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Tuesday, 06 October 2009 18:21

From: "Harris Georgiou"
To: "IEEE Spectrum Forum" (n.hantman)"
Subject: Regarding commentary "Information Was Key to Efficient US-Anglo Victory in Iraq", IEEE Spectrum, June 2003, pp.18-19
Date: Thu, 26 Jun 2003 15:09:01 +0300


It is certain that Mr. Bowden is an experienced analyst and the information presented in his article are well-known and valid. However, the writer fails to address many of the negative aspects of the technology used during the latest war in Iraq.

The article contains not one reference to failures in recon or bombing missions, effectively resulting in numerous civilian casualties. Although the aforementioned precision of guided bombing is currently in the scale of a few meters at most, US planes and Tomahawk cruise missiles was responsible for destroying a downtown market and an isolated village near Baghdad. The 1021 and 3500 civilian casualties during the two Iraqi Wars are rather conservative estimations, as the numbers stated by humanitarian organizations go up to 10.000 and 100.000 respectively. There were several cases of missiles going off-course and landing inside Suria, Iran and Turkey, as well as many others resulting in lethal friendly fire with many casualties. There were cases where the result was totally unforgivable, as the bombing of Al Jassera TV studios and the hit at the "Palestine" hotel proves.

The ground assault itself was drastically delayed during the first few weeks due to lack of resource management planning (also part of the technology in modern military). The technology was also unable to ensure the capture or even discovery of any kind of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons or organized development facilities, although it is almost certain that Iraq has tries to focus on them some time during the last decade. There is severe trouble in controlling the grounds and securing the order and law in currently US-occupied territories, although there is a tremendous effort to ensure Kurdish support in the north and continue the US-led public feed through media.

All these, regarding heavily oppressed people that were starving for decades and had little to no support to their former leadership. What seems to be an easy win on the battleground, is trully a very hard task to accomplish in the long run. Technology is there only as a tool, it cannot ensure victory or win a war. US military has learnt that fact well after the numerous years of engagement in Vietnam - in fact that was the main reason US Navy and US AirForce decided to create special-skills combat training schools for their aviators ("TopGun" and "Red Flag" respectively).

Harris Georgiou
Informatics Systems Analyst
Med.Im.Anal. (MSc, PhD cand.)


Original Article: M. Bowden, "Information Was Key to Efficient US-Anglo Victory in Iraq", IEEE Spectrum, June 2003, vol.40(6), pp.18-19.


Last Updated on Monday, 13 September 2010 20:11