Wednesday, April 09, 2003

When you absolutely, positively need to defeat the Republican Guard...

UPI's Martin Walker discusses the importance of the commercial sector in winning the war in Iraq:

But the real genius of the modern American way of war is the way they have combined their logistics with the best of civilian technology, from communications to information technology. It is one thing to marvel at the way the Vth Corps post office in Kuwait delivers 100 tons of incoming mail a day, quite another to see the massed ranks of PCs in the giant hangars at Camp Doha, with GIs e-mailing home and surfing the Web to see what al-Jazeera or the British media has to say about their war.

The supply systems are stupendous, because the U.S. military has applied the technologies of commercial companies such as Fed-Ex and Wal-Mart to track the use of equipment, locate spare parts through bar codes, and start shipping them forward to the combat troops even before they ask for them. German troops froze for months in their [World War II] Russian campaigns. American troops outside Nasariya were able to take hot showers less than 48 hours after they reached the place—despite the worst sandstorm in a decade.

As a result, the U.S. armed forces defeated the best army in the Arab world with one hand tied behind their back. The U.S. Army did not even field its first team. The 4th Division, the most technologically advanced of all, with a computer in every vehicle and TV camera on the helmet of every squad leader sending real-time images back to headquarters, never even arrived on the battlefield.

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