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The initial escort was driving through a population that wasn't entirely hostile, and fighting a toy army - to the extent that it was fighting at all, which wasn't much. With complete air cover.

Iran has an air force. It might not have an air force for long, but I doubt it's the pushover it might be supposed to be.

Iran also has missiles, is more than happy to use them.

Zip. Bang. No more convoy. Insurgents have fun picking over the pieces. Game over.

We're talking about a quarter of a million people or so, who not only have to be moved, but also require food and water.

You don't need to be a military genius to understand that the best possible outcome would be one of the most humiliating retreats in the long list of humiliating US retreats in recent history.

The middling outcome. would be Stalingrad, only with sunblock. (If they can find any.)

The worst is a friendly nuclear exchange between irritated superpowers.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:59:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This time the Americans will fight something even more feeble than the Iraqi Army, namely Iraqi civvies with guns.

The Iranian Air Force will be destroyed within hours.

Convoys might well be hit by Iranian rockets, but that's war for you.

As long as no care is taken to spare Iraqi civilians (fire at anything that moves reasonably close to a convoy), the operation is very doable. Especially if there is some reasonable preparation, but consdiering the Bushies, we shouldn't count reasonableness.

Anyway, this is what the US armed forces are good at. No counter-insurgency, no fancy blitzkrieg maneuovering, just excellent logistics work while driving straight ahead blowing everything up.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:26:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This time the Americans will fight something even more feeble than the Iraqi Army, namely Iraqi civvies with guns.

Mogadishu, anyone?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:54:31 PM EST
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Mogadishu doesn't really have anything to do with this situation. Even so, the casualty rates were something like 100 to 1 back there.

The kind of firepower available in this operation is immense in comparison. The question is not if there is enough firepower but if the American soldiers are allowed to use it, as doing that will entail big civilian casualties. But what will a few more tens or hundreds of thousands of dead civilians mean as this war has already killed 1-1.5 million?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:59:33 PM EST
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If an operation like that was to be run, why shouldn't the rest of the world demand sanctions against the US? If the populace sets up these sanctions out of reach of the government, the US can hardly come round the rest of the world and demand that we all buy American Goods.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 07:08:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 07:39:46 PM EST
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This time the Americans will fight something even more feeble than the Iraqi Army, namely Iraqi civvies with guns.

I don't know, those Iraqi civvies seem to have been more successful than the Iraqi Army at both killing and injuring Troops and destroying armored vehicles.

No counter-insurgency,

So they are suddenly no longer going to be fighting insurgents?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 07:05:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know, those Iraqi civvies seem to have been more successful than the Iraqi Army at both killing and injuring Troops and destroying armored vehicles.

That's because you can't fight insurgents in a conventional way. It's much more like police work. And when you actually do fight them, you just kill lots of civvies and create more insurgents. Now, that won't matter if you're leaving.

So they are suddenly no longer going to be fighting insurgents?

No, they will be killing everyone in their way. Far easier than finding out who the bad guys are.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 07:12:46 PM EST
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I have to agree with you in this thread. The US will go genocidal on the Iraqis if they have to in order to evacuate. If they don't, they're toast.

It's not like the WSJ hasn't editorialised on the need to get genocidal in order to beat the insurgency.

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 07:23:10 PM EST
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Well, I wouldn't say genocidal. That would imply intent.

I'm thinking more like in "collateral damage and we just don't care".

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 07:40:59 PM EST
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Though of course, if they want to beat the insurgency, instead of just getting out, genocide is not a bad policy. It might be the only policy that works.

Bribe'em, nuke'em or leave'em the Hell alone.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 07:44:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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