Friday, March 28, 2003

Hubris tamed?
For a newspaper that supported an Iraq war, the Washington Post is certainly doing a good job of showing why the whole thing is a bad idea. In a grim article yesterday titled "War could last months, officers say", the paper's Thomas Ricks reported:

Despite the rapid advance of Army and Marine forces across Iraq over the past week, some senior U.S. military officers are now convinced that the war is likely to last months and will require considerably more combat power than is now on hand there and in Kuwait, senior defense officials said yesterday.

And he quotes one senior officer as saying: "Tell me how this ends?"

The story does quote other officers as pooh-poohing the claims of the pessimists, but the catalogue of logistical difficulties, under-estimation of Iraqi resolve, and difficult choices over whether to attack Baghdad first or (as one officer put it) adopt a "Pac Man" approach of steady elimination of Iraqi military concentrations, suggests this could possibly turn into an election-year issue.

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