Monday, March 24, 2003

Reports from a participant on a specialized email list I belong to suggest that Russian intelligence has reported (a) that the 51st Iraqi Division did not surrender (which Al-Jazeera confirmed, as noted in an earlier post), and more intriguingly, (b) that there has been much criticism of Gen. Tommy Franks at the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Reports just out that U.S. missiles accidentally hit Turkey will not help Franks' reputation. I would guess (as someone entirely unversed in tactics) that this string of bad luck will impose some change in the U.S. approach--not unlike what happened in Afghanistan, where, after weeks of limited strikes, the Pentagon ordered a dramatic upscaling in bombings. Remember that the limited strikes then were blamed by the Pentagon on Colin Powell, who did not want the Northern Alliance to enter Kabul too quickly.

Now it's the other way around.

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