January 14, 2003

NOOOOOOO! The image comes to


The image comes to mind, watching America's tediously slow troop redeployments, even with all their prepositioned equipment, etc., of that security guard in that first Austin Powers movie who doesn't get out of the way of agent Austin in his bulldozer, just stands there and shouts, "NOOOO!"

The variations in the proposed options left to the Americans are slight. You can have the "light" plan, involving 4-6 divisions, or the "heavy" plan, involving... 4-6 divisions. One can reliably count on 1 Marine division and 1 British division, plus the 101st Airborne in some capacity (the 82nd Airborne has taken over Afghan duty). The 3rd Infantry Division is deploying to Kuwait now, and there is enough prepositioned kit to for one more division on top of that... various sources have suggested 1st Cavalry and 1st Armoured for that gear. Division #6 would have to come with its own stuff, meaning its arrival at least 60 days away from now. But of course there's going to be a long air war preceding, so that's not a problem.

My point is, the U.S. army is not going to do this in any lightning fashion. As far as I can tell, every serious plan proposed assumes the minimum presence of 250,000 U.S. personnel, all-services, including 60-80,000 ground troops. My advice for war-watchers would be to watch that quarter-million figure: when that many troops are present or confirmed en route, then it's go-time (best I can tell at the moment, we're about half-way there as of today).

Posted by BruceR at 04:48 PM