|Iraq War Could Be Won in 48 Hours: Report|
After a devastating opening blitz of high-tech weapons, U.S. commanders believe a war against Iraq could be virtually won in just 48 hours.
On the first night of the attack, lights in the Iraqi command center suddenly blink out, the computers shut down and the phones go dead. The detonation of American "E-bombs" low in the sky over Baghdad leaves Saddam Hussein and his military commanders helpless, cut off from their troops and just waiting to die.
According to a recent Newsweek report, the above scenario describes the detonation by U.S. forces of an "E-bomb" over President Saddam Hussein's key command-and-control bunkers in and around Baghdad during the opening moments of a war against Iraq.
Delivered by cruise missiles, E-bomb warheads emit lightening bolt-like electromagnetic pulses strong enough to disable all electrical equipment within range of their detonation.
A state of "shock and awe"
According to Newsweek's National Security Correspondent John Barry, the E-bomb will be a key element in U.S. commanders' plans to leave surviving Iraqi soldiers in a demoralized and stunned state of "shock and awe" after the first night of allied bombing.
During just the first two days of the attack, combined allied forces are expected to launch over 3,000 laser-guided bombs, cruise missiles and conventional missiles against key Iraqi targets including:
- Air defense radar and missile sites
- Electronic command and control centers
- Weapons of mass destruction sites
- "Leadership targets," meaning Saddam Hussein, his sons and followers
Without a single American combat boot touching Iraqi soil, U.S. commanders believe the first 48 hours of the war will leave all but the staunchest of Hussein's military ready to surrender.
While some Special Forces teams may have moved into Iraq sooner, Newsweek suggests that ground troops will not be deployed until the third or fourth day of bombing, with the assault more closely resembling the U.S. invasion of Panama in 1989.
Iraq to be the "Information Age" War
Quoted in the Newsweek article, U.S. Army historian Maj. Gen. Robert Scales calls the 1990 Gulf War "the last of the machine-age wars," declaring the impending Iraq conflict -- Gulf War II -- to be the "first War of the Information Age."
Maj. Scales should know. In 1997 He wrote the Army's vision of its future, titled the "Army After Next." (Bibliography) Many of the weapons-future will look the same, says Scales: Abrams main battle tanks, Apache helicopters, F-14, -15, -16, -18 warplanes. But the helicopters have a new targeting system poised over its rotor shaft, called a Longbow, that allows the chopper to target 16 enemy tanks at once. The Abrams has GPS -- Global Positioning System -- which allows every vehicle commander to know precisely where he is. And the bombs hanging from the warplanes are Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMS), equipped with minicomputers and GPS systems to steer themselves within, on average, 10 feet of their targets.
Using the E-bomb blitz to seize the Iraqi airwaves, U.S. forces hope to isolate Saddam Hussein from his troops and his people. Once Saddam is either isolated or dead, America will wage a war of psy-ops (psychological operations), Newsweek reports. The goal not being to massacre Saddam's army. Saddam's soldiers will be told, in essence: we need you for the new Iraq; don't die for the old one.
Saddam not defenseless
Top Pentagon officials are concerned that Iraq may have the technology necessary to jam the GPS systems essential to the precision of U.S. weapons. Most Iraqi jamming devices, however, are thought to have short ranges. American EA-6B Prowler aircraft would instantly detect and home in on more powerful jamming transmissions and destroy the equipment.