The end in Iraq pt 3
This is the Green Zone. If there is any sort of military action there, evacuation will be hard, if not impossible to accomplish, party because of the concentration of people and bodies. The main evacuation route to Baghdad Airport is a long, isolated highway the US calls Route Irish.
It is the most dangerous road in the world, and to travel it escorted is $3-5000 one way.
This is the route from the Green Zone to the airport. It doesn't seem far, but hundreds of people have died along it's length. Imagine trying to move the US infrastructure in Iraq with our Iraqi allies alone this highway
This is a close up of Route Irish. The red areas are open ground where the guerrillas have staged attacks for three years. In an evacuation by ground, the US military would have to move to the airport under fire.
Here's the point. Yes, the US can do a fighting retreat, but the complications of it are frightening. Look at the topography and you see a hundred ambush points.
Now there's talk of the US going after Sadr.
Jesus, look at the map. He can sit inside Sadr City forever. But it's three years too late anyway. They tried in 2004 and all hell broke loose. Now? We need to talk to him, not try to kill him so that all the Iraqis can fight us.
The Green Zone is a shitty place to defend, with it's back against the river and few open landing areas, tons of civilians and the security staffed with Shias. It's also a shitty place to attack for the few access points available. But once in, stopping an attack, especially with inside help, could turn this into Peking 1900 with no relief force on the way.
All these maps should show that a fighting retreat is a really, really bad idea.
posted by Steve @ 1:18:00 AM