March 26, 2003
Off to War
From the Times Online:
MORE than 30,000 American reinforcements were ordered to the Gulf last night as fierce battles raged through southern Iraq and the Republican Guard went on the offensive.
American war planners were forced to change tactics and put the battle for Baghdad on hold as Pentagon chiefs conceded that they had underestimated the resistance they would face.
No word on which units are involved, but it seems likely that 4th Infantry Division is one of them, and the Plan already called for using them. They've been steaming towards the port of Kuwait for a couple days now.
The second division could be II MEF, 1st Cav, or 1st Armor -- which also had already recieved deployment warnings.
In other words, this is a non-story.
Posted By Stephen Green at March 26, 2003 07:54 PM
How long does it take to get around the Arabian peninsula?
It's not just a matter of sailing time, Jeff. The units still need to unload and organize themselves before they can march north to where the fighting is.
Week to ten days, best guess.
Notice the word "forced" - that "Pentagon chiefs conceded" - that the battle for Baghdad is "on hold".
The chiefs? I guess that's the unnamed official the writer mentions. The Baghdad attack on hold? We'll just have to take the writer's word for it, since the allies don't seem to be saying that.
Guess it's just another one of the series of "setbacks" the article mentions -- another episode illuminating why we find "coalition forces failing to achieve the strides north that they had hoped for..."
The 4th was coming all along... and I wouldn't be surprised if others were in the plans a long time ago.
Remember -- at the outset it was to be a small force followed by the rest.
...which is what we are seeing.
Not to mention there's stuff that we don't know about (and don't need to know right now).