The International Institute for Inter-Religious, Multiethnic and Middle-Easte Studies (IFIMES) from Ljubljana has in line with current events in Iraq constructed an analysis of the situation. Here only the most interesting parts of a more extensive study are highlighted:
36 hours after the beginning of the War for the liberation of Iraq, which is a political name for the military operations, called SHOCK AND FEAR, we can clearly state that the American forces surprised the Iraqi forces with an invasion of the 3rd and the 7th cavalry division through the desert. The named forces are by now already half way to Baghdad in order to avoid direct confrontations with the Iraqi army located at the traditionally positioned defense lines.
The American strategy of avoiding the Iraqi forces is extremely important for the advance towards Baghdad. With this they would avoid massive surrendering of the Iraqi soldiers and civilians, which would present logistic difficulties to the advancing forces (identification, welfare, lodging in prisons). The mentioned difficulties will in the future undoubtedly influence further quick advance towards Baghdad, which is the main goal of the operation.
American strategy is based on six factors to achieve six strategic goals:
The first factor is the ‘beheading’ of Saddam Hussein and his closest associates, which is the basic and the most important task. The Allies will in the course of the operation fire missiles at all the suspicious locations where Saddam might be situated. Simultaneously other special planned operations will be carried out.
The second factor is taking over two thirds of Central and Southern Iraq in 72 hours. The Northern Iraq is in any case under the American control on the basis of the agreement between the Kurds and the USA, concluded in Ankara on March 19th 2003, with which the Kurdish units came under the American command. All this would smooth the progress of the operation to surround Baghdad from all sides, where there is a possibility of a revolt within the city itself or a state coup within the political elite.
The third factor, which is the bombardment of military facilities, will strongly damage meager missile capacities of the armed forces of the Iraqi regime.
The fourth factor is the simultaneous performance of three operations. The first one is strong bombardment, followed by ground troops and special operations of the marines in the hinterland. This represents a new tactical approach, as opposed to the liberation of Kuwait operations, when the gap between air and ground attack accounted for 39 days.
The fifth factor: The Iraqi leadership is not aware enough, or is neglecting the fact, that the Americans posses some new kinds of weaponry with great demolition force, which will be used for the first time.
The sixth factor: The Allies estimate they will be fighting only 80.000 Iraqi soldiers, since the other 350.000 that are within the regular Iraqi army and are not loyal to the regime, might surrender at the first opportunity. This, though, is made more difficult due to the fact that every army unit includes firing squad composed of members of Iraqi military intelligence services.
Saddam Hussein follows two incorrect defense theses. First of all, the use of the chemical weapons would damage his units more than the allied ones, since these are quite well protected. The second mistake is that Saddam is playing the card ‘Baghdad – Stalingrad’. In each case, Baghdad cannot become Stalingrad that was resisting the Nazis during WWII. In Baghdad there are more than 2 million oppressed Shiites that would, similar to April 1991, rebel against the regime of Saddam at the first given opportunity.
According to the opinion of military analysts of the International Institute IFIMES, the Iraqi regime will crumble within a week after the arrival of the American troops into the suburbs of Baghdad, what might according to the expectations, occur already within next 20 hours. Simultaneously, the northern front would be activated, American marines and a part of the 101st air-strike division would together with the Kurdish troops enter Kirkuk and take control of the oil fields. The liberation of Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq, depends on the arrival of the Turkish units as logistical support under the American command (in order to avoid unnecessary incidents with the Kurdish units in the north of Iraq).
According to the opinion of political analysts of the International Institute IFIMES this war is one of the most complicated and demanding in the history of mankind due to the fact that they are simultaneously trying to achieve six goals in the shortest period of time and within one single operation.
Neutralization of the Iraqi army and a part of the Republican guard within first days of the war.
To defeat the Iraqi army without destroying it in order to use it in the post-war rebuilding of the country.
To reach Baghdad within 72 hours, surround it and wait for the further developments in the city.
To destroy as quickly as possible the supporting pillars of the regime (the Republican guard, Intelligence services, etc.).
To prevent the process of mass-revenge of the people on the members of the regime, a process that can lead to a civil war.
To preserve the unity of the Iraqi territory and to prevent interference of the neighbors, meaning especially Turkey and Iran.