On the War:

The best site I've found for following war developments, with the understanding that he's printing rumors as well as confirmed reports, is The Agonist. There are a number of good warblogs for seeing unfolding events, but most of them claim to be mystified by the strategy the coalition is using. This seems to be resulting in some worries among observers that things may yet turn bleak.

Well, there are two big dangers left: the Special Republican Guard, and the taking of Bagdad. However, I think I can give a picture of the emergent strategy that ought to calm fears.

1) The coalition has moved quickly to seize entry points (airfields, the seaport), communication points (esp. bridges) and oil fields. Ground troops have been used rather than air power because these needed to be taken whole. In spite of "surprisingly stiff resistance," pace the W. Post, there is only one confirmed fatality from combat. I suspect there have been quite a few more among special operations troops, but we may never know exactly what their toll is.

2) Special operations forces seem to have the run of Bagdad, judging from the various reports coming out about the decapitation strike, as well as intelligence gathering. This bodes well for the coming campaign, and suggests we have a significant number of defectors/traitors assisting our intelligence forces.

3) The bulk of the coalition military is advancing only until it meets resistance. This is not true in the sensitive areas mentioned in point 1; those had to be taken, so resistance was broken. Yet it appears to be otherwise true. The US Army seems to be advancing cautiously in order to separate Iraqi military units into those which will surrender, and those which will fight. The ones that fight back are being pinned down, but not broken. This gives the illusion that they are holding their own against our forces. In fact, it is probably a strategic decision to pin them down for later air strikes. Once they are enveloped, they will be broken by the application of air power, with ground forces merely mopping up survivors.

Looks like a well planned operation. No surprise there: the joint US/British forces offers the two best collective minds in the military world.

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