Friday, January 31, 2003

That Is Sooo 1916

Iraq will be another....


At least that's what Steven Den Beste believes in his post analyzing (or more accurately scoffing at) the latest reports on Iraqi defense preparations:

And there was this, the article lede, the most preposterous idea of all:

Iraq's leader has warned those who attack the country that they will face successive lines of trenches before they are "crushed totally".

Trenches? They think they're going to defeat us with a prepared defense made up of trenches? What does he think this is, World War I?

The solution to trenches is cluster bombs or thermobaric weapons. Cluster bombs burst relatively high and distributes what amounts to hundreds of hand grenades over a wide area. They fall into anything, including trenches and foxholes, and then explode and kill anyone nearby. They can be dropped by heavy bombers or fighter-bombers or be delivered by MLRS.

And everyone now knows about thermobaric weapons (sometimes called "Fuel-Air Explosives") which generate an immense concussion in a huge area, and not incidentally consume all the oxygen there. Anyone not blown apart by the shock, or incinerated by the flame, has a good chance of smothering afterwards. And a trench is no defense. (Or, if you want to fight on the cheap, you use napalm.)

Nor is any of this kind of prepared defense going to be any surprise. We'll have spotted any defenses like that long since with photo-recon, and the ground pounders will know exactly where they are long before they get near. They'll stand well back, use a bullhorn to give the defenders one (count 'em, one) chance to surrender, and if they don't take it, then the bombs start falling.

In the 21st century, a trench is nothing more than a pre-dug grave.

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