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.