Saturday, 29 March 2003

Allied Generals Draw Up New Battle Plan

Rumsfeld tactics fail as chief admits: 'This is not what we war-gamed for'

It has all begun to go horribly wrong for Donald Rumsfeld. The White House's No1 hawk dreamed of a swift, hi-tech precision war. Smart bombs and Special Forces would triumphantly sweep all before them.

Basra would revolt, Baghdad would follow. Saddam would be his. But, nine days in, it hasn't quite turned out like that.

And yesterday, as US Defence chief Donald Rumsfeld's grand design for a quick victory lay in tatters, the coalition's top brass were frantically redrawing battle plans. The rethink came as the US army's most senior ground commander admitted they had underestimated Iraqi tactics and the fierce levels of resistance.

Lt General William Wallace said: "The enemy we're fighting is a bit different than the one we war-gamed against, because of the paramilitary forces.

"We knew they were here, but we did not know how they would fight."

General Wallace, head of US 5th Corps, said he was aware of pressure for a quick victory, but admitted it will take longer than planned.

He said: "We've got to take this pause. We're still fighting the enemy every night. We're doing things to keep him operating at a higher tempo than the one we're at."

The general confessed he was stunned by Iraqi tactics.

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