WAR ROUNDUP

WAR ROUNDUP: Dunnigan and Co. devote their daily summary to yesterday’s encounter with the Republican Guard, about which they offer this assessment:

The destruction of two Republican Guard divisions (“Baghdad” and “Medina”) should come as no surprise. These units are often inaccurately labeled as “elite.” The Republican Guard is elite only in relation to the Iraqi army units. One thing that makes Republican Guard troops “elite” to Saddam is the willingness of the Guard troops to commit atrocities against the Iraqi people. Iraqi army units cannot be trusted to do this sort of thing. Compared to U.S. and British units, the Republican guard is poorly equipped, trained and led. In the 1991 war, the Republican Guard units would fight, and be promptly destroyed, while Iraqi army units were more prone to disintegration or massive surrenders. A month ago, the six Republican Guard divisions had nearly 70,000 troops, 800 tanks, a thousand other armored vehicles and some 500 artillery. Nearly a week of air attacks are thought to have destroyed about fifty percent of those vehicles and maybe a third of the troops. There have been some desertions as well, although most of these men head for home, not coalition forces, when they decide to quit.

All evidence indicates that will be rather soon.

FILED UNDER: Iraq War
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

WAR ROUNDUP

WAR ROUNDUP: Jim Dunnigan’s daily war roundup is a good read. Some interesting perspective:

So far, a week of operations in Iraq has left 20 U.S. troops dead (eight from accidents) and seven captured. This is much lower than the casualty rate during the 1991 war.

Considering that we employed large scale ground troops right away in this war, and spent the first six weeks or so of the 1991 war pounding them from the air, that is simply amazing.

Iraqi military combat deaths appear to be at least several thousand, and the coalition has taken 3,500 Iraqi troops prisoner so far. Millions of leaflets dropped in southern Iraq has urged Iraqi soldiers to stay in their camps, or just go home. Many Iraqi soldiers have taken the advice and deserted, in some cases killing officers who tried to stop them. Hundreds of Iraqi armored vehicles and trucks have been seen abandoned in the desert and towns.

One hopes that, as the inevitability of defeat sets in, there will be more surrendering and less need for killing.

Russian built GPS jammers were apparently also attacked and put out of action. The jammers were destroyed with JDAMs, which have an unjammable back up guidance system that is not as accurate (will land within 100 feet of the target, rather than 40 feet when the GPS is working.) With a 2000 pound JDAM, the difference in accuracy does not matter much.

Indeed, reports yesterday indicated that ALL of the GPS jammers supplied by the Russians were taken out. That it was done with GPS-guided weapons is amusing. This makes two wars in a row where the Iraqis have relied, to their detriment, on Russian equipment.

The Iraqi air force appears to have been completely destroyed.

Not that there was much of one to begin with. But, still, this is the first I’ve heard of it.

It is amazing how much better the war seems to be going when one reads about it only every few hours rather than following it minute-by-minute on television.

FILED UNDER: Iraq War
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.