4:38 “I think it’s very important for you to understand what our strategy was.”
Can anyone imagine hearing a statement even REMOTELY like that from our current leadership?
Comment by apotheosis — December 28, 2012 @ 7:50 am
^ Rhetorical question, right?
The thing I found most fascinating, after the fact*, was that Schwarzkopf avoided what must have been an almost irresistible temptation to take Baghdad. We can argue all day whether that was wise or not in hindsight, but the point is that this operation was incredibly disciplined and focused (ergo, successful in achieving the strategic objective).
* During this dustup, I was seconded to the Joint Staff (JCS Ops) briefing team assembling reports into viewgraphs for those morning pressers.
Comment by DougM (Progophobe) — December 28, 2012 @ 8:27 am
For those of us w a military background, this operation was an incredible success! Why? Because just about every element of land and air warfare in a desert environment was confronted and successfully solved!
A few examples:
1. Moving hundreds of thousands of troops and millions of pounds of military hardware from the USA to hundreds of locations in the desert that were nothing but sand and rocks on their arrival!
2. Quickly creating and establishing a Command and Control chain of command with several foreign militaries that had completely different equipment, radios, foreign training notions and needs, far different from the US military!
3. Developing a scheme of attack, training all personnel for it, AND–making a last minute strategic change to the scheme that involved moving DIVISIONS of ARMOR (…tanks…) laterally in order to conduct a sweeping run of a hundred miles around the Iraqi enemy force`s LEFT FLANK and keeping it a secret from them!!!!
4. Imagine NO.3 starting at NIGHT& navigating across a desert as flat as a fucking dining room table, while maintaining battle formations for hundreds of tanks, armored troop carriers, helocopters, fueling vehicles, etc. etc. AND getting to the enemy front lines—–without them detecting you!!!!!!
5. Finally: Kicking the living shit out of Iraqi forces and doing so with an amazing small number of casualties in our Forces!!!!!! (…in about a hundred hours of fighting…)
THAT is what “Stormin Norman” (..for all his flaws…) did!!!!!!
Comment by Colonel Jerry USMC — December 28, 2012 @ 10:03 am
It would have been nice to have General Schwartzkopf enter politics. However, he wanted to maintain his dignity and morals. Very understandable for a man of honor.
RIP General. Someday I hope to be in your eternal army of warriors.
Comment by TomR, armed in Texas — December 28, 2012 @ 10:44 am
^ While I completely concurr with the Colonel, and I personally loved old Norman, I believe he completely screwed-up that war. It probably wasn’t his fault, and he was only following orders from above (e.g. HW Bush & Colin Powell, The Wimp), but that war should have been over, done, and finished with back in 1991. That’s why we’re still fighting it. We had them against the ropes and then we developed a sudden case of “feelings” that prevented us from finishing it.
A moment to remember from “the Bear”:
Reporter: What did he think of Saddam Hussein as a military strategist?
“Ha!” Schwarzkopf guffawed.
“As far as Saddam Hussein being a great military strategist,” he said, jabbing a finger in the air, “he is neither a strategist, nor is he schooled in the operational arts, nor is he a tactician, nor is he a general, nor is he a soldier.
“Other than that, he’s a great military man. I want you to know that.”
Comment by dick, not quite dead white guy — December 28, 2012 @ 8:56 pm
Dang! Another general goes to the great command post in the sky.
dnqdwg: I remember a story about Hussein from just before the invasion. His staff told him there were aircraft carriers in the gulf. He said, “So what?? Aircraft carriers can’t cross the desert.”