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Old March 13th, 2018, 06:23 AM   #1
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How good was the Iraqi military locally in the 70s and 80s


We all know what happened in the Gulf War, it how good was the Iraqi military compared to its peers like Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, or Jordan during the Iran Iraq War? How much of the Gulf War was due to technology, if the Americans had to fight the Gulf War with equipment from 1975, would they do a lot worse than they did historically?

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Old March 13th, 2018, 06:44 AM   #2
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Iraqis were better than most of those around them due to larger budget, larger army, better weapons, more centralized command. Their one local competitor was Iran.

US military means of finding and hitting targets in 1991 had improved but for the most part the military force used was a product of the 70-80s. Most bombs dropped were dumb, not smart, most of the high tech vehicles and weaponry were old Cold War stuff.

Iraq lost quickly in the Gulf War because of doctrine, not technology. Because they knew less about how to organize and control an army than their competitors, who'd spent the time since the 1940s designing and training for just such battles. The outcome of Operation Desert Storm wasn't decided by weapons and equipment, it was decided by Red Flag, NTC, CAX, and other very realistic combined arms training centers which the US military had been running their combat arms through for decades.

Take one boxer who never really trains and occasionally boxes weak opponents. Take another who regularly fights but also whose training is second to none, who spars against real opponents constantly. The conclusion of that fight will not be a surprise.
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Old March 13th, 2018, 10:05 AM   #3
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It seems that you compare training centers to experience gained in 10 years of Iraq-Iran war. And not only that, better training was a decider to you.

Please...
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Old March 13th, 2018, 10:19 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macon View Post
It seems that you compare training centers to experience gained in 10 years of Iraq-Iran war. And not only that, better training was a decider to you.

Please...
Most of the "experience" gained by the Iraqis in the Iran Iraq War was not very applicable to fighting the greatest military force in human history, designed from top to bottom to destroy other nation's conventional military forces in major combat operation. Those training centers provide the sort of hard learned lessons that normally can only be learned in battle, but done in a controlled setting, with little to no losses, and in a manner that better allows units to learn by making mistakes.

Iraq was a local tough guy who picked on locals who were generally weaker or incompetent who had the misfortune of picking a fight with a professional MMA fighter.
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Old March 13th, 2018, 10:57 AM   #5
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I'm sure that USA was having bigger bombs while radio silencing Iraqis who accepted positional warfare and were sitting ducks from a start. Blind and deaf sitting ducks.
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Old March 13th, 2018, 10:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
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I'm sure that USA was having bigger bombs while radio silencing Iraqis who accepted positional warfare and were sitting ducks from a start. Blind and deaf sitting ducks.
They didn't accept positional warfare, they had no other choice. They held ground, they needed to defend it. They had no means to resist the coalition destroying their command and control, anymore than a baby can stop an adult from beating it.
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Old March 13th, 2018, 11:10 AM   #7
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What about hiding their military among civilian population? It shows results because USA can't kill all population.

I know that Iraqis were using a typical nationalist propaganda of defending their holy ground to a last drop of blood but they could have prepared population for a changed paradigm. I think that North Koreans train their military for urban guerrilla.
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Old March 13th, 2018, 11:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macon View Post
What about hiding their military among civilian population? It shows results because USA can't kill all population.

I know that Iraqis were using a typical nationalist propaganda of defending their holy ground to a last drop of blood but they could have prepared population for a changed paradigm. I think that North Koreans train their military for urban guerrilla.
Are you talking about Desert Storm? Majority of their army were in defensive positions south of Kuwait City, hugging the coast, and out to the west into the desert to hold their flank.
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Old March 13th, 2018, 11:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macon View Post
It seems that you compare training centers to experience gained in 10 years of Iraq-Iran war. And not only that, better training was a decider to you.

Please...

Except for the professional officer corps, almost all of the Iraqi Army consisted of two year draftees. The war with Iran ended in 1988. By 1990 those combat veterans had all returned to civilian life. The officers still had their lessons learned from the Iran war, but as Aggie says, fighting Iran was not adequate preparation for fighting the US and its more advanced allies like the British and French.
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Old March 13th, 2018, 12:16 PM   #10
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I read a decent book on the Iran-Iraq war, by a guy named Razzoux, I think.

It was like reading about two blind spastics trying to kill each other with rubber hammers.
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