US advanced all the way into Baghdad

Jul 2008
5,397
Sharkland
#11
To tell you the truth, I wasn't even thinking about Arab countries...:( Anyway, good points. It seems that the US Army was about 33% larger in 1991 than 2003. That at least, is pretty significant.

I was just throwing out the idea of a larger US military as something to think about, because in the present war 10-20 thousand troops seem to make a pretty big difference.
It is significant, but also significant is the fact that it wasn't the same army with the same technology.

The ten year span between the two wars was huge for the military technology, consider how much we spend and how long ten years is when you're spending that much. Also consider that during this time, the Iraqi army wasn't revamping, it was rotting.

I suppose it would be more significant in terms of the post-war occupation, if there were one.
 
Apr 2008
209
#12
It is significant, but also significant is the fact that it wasn't the same army with the same technology.
I don't know.. mlipo could tell you for sure, but I'm fairly certain that for the most part it was the same technology. Sure, there were advances in communciations systems and optics, which I surely couldn't discount as very useful today, but for the average man on the ground, the equipment is largely the same. It's not like there were any radical changes, like new infantry weapon platforms.

And wasn't the counter-insurgency doctrine the same as the Vietnam-era? I know it's been rewritten now, but based off of experiences from 2003 to now.
 
Jul 2008
5,397
Sharkland
#13
I don't know.. mlipo could tell you for sure, but I'm fairly certain that for the most part it was the same technology. Sure, there were advances in communciations systems and optics, which I surely couldn't discount as very useful today, but for the average man on the ground, the equipment is largely the same. It's not like there were any radical changes, like new infantry weapon platforms.

And wasn't the counter-insurgency doctrine the same as the Vietnam-era? I know it's been rewritten now, but based off of experiences from 2003 to now.
I honestly don't know enough to speak intelligently on the subject.

I was under the impression that a lot of the munitions used by bombers and aircraft had significantly improved in respect to ground support in the decade between Gulf War 1 & 2.

I was referring most to the difference between how the actual invasion would be fought, not the occupation.

Hopefully someone (or you) know enough to correct any misconceptions.
 
Apr 2008
209
#14
I was under the impression that a lot of the munitions used by bombers and aircraft had significantly improved in respect to ground support in the decade between Gulf War 1 & 2.
Ground support might have improved in terms of training and communication, but our Marine Air is still flying the same jets.

'Smart bombs' might be 'smarter', but in an urban situation it doesn't matter very much. Collateral damage was still too high, imo.


Hopefully someone (or you) know enough to correct any misconceptions.
I think we got there as fast as humanly possible in 2003, it wouldn't have been much different in 1991 because both would be bound by the inevitable logistics constraints.
 
Jul 2008
81
the continent of Asia, Planet Earth
#15
Here's what I think may have happened :lol:

continued from what I posted...

American forces (CIA) stir up the Shia in the south, causing rebellions from Basra to Najaf. Iraqi forces gather up and crush the rebellion, using chemical weapons, for example, like in Halabja during the Iran-Iraq War, and the ensuring hoo-hah, withdraws all support from Saddam (from the Arab States).

American and UK forces advance into Baghdad from Saudi and Kuwait (with token Arab Forces). In the ensuring chaos, a group of generals close to Saddam mount a coup and sue for peace. They hand over Saddam and a few other leaders for war crime trials.

George H.W Bush wins a second term as a result of the Iraq War. His new Vice-President, Colin Powell meets with Allied leaders, Arab nations, and Iraqi leaders in London to discuss the rebuilding of Iraq. The Ba'ath Party is left intact, with a pro-friendly American leader in charge, while the Kurds and the Shia are given autonomy in their respective regions. Massive American aid rebuilts the Iraqi infrastructure, and by the end of the 90s, Iraq's GDP is the same as South Korea.

American forces leave the Middle East, and Israel makes peace with the Palestinians. A resugrent Iraq, and independent Palestine, and a free Kuwait, leads to democratic reforms around the Middle East, even in Saudi Arabia.

Osama bin Laden admits defeat, and there is never a 9/11.
 

Lucius

Forum Staff
Jan 2007
16,363
Nebraska
#17
But none of them wanted us going into baghdad.
Sharks and love,

You have identified the problem. The U.S. couldn't have decided unilaterally to "advance all the way to Baghdad." The Saudis would have put us out. The loony chemical warhead launches would have had to have been directed against Riyadh, Damascus, Amman, Abu Dhabi, etc. THEN they would have given the green light for regime change. I'm guessing some sort of Ba'ath Lite junta would have been allowed to come to power. There would still have to be some sort of make-weight on the ground against Iran, right?
 

Lucius

Forum Staff
Jan 2007
16,363
Nebraska
#19
Very well then... does it really matter if they didn't want us to go to Baghdad? We don't need a coalition to support our military.
You need seaports and airfields and such - you know, logistics, so the guys don't starve, dehydrate, run out of ammo, spare parts, etc. Half a million guys can't live off the land and conduct operations with booty fuel, booty ammo, etc.

Do you mean to forcibly seize our erstwhile allies' ports and airfields?
 
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