Defeating Saddam Hussein's Strategy

  • January 01, 2003
  • LTC Raymond A Millen

Should war break out between Iraq and the United States, Saddam Hussein will likely adopt a strategy designed to undermine the prestige of the United States and turn the Arab World against the West. A war culminating in a titanic battle for Baghdad would provide Saddam Hussein with the prestige and respect he seeks from the Arab World. His military advisers have likely informed him that urban combat will deprive U.S.-led coalition forces of their technological advantage and result in considerable attrition. He would likely welcome extensive collateral damage to portray the United States as a brutal bully and he, the defiant victim and martyr. For his strategy to work, time and extensive collateral damage is his recipe for strategic victory despite a tactical defeat. The more Saddam Hussein can frustrate the coalition and force it to use excessive force, the greater his chances of splintering the coalition and expelling the United States from the Middle East.