How to Fight Iraq
As I write in early October, war may well lie before us in the Persian Gulf. Even the most sanguine administration officials concede that Iraq can probably withstand an embargo for six or twelve months. It is also clear that the coalition of nations opposing Iraq will not allow that embargo to starve their enemy even if it looked likely to do so. Furthermore, with increasing asperity our Arab allies have argued that Saddam Hussein and his regime must be dispatched, and some European allies—the British most notably—appear to agree, however reluctantly. Something on the order of 170,000 American servicemen and women are now in the Persian Gulf or on the way there: others will follow. By mid- or late November at least two mechanized divisions, one air-assault division, and one Marine division will be in place, plus additional independent units. Hundreds of aircraft have deployed to air bases well stocked with ammunition and spare parts.
At the same time, Saddam’s troops are systematically pillaging Kuwait and beginning the work of destroying it as a state. By obliterating official records and encouraging the flight of Kuwaitis and resident foreigners, Saddam is seeking to create facts—to make the resurrection of an independent nation impossible. Perhaps over a third of a million Iraqi troops are digging in, constructing an array of fortifications, supply dumps, and communications that will render the country a permanently fortified zone.
About the Author