Free Koowait!

Owen Byrne owen@permafrost.net
Sun, 19 Jan 2003 10:51:27 -0400


Eugen Leitl wrote:

>On Sun, 19 Jan 2003, Tom Sweetnam wrote:
>
>  
>
>>Design competition for the B-52 began in 1948. The B-52A first flew in 1954, 
>>and the B model entered service in 1955. 
>>    
>>
>
>I think you will find items in active use which go back way more than 
>1955. The B-52 which fly today are hardly identical to the originals, nor 
>do they deploy identical weapons.
>
>Nevertheless the modern battlefield does differ from 1955 quite a lot.
>And, unfortunately, we ain't seen nothing yet.
>  
>
Where are  the opponents to be found on this modern "battlefield?" I'm 
sorry, but as far as I'm concerned, when
only one nation has an armed forces, the future of warfare is what you 
saw on your telivision on Sept. 11 - because
nobody is capable of standing up to the US armed forces. The more money 
you spend on gee-whiz weaponry the greater
it will be so, the more the other side will look to shoe bombs, 
hijacking, ricin, and 'hit 'em where they aint.' And the only way to fight
that, as the British learned against the IRA, is hurt yourself - reduce 
civil rights, increase surveillance, and even then, you'll probably
end up making peace in the end.

The main trend in modern warfare in the 20th centrury is that it has 
changed from waging war against another army
to waging war against civilians. Up to and including WWI, you were safer 
in any war to be a civilian than a soldier. From WW II on,
the safest place to be during war is in the army. The safest place (for 
Iraqis) during and after Gulf War 1 was the Republican Guard (and Gulf War
2 is likely to be even moreso.

And a lot of the technology, frankly, is often just gee-whiz stuff to 
amuse the US Army planners that don't have any opponents
to actually plan a war against. In the heat of battle, so called "smart" 
weapons are in the hands of human beings who are weak, fallible
and stupid - they make mistakes - ask the "friendly fire" pilots. Tanks 
are built with all sorts of sighting gear that will allow them to hit
targets out to 3000 or more meters, but the vast majority of the time, 
the ranges will be only 500 m - similar to tank battles during
WWII. And artillery (which has hardly changed at all, though I'm sure 
someone will correct me) is still going to generate the most
casualties on the other side.

Lets see - Gulf War 1 killed possibly as few as1500 Iraqi soldiers, and 
the sanctions killed 227,000 children from malnutrition.
 Thats the picture of modern warfare.

Owen


 From http://www.casi.org.uk/discuss/2000/msg00003.html

Copyright 1993 Jane's Information Group Limited, 
All Rights Reserved   
Jane's Defence Weekly 

March 13, 1993 
SECTION: Vol. 19; No. 11; Pg. 5 
LENGTH: 429 words 
HEADLINE: Report puts Iraqi dead at 1500 
BODY: 

Iraqi combat deaths during the Gulf conflict were possibly as low as 1500,
far below the widely accepted 100 000 figure, a former US Defense
Intelligence Agency (DIA) analyst reports. 

In an forthcoming article in the monthly journal Foreign Policy, John
Heidenrich says fewer Iraqis fought in the theatre of operations than
originally thought. Military prudence dictated that the Pentagon estimate
the highest number; therefore its minimum estimate was 500 000 troops,
logical if all Iraqi units were full strength. 

Heidenrich believes the number before hostilities was under 400 000, based
on Iraqi prisoner reports of units deployed at only 50-75 per cent troop
strength. This number fell rapidly with the desertion of several tens of
thousands of Iraqis once Coalition air strikes started. Perhaps only 200
000-300 000 troops were left to fight. 

Based on Iraqi prisoner statements, Heidenrich contends that Coalition
aerial bombardment produced an overall casualty rate of only two or even
one per cent, because "its main purpose was to destroy Iraqi equipment",
not dug-in soldiers. 

At the 300 000 level, with 1-2 per cent casualties and using the standard
three-wounded-to-one-dead ratio, Heidenrich estimates the total at 750-1500
dead and 2250-4500 wounded from the air campaign. In the ground war,
similar formulas give "a few hundred" to an absolute maximum of 6500 dead,
and an absolute maximum of 19 500 wounded. The upper figures would be if
all vehicles hit had full crews. 

Heidenrich points out that of the 71 000 Iraqi soldiers taken prisoner,
only around 2000 were wounded. In addition, US forces buried only 577
Iraqis. His estimate of civilian deaths is less than 100. In May 1991, the
DIA estimated 100 000 Iraqis killed in action, 300 000 wounded, and 150 000
desertions. It added that the data had an error factor of "50 per cent or
higher." 

Heidenrich says that the Pentagon's reluctance to publish more definitive
casualty figures was due to "quite simply, fear. Senior officials fear that
any estimate will provide ammunition to Pentagon critics. A high estimate
could bring charges of barbarism. A low one might bring accusations of a
coverup. And any estimate could evoke unwanted (and unfair) parallels
between (the GulfWar) and the body count mentality of Vietnam." 

US casualties were low. Despite a pre-war prediction by the Center for
Defense Information of 10 000 dead and 35 000 wounded, the total was 148
combat dead and 467 wounded. Of those, 35 deaths and 72 injuries were from
'friendly fire'. 

LANGUAGE: ENGLISH 

LOAD-DATE: December 11, 1994 


On Iraqi child mortality:

http://reason.com/0203/fe.mw.the.shtml

Garfield concluded that between August 1991 and March 1998 there were at 
least 106,000 excess deaths of children under 5, with a "more likely" 
worst-case sum of 227,000. (He recently updated the latter figure to 
350,000 through this year.) Of those deaths, he estimated one-quarter 
were "mainly associated with the Gulf war." The chief causes, in his 
view, were "contaminated water, lack of high quality foods, inadequate 
breast feeding, poor weaning practices, and inadequate supplies in the 
curative health care system. This was the product of both a lack of some 
essential goods, and inadequate or inefficient use of existing essential 
goods."