polishshooter *TFF Senior Staff* Posts: 3759 (1/11/03 10:14:24 pm) Reply Future History? What's YOUR best guess... -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- OK, guys, if we are all the Mil History experts here, let's try to put that expertise to some PRACTICAL use. What is your prediction on what will happen with Iraq, in the NEAR future. Militarily. Now we all know diplomacy, politics, and all kinds of other variables are in play, but let's try to anticipate what is going to happen. It will be interesting to revisit this in a few weeks or months when it IS History and see who called it right. We may do this again with North Korea, if it's fun. My call? First, I think SOFs are on the ground and operational in Iraq as we speak. Some are observing, some securing possible forward bases in the NFZ, some probably with the Kurds in the North. I think it is going to pop the last week in January. Whether old blind Hans finds anything or not, we have something in our back pocket which Bush will show the world in the same speech he announces it's on. It may happen during a time "routine" airstrikes are rapidly increasing to take out air defenses like we do every day when they switch them on, but each one getting bigger, taking out more... The "real" airwar when it starts will be similar to last time, but probably condensed, aimed at AA defenses and CCC sites, nothing out of the ordinary, but also a concerted effort to neutralize all airfields quickly. (There is concern with sorties by a rebuilt IAF, they have been making more sorties than normal, there is concern they may try a preemptive stike, either conventional or spraying.) This opening MAY not even be a dramatic break, just more and more "routine" interdictions like we have now building to a point where starts when we want it, or maybe even over a provocation. I have a feeling we MAY use the Marines this time, to take Basra. Will give us a beachead and road for "quick" movement from the South as a hedge in case Saudi or Kuwait get cold feet and don't let us in. Plus Saddam knows now the Marines were a feint last time, so he just KNOWS they will be again this time....WRONG. Hoping the Saudis or Kuwait lets us stage, I think there will be a three prong land war, from Turkey, Saudi/Kuwait/Basra, but THAT may be the feint this time. All the world (and the media) will be fixated on the buildup of the Armored Corp on the border(s). In fact the controversy and the constant "Will they" "Won't they" and all the shuttle diplomacy will dominate the news, THAT will be the cover this time. I got a feeling we may have Airborne/Air Assault on the ground already in "secret" bases in the NFZ at the time it starts..."Light" Infantry and SOF may be driving to Bahdad before anybody knows it, while the whole world is looking at the borders. Basically all airmobile stuff, main anti armor will be Humvees/TOW, with massive Tac Air, and Apaches providing the "Armor" punch at first. Speed will be the essense, Heavy follow on will get there when it gets there. What little is left of Iraqi heavy armor will have to be dealt with by air at first. Yeah, a gamble, but I think a good one. The idea is to get close quick, wrap arms around them where the people are before they can react with chemical/bio weapons away from Bahgdad. Heck, we may even see air assault on Bahgdad directly, not long after the start of the "actual" airwar. No matter what, I do NOT think we will see 40 days and 40 nights of just air, this time. My wild hair prediction? When the Rangers and the 101st are dropping on Bahgdad and the bullets are close, Saddam either gets taken out by the Iraqui Army, and they sue for peace, or runs for asylum, either Libya, N. Korea, or MAYBE even Iran.... Now, I HOPE that is what happens, but I also hope CentCom is NOT counting on it. After the war? We'll be there a long time administering it, until an interim government is formed, and THAT will take time, no "Northern Alliance" to take over this time, only "organized" resistance is Kurds, Turkey will NOT allow them to rule Iraq. (But our threat to help them take over at the end will keep Turkey in it for us, so they can influence at the end...) I may be all wet, we may be laughing at my prediction, but there it is, who want to go next, and/or tear mine to shreds? Just remember, to argue I'm wrong, you HAVE to eventually give me YOUR call too... (And this was tougher than I thought it would be) "Don't hear him call you an ---hole, hear WHY he's calling you an ---hole." -------- From "A Season on the Brink"