The Guardian April 2, 2003

Russian analysis objectives not met

In a review of the Iraq war situation after one week a group of Russian 
journalists and military experts said that not a single goal set before the 
coalition forces was met on time.

They failed:

* to divide Iraq in half along the An-Nasiriya-Al-Ammara line;

* to surround and destroy the Iraqi forces at Basra;

* to create an attack group between the Tigris and the Euphrates with a 
front towards Baghdad;

* to disrupt Iraq's military and political control or disorganise Iraq's 
forces and destroy them.

A whole range of problems that require their own solutions was uncovered 
directly on the battlefield says the group's analysis. The combat in Iraq 
raised serious concerns about the problem of co-ordination between units 
from different services.

Limited decision-making time and the ability to detect and to engage an 
enemy at a great distance make "friendly fire" one of the most serious 
problems of modern warfare, they said.

The second problem they found was the coalition's inability to hold on to 
captured territory. For the first time since the war in Vietnam, the 
Americans have to deal with a partisan movement with attacks against the US 
lines of communication.

A number of technical problems with equipment were revealed during combat 

The M1A2 Abrams main battle tank was inadequate for its combat tasks. The 
primary problem is the extremely low reliability of the tank's engine and 
its transmission in desert conditions.

Heat from the sun, hot sand and the constantly present hot dust in the air 
nearly nullified the advantages offered by the tank's turret-mounted 
thermal sights.

In general, the US soldiers showed sufficiently high combat resilience. 
Even in the extremely difficult weather conditions, the troops maintained 
control structure and adequately interpreted the situation.

However, many feel that they have been lied to and are openly talking about 
the stupidity of the high command and its gross miscalculations.

"Those star-covered Pentagon idiots promised us a victory march and 
flowers. What we got instead were those damned fanatics fighting for every 
dune and the sand squeaking in your ass!" said one of the wounded 
recuperating at a hospital, the Russian group reports.

* * *
Original at

Back to index page