on
our "next" list for that and weapons of mass destruction reasons. The
current most likely cause of significant use of those is Hezbollah
(Lebanese Shiite group) possession of several hundred primitive nerve gas
warheads for their several thousand Katuysha-type artillery rockets aimed
at cities in northern Israel. Such an attack would result in a certain mass
Israeli nuclear weapons city-busting strike on its present and potential
enemies. This would not be in America's interest so defanging Hezbollah has
to be high on our priority list. Which means goodbye Syria as it is one of
Hezbollah's two major state patrons. 

The other is Iran, but I expect the firmly pro-American people of Iran will
overthrow their theocratic kleptocracy immediately after we occupy Iraq.
Iran's leading mullahs know their regime is threatened and have purportedly
decided to "drink poison" a la the late Ayatollah Khomeini's 1989
cease-fire with Iraq, and kiss up to the Great Satan in an attempt to
remain in power. It is increasingly unlikely that the U.S. will have to do
anything more than occupy and/or conquer Iraq to bring about a regime
change in Iran.

These events would be immediately followed by an epidemic of bed wetting on
the south side of the Persian Gulf. Once we've secured the oil production
of Iraq (which necessarily means our control of Kuwait's) and obtained a
friendly regime in Iran, the continued existence of the Saud regime will no
longer be in America's interest. The Saud regime is the dominant source of
funding for terrorism, especially terrorism against the United States. I
expect loss of Saudi funding will cause Islamic terrorism outside Arab
areas and Pakistan to tube, and that in Arab areas will be significantly
reduced.

The Saudi regime has major problems at home such that we might not be able
to keep them in power much longer even if we wanted to (its domestic
problems are what drives its funding of terrorism), and it certainly can't
stay in power if the U.S. government attempts to bring it down through
overt (blockade) or covert means. But as with Iran, we might not have to do
anything to terminate the Saud regime.

American-fostered regime changes in Iraq and Iran, alone, could easily
cause shaky Saudi domestic politics to spiral out of control, bringing down
the monarchy and replacing it with something more radical and
anti-American, though there are also liberal and democratic factions.
Revolution in Saudi Arabia or its invasion, with an invitation or without
one, would likely see a lot of its oil infrastructure destroyed (it
purportedly has long been wired for explosives and quick destruction).
Then, after the world has done without Saudi oil for a while, the oil
fields (which comprise only a small part of Arabian real estate) would be
rebuilt and revived under U.S. government control.

At which point we'll also know which other oil-producing countries are
still funding terrorism (the likely suspects are Libya, Kuwait and the
United Arab Emirates). This is pretty scary stuff, but once we invade Iraq
there is a major possibility of snowball effects, which include incentives
to continue invading. Hopefully the Bush administration has a desired end
state in mind. And things could start rolling this summer - Tom Holsinger

-- 
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R. A. Hettinga <mailto: rah@ibuc.com>
The Internet Bearer Underwriting Corporation <http://www.ibuc.com/>
44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'