Status report

Status report

I was reading the transcript of the Pentagon briefing today, and I came away with some key points.

  • Reporters/pundits have been worrying about the brutality shown by the Fedayeen and others recently, so spokesman Torie Clark showed videos of Iraqis recounting the brutality of the Saddam regime to drive home the point that we shouldn’t be surprised by this, that we have known about it for years.

  • The bodies found in the shallow grace may or not be US soldiers. They’re bringing up a forensics team to identify them.

  • The divisions flowing into the theater now are not new call-ups to deal with an additional threat. This is how it’s been planned all along. We just don’t have the sealift and airlift to move everybody quickly so we knew it would take a certain length of time to get them there. It’s just that the political timetable moved fast and so they went with what they had (which has proven to be a sufficient force.

  • The pause in the war doesn’t mean we’re giving the Republican Guard a break. They’re continuing to be hit by ground and air forces. We’re just letting our supplies catch up, giving our guys some rest, and repositioning for best effect. It’s like we’re preparing to pounce.

  • There isn’t a supply problem. You can’t judge the big picture on anecdotal evidence of guys saying they only have one MRE. It’s getting there. The media isn’t reporting the next day when the stuff shows up.

Dumb question of the briefing: “We’ve heard so much about the great achievement of these forces rushing 200 miles up to stand off against the Republican Guards. But what was the purpose to rush so quickly northward to outrace supply lines, and then sit in place for four or five days? What was the strategic or tactical value of doing that, when in fact they haven’t been pressing the battle?”

Let’s see we can either dawdle along on the road, giving the RG time to attack us along the way. Or we could take every town in southern Iraq, and press up against the RG defending Baghdad and dig ourselves in to consolidate a position. What is the point of all these media organizations hiring military analysts if they don’t use them to provide basic strategic and tactical understandings?