[A-List] Iraq: US invasion "premature"
michael.keaney at mbs.fi
Thu Sep 30 00:24:21 MDT 2004
Leaked report shows invasion was premature
IAN BRUCE, Defence Correspondent
The Herald, September 30 2004
THE US-led coalition launched an ill-prepared invasion of Iraq 16 days early
and before its supply chain was in place, according to a leaked US army
staff college study.
The study, the most detailed so far, was drawn up after examination of
119,000 documents and action reports and more than 2300 interviews with
soldiers. Its concludes that the operation succeeded more because of
individual determination and improvisation than solid military planning.
It says tank columns had to siphon fuel from abandoned enemy vehicles.
Iraqi artillery and allied tanks were cannibalised for ammunition and parts.
Communications broke down to the point where units often operated
independently. Even basic ration packs ran short.
The study says much of the nightmare developed because after the
unsuccessful, attempt to kill Saddam Hussein with a "regime decapitation"
air attack on March 19, top brass felt the element of surprise had been lost
and ordered an immediate advance. The original plan called for 16 days and
nights of softening-up bombardment.
In the end, the document concludes, "outstanding individual bravery and
initiative" won the day.
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