Tactical errors the allied troops committed in the first days of the Iraqi war are a serious problem to the key operation, attack on Baghdad. As France’s influential newspaper Le Figaro reported Thursday, excessive extension of the US/UK troops on the territory of Iraq is their main problem.
The newspaper cited experts from the France Ministry of Defense who required anonymity. They say, the US troops have rushed toward the Iraqi capital and now they are extended for hundreds of kilometers on the territory of the country. Under these conditions, centers of resistance may emerge at the rear of the attacking troops. The French military say if a counter-attack is delivered by Iraqis in the enemy’s rear, some vanguard groups of the US/UK troops will be cut off from their rear formations. Le Figaro mentions that for this very reason the German army was defeated in the Soviet Union in 1941-1942. At present, the allied troops are far from successful realization of its plans to seize Baghdad, French experts say. They add, the coalition troops didn’t expect resistance of the Iraqi troops would be so stiff. Realization of the US war plan is impeded by the fact that operations are mostly held not in the desert, but close to cities which makes the Iraqi defence more steadfast. Besides, 50 thousand of US soldiers who were planned to attack Iraq from Turkey haven’t got a permission from Ankara on deployment on the Turkish territory. That is why they will be able to reinforce the US army in Iraq only in a week.
The French military think that all troubles the allied troops suffer in Iraq are explained with the haste the Pentagon made when it decided to wage a ground attack without prior air strikes against selected objects on the Iraqi territory. As Le Figaro emphasizes, during the 1991 Desert Storm Americans delivered mass air strikes against the territory of Iraq which made the ground stage of the war operation a success. But this time, the US/UK troops entered the Iraqi territory on the second day of the war.
As a high-ranking French army officer says, the US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld understands that the USA cannot leave Iraq without triumph as it would be treated as humiliation for America. He adds, this is the reason why the Pentagon is persuading the public opinion that the war will be long and will entail considerable losses. PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://war.pravda.ru/main/2003/03/28/48987.html