March 25, 2003

"Find and Fix" Current coalition

"Find and Fix"

Current coalition military strategy per Janes.

"A major effort has been underway in recent days to 'prepare the battlefield' ahead of the advancing US armoured columns in what military doctrine describes as the 'deep battle'. The Apaches of the 11th Aviation Brigade have been in action, trying to find and destroy Republican Guard tanks in the towns and villages south of Baghdad. Once these efforts to 'find' the main Republican Guard positions have been successful, reconnaissance forces, including attack helicopters, will be sent into action to 'fix' them in their positions while the 3rd Infantry Division's three armoured brigades position themselves to strike.

The 'find and fix' phase of the battle is the most crucial for US commanders because they have a numerically inferior force to the Iraqis and have very exposed flanks and supply lines. If US reconnaissance forces and surveillance assets fail to find the Iraqis or misidentify the main Iraqi defensive positions then the US armoured brigades could be committed in the wrong place, exposing them to counter-attack while refuelling or re-arming."

But how will this "fixing" be undertaken?

Thomas Ricks takes a look at the WaPo:

"The impending battle confronts U.S. forces with a dilemma that goes to the heart of the complex mission in which they are engaged: They can maximize the advantages of their overwhelming firepower and bomb a wily adversary hiding heavy weapons in built-up areas, which would inflict civilian casualties and set back the U.S. campaign for public opinion. Or they can try to attack precisely with low-flying helicopters and ground forces, which could mean losing more U.S. troops. If the fight against the Medina Division ends in just a day or two, or if parts of the unit even surrender without a fight, that will send a powerful signal that the climactic battle for Baghdad won't be as difficult as some have predicted, or won't occur at all.

"But if the 10,000-man Medina division manages to undercut U.S. momentum, and especially if it inflicts heavy casualties in the process, or if it just retreats from a battlefield strewn with dead civilians, then the tone of the war probably will change. A bitter fight that takes a week might even persuade the U.S. military to alter its strategy and dig in to wait for reinforcements from the Army's tank-heavy 4th Infantry Division -- which probably would take at least two or three weeks."

Posted by Gregory at March 25, 2003 08:33 PM
Comments
Reviews of Belgravia Dispatch
"Awake"
--New York Times
"Must-read list"
--Washington Times
"Always Thoughtful"
--Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit
"Pompous Ass"
--an anonymous blogospheric commenter
Recent Entries
Search
English Language Media
Foreign Affairs Commentariat
Non-English Language Press
U.S. Blogs
Western Europe
France
United Kingdom
Germany
Italy
Netherlands
Spain
Central and Eastern Europe
CIS/FSU
Russia
Armenia
East Asia
China
Japan
South Korea
Middle East
Egypt
Israel
Lebanon
Syria
Columnists
Think Tanks
Security
Books
B.D. In the Press
Archives
Categories
Syndicate this site:
XML RSS RDF

G2E

Powered by