- The Washington Times - Monday, September 16, 2002

The general who designed the devastating 1991 air campaign against Iraq says a new strategy is needed to sever Saddam Hussein from his security force, take away his clandestine underground tunnels in Baghdad and identify Iraqi generals who will help oust him.
Buster Glosson, the Air Force lieutenant general, now retired, who orchestrated the revolutionary use of air power and precision munitions to liberate Kuwait, says the Pentagon should not mass large number of ground forces, as in Desert Storm, within the lethal range of Iraq's Scud missiles carrying chemical or biological weapons.
"To do so under the current environment is not only militarily unwise, it defies common sense," Gen. Glosson says.
Gen. Glosson's Gulf war planning won praise from Desert Storm commander Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf and from Vice President Richard B. Cheney, who was then the secretary of defense.
But this time, he says, commanders must rely on unrelenting air attacks and special operations forces to remove the underpinnings of Saddam's regime, and covert operatives to create chaos throughout Iraq.
Actions should also be taken to isolate major strongholds, such as the southern port city of Basra, and turn the Iraqi people against their leader.
"If these basic steps are not violated and our war-fighting asymmetrical advantage is maximized, Saddam will not last 30 days," says Gen. Glosson. "Military and civilian casualties will be low. The unscripted celebrations in the streets of Iraq will be tremendous, finally permitting the Iraqi people the freedom to determine their own destiny."
"My only nightmare is seeing great numbers of our sons and daughters moving prematurely from Basra and Mosul to Baghdad," says Gen. Glosson, a combat fighter pilot in Vietnam. "There is no doubt this Roman legion approach to fighting Iraq would also result in victory, but at what cost? We can only trust and pray that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs [Gen. Richard B. Myers] and secretary of defense [Donald H. Rumsfeld] will say no if such a recommendation is made."
Gen. Glosson offered his strategy in his first interview since the debate on Iraq erupted last fall in the aftermath of September 11, and as President Bush appears to be moving the United States toward war.
The president, in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, challenged the world body to enforce the 1991 cease-fire deal repeatedly violated by Saddam. He said the United States would act against Iraq at some point, and invited the United Nations to join in. He told the world body on Saturday, with mocking bluntness, to "show some backbone."
Mr. Bush's commander in the region, Gen. Tommy Franks, who heads U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Fla., has drawn up several plans for an attack. He presented his latest ideas to the Joint Chiefs last week.
Mr. Bush has not approved an order of battle, but he is believed to have decided that an assault of Iraq, of whatever kind, will be necessary to prevent Saddam from obtaining nuclear weapons.
In his interview, Gen. Glosson urged the Bush administration to adopt several "imperatives" that he says will lead to victory. Commanders must sequence and execute operations "to create an environment that will permit the Iraqi people opposed to Saddam the maximum opportunity to help in his ouster."
This means, he says, the allies must convince the Iraqi people that Saddam's regime is crumbling and will do all they can to protect civilians from harm. The military must communicate with senior Iraqi military officers to persuade them to assist the allies in eliminating Saddam.
The U.S. must capitalize on its supremacy in special operations, stealth technology and precision weapons. While the attack should be massive, the war plan must also include some degree of tactical surprise "if we are to keep both allied military and Iraqi civilian casualties to an absolute minimum."
The general's last imperative is that Washington must not execute Desert Storm II. "Attempting to emulate or mirror Desert Storm, which relied on a five-month buildup of forces and massive ground invasion, is asking for disaster."
Blending these political and military imperatives is the key. If followed, he says, they will logically lead the tactical commanders to focus on:
"Undermining Saddam's political and personal security power base in Tikrit," north of Baghdad.
"Making survival difficult for military intelligence and special security personnel."
"Targeting key personnel within the Republican Guard, the army's most elite force."
"Taking away a complex of underground tunnels in Baghdad used by Saddam and his inner circle for movement and for storage of vital war material."
"Paralyzing all military air and ground movements and massively disrupt communications."
"Isolating from Baghdad the key cities of Basra, Al Kut, Karbala, Mosul and Kirkuk."


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