Billmon at Daily Kos has a military man’s evaluation of how things are going so far. It’s fairly downbeat. I’d love to have reactions from those in a position to evaluate this material: Phil Carter of Intel Dump, for example.
Some questions from a non-specialist:
1. To what extent were war plans, and especially the relative economy of ground forces, shaped by overoptimism about the prospects for a coup, mass Iraqi defections/surrenders, and uprisings in support of the liberating forces? I know Barry McCaffrey has been complaining about this. Is he right?
2. Were the troops in the field given overoptimistic views of the likely reaction of the enemy? (There have been several reports of US soldiers surprised that the Iraqis were fighting back.)
3. If there was overoptimism, to what extent was it shaped by a White House intolerant of bearers of bad tidings?
What strikes me as odd is that the very same people who described SH’s rule as “Stalinist” — which seems to be a good description — also expected the regime to fold quickly in the face of an attack. That never really added up. Does the name “Stalingrad” ring a bell?
[Phil Carter’s responses here.]