Friday, October 8

Something rarely mentioned: Troop Strength Gulf war I

One of the things that I questioned in the run up to war in Iraq was the suggestion that 130,000 troops were all that woulb be required to secure our goals. While I understood at the time that Iraq in 2003 was a shadow of it's former glory, I rememberd that we had 500,000 or so boots available for a much less substatial mission, getting Saddam out of Kuwait. There is an interesting rundown of the history of the first gulf engagement at this site, and for the record the following pertains to the number of US forces available when that war started.
Jan. 16 CENTCOM announces 425,000 US troops in theater, supported by ground forces of 19 nations and naval efforts of 14 nations. First elements of USAFE Joint Task Force Headquarters deploy from Ramstein AB to Incirlik AB, Turkey, and prepare to establish USAF's first wartime composite wing. Seven B-52Gs, launching from Barksdale AFB, La., become first aircraft to take off on Desert Storm combat mission; BUFFs of 596th Bomb Squadron, 2nd Bomb Wing, carry supersecret, never-before-used AGM-86C Conventional Air Launched Cruise Missiles.
So what kills me is that we had half a million forces available for a mission to restore Kuwaiti sovereignity, and this time around we it was thought that we could do a much larger job with less than 30% of the number of troops. lets take a look at a map for a second.

Iraq area = total: 437,072 sq km
Kuwait area = total: 17,820 sq km

So 30% of the troops to osccupy and control a country nearly 25 times larger than Kuwait. Yeah right. Anyone who listened to me in Feb '03 would have been warned that this was a big assed mistake, but then I wasn't blogging and well, people have a tendancy to avoid me when I launch into an occasional tirade about justice and the American way. Stoopid is as Stoopid does.