The Perfect Soldier: Special Operations, Commandos, and the Future of Us Warfare by James F. Dunnigan
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Dirty Little Secrets
Worst Things That Can Happen If Iraq is Invaded
by James Dunnigan
February 6, 2003
- Iraq successfully uses chemical, biological or nuclear weapons against U.S. troops, Israel or even Turkey, Kuwait or Saudi Arabia. Kill at several hundred Americans and the U.S. has said it would retaliate with nukes. Unlikely, but depending on which way the media runs, America could be seen as heroic or foolish for being on the receiving end of this. Any Iraqi use of "weapons of mass destruction" would not change the outcome of the war. The U.S. is trying to avoid this situation by pointing out that all Iraqis who have anything to do with the use of these weapons against Americans would be hunted down and prosecuted. In the Arab world, it is recognized that the Americans can be very relentless, and successful, in this department. Iraq still loses the war.
- Terrorists, either Iraqi sponsored or doing it in the name of "the Iraqi people" pull off another massive terrorist attack and kill several hundred, or more, Americans. Again, won't change the outcome of the war. Iraq still loses the war.
- Saddam convinces thousands of hard core supporters to fight to the death. This causes all of them to die in particularly messy ways, along with thousands of civilians who could not get out of the way fast enough. Several hundred Americans also die and large chunks of Baghdad get smashed. Iraq still loses the war.
- After the fighting begins, Saudi Arabia changes its mind and closes it's airbases to American aircraft and stops shipping oil. The latter is very unlikely, as Saudi Arabia is broke, in debt and needs to sell lots of oil just to prevent a popular uprising. Iraq still loses the war.
- Civil war breaks out in Iraq between die hard Sunnis (Saddam's power base), Shia militias (that have been maintaining training camps in Iran) and Kurds. None of this would last long. The invasion is largely to stomp on Saddam's Sunni backers and that will happen no matter what. The Turks will take care of any violent Kurds, something the Turks have been doing quite handily for over a thousand years. The Shia militias couldn't defeat the Republican Guard, and they certainly can't defeat the U.S. Army. Iraq still loses the war.
- After the fighting is over, the Iraqi people become angry at the United States (for liberating them from Saddam?). Anyway, widespread unrest attracts the international media which proceeds to say unkind things about America. Saddam is not returned to power.
- The Palestinians redouble their terrorism efforts, and the unrest spreads to Jordan (where Palestinians make up a majority of the population.) Palestinians in Jordan attempt to over throw the monarchy. Whether they succeed or not, Iraq still loses the war.
- Saddam's flunkies follow orders and set fire to many of Iraq's oil fields and facilities. When this was done in Kuwait, the fires were put out and the damage repaired within a year. It cost nearly $6 billion, which was a lot less than many expected. If the Iraqi oil fields burn, Iraq still loses, and has plenty of oil revenue to pay for the repairs.
- The Kurds try to advance south and take the Kirkuk and Mosul oil fields. Turkey says no, and sends in troops. Kurds don't stand a chance against Turks (never have.) Maybe the Turks decide to keep northern Iraq. In any event, Iraq still loses the war.
- An Iraqi underground resistance develops after Saddam is defeated. Iraqi guerillas fight on against American occupiers and their Iraqi lackeys. America finds itself in another Vietnam. While Iraqis have never, in their several thousand years of history, operated like this, it is a worst, worst case. Iraq still loses the war.