Rowan Scarborough reviews the weapons systems that will make the second war against Iraq (which probably will start in February 2003) qualitatively different than the first war. This estimate of just how much more effective the US military will be this time really stands out.
"When you roll it all together, I say we're 10 times more powerful," said retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney. "And [Saddam] is about 30 percent what he was before. So you can see how we can achieve rapid dominance using 'effects-based' operations."
Saddam could still manage to unleash bioweapons and even manage to lob a few missiles with biological or chemical warheads at Israel or other countries. Saddam might also have sleeper terrorists in the US ready to unleash bioweapons. But as bad as all that sounds the biggest problem we face isn't what the Iraqi regime can do in response to a military attack. The biggest challenge is the reconstruction afterward. To change a nation's political culture is not a trivial matter. Islam as a political force which is hostile to liberal democracy, cultural influences of neighboring Arab countries, and tribal attitudes that are reinforced by consanguineous marriage patterns all make the political transformation of Iraq highly problematic.
Outwardly the Bush Administration has provided no indications that its top thinkers are aware of the scope of the problem that they will face once the fighting is over. My fear is that too many of them may uncritically accept claims by some pundits and intellectuals about the universal appeal of liberal democracy and as a consequence they may not appreciate the sheer scope of the political and cultural problem that the US must solve in order to successfully transform post-war Iraq.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2002 December 26 10:17 PM Military War, Rumours Of War|