Newsday (New York) March 19, 2003
How the Attack Might Unfold (STAND ALONE CHART)
By Newsday Chart / Map / Gustavo Pabon
With hopes for a diplomatic solution to Iraqi disarmament all but faded, a potent military force assembled by the U.S. and its allies stands ready. A look at where our forces are and how war planners might stage the attack:
AIR CAMPAIGN: Cruise missiles launched from ships and planes armed with satellite- and laser-guided bombs would take out missile batteries, power lines, communications sites, military bases, government offices, presidential palaces and other strategic targets. Unlike in Desert Storm, where bombing lasted more than 40 days, the air war this time could be over in 48 hours.
GROUND ATTACK: As the air strikes draw to an end, troops would rapidly move in from the south, west and north, converging on Baghdad. Analysts say a speedy advance woud help block Iraqi troops from using chemical or biological weapons, torching oil fields or helping Saddam escape. The hope is, however, that Iraq's rank-and-file - demoralized, illtrained and ill-equipped - would offer little resistance.
FINAL STAND: With his regular army in tatters and Baghdad surrounded, Saddam might hole up in the capital with his best-trained and most loyal troops, the Republican Guard. Rather than try to take the entire city, U.S. forces would seize key targets: bunkers, military strongholds and VIPs, including Saddam himself.
Role: Base and command center for naval forces.
Force: 8 B-52s; 5 B-2 stealth bombers are expected.
Role: Base for allied long-range bombing missions.
Force: More than 100,000 troops, 1,200 tanks, 100 planes and 100 helicopters.
Role: Staging area for main invasion force.
Force: About 10 B-1 longrange bombers.
Role: Base for British special forces and air support.
Role: Command center for Army Gen. Tommy Franks.
Force: 42 planes; 10,000 troops.
Role: Planes at Prince Sultan Air Base currently patrol southern no-fly zone. Role in war unclear as Saudis have not granted permission to launch a major attack from its soil.
Force: Air Force planes at Incirlik currently patrol northern no-fly zone.
Role: In doubt after Turkey spurned U.S. request to use its bases to mount attack.
United Arab Emirates
Force: Small group of U-2 spy planes and unmanned drones.
Role: Air reconnaissance.
Force: 2 carrier battle groups, with 150 aircraft.
Role: Warplanes, with Turkey's permission to use its airspace, provide airpower from north.
Force: 3 U.S. carrier battle groups with more than 200 aircraft; 1 British carrier equipped with troopcarrying helicopters; sixth U.S. carrier left San Diego March 3 and is en route.
Role: Warplanes provide airpower from south, and Marines add to attack force's numbers.
Force: About a dozen surface warships and submarines.
Role: Launch cruise missiles from west.
Army 4th Infantry Division, equipped with tanks, helicopters and 12,500 troops, is stranded aboard ships while awaiting Turkey's approval to unload their gear. The division would've formed the force from the north.
Toe to Toe
Despite its great numbers, Iraq's military suffers from low morale, and much of its equipment is aging and not combat ready
U.S. / Allies Iraq
270,000 Military Personnel 350,000
600 Planes 300
100 Helicopters 160
1,200 Tanks 2,200
SOURCE: Global Security.org; Center for Defense Information; Periscope
GRAPHIC: Map - Diego Garcia (NOT IN TEXT DATABASE)
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