Longer war is likely, says US general

Jay Moore pieinsky at igc.org
Fri Mar 28 02:00:21 MST 2003


Longer war is likely, says US general

Julian Borger in Washington, Luke Harding in Chamchamal, northern Iraq, and
Richard Norton-Taylor
Friday March 28, 2003
The Guardian

The top US infantry commander in Iraq has said that his troops'
overstretched supply lines, coupled with unexpectedly stiff Iraqi
resistance, had stalled the advance on Baghdad and increased the possibility
of a long war.

Contradicting many of the upbeat assessments from the Pentagon, which
repeatedly insisted Operation Iraqi Freedom was on or ahead of schedule,
Lieutenant General William Wallace said his troops had been taken by
surprise by Iraqi irregulars using guerrilla tactics.

"The enemy we're fighting is different from the one we'd war- gamed
against," said Lt Gen Wallace, the commander of the US army's V Corps
overseeing ground operations.

When asked whether the resistance would lead to a longer than predicted war,
he said: "It's beginning to look that way."

The off-message remarks brought to the surface growing unease among army
officials that the 300-mile supply lines between the leading US forces and
logistics bases in Kuwait are too vulnerable to mount a decisive assault on
Baghdad.

Troops of the 3rd Infantry Division spent much of the past week fighting
their way up the Euphrates, and have told journalists with them they are
short of fuel and food.

More: http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,924497,00.html



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