Ed Driscoll

"SHOCK AND AWE": Gen. Richard

“SHOCK AND AWE”: Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is quoted by the The Washington Times as saying, “If asked to go into conflict in Iraq, what you would like to do is have it be a short conflict. And the best way to do that would be to have such a shock on the system the Iraqi regime would have to assume early on that the end is inevitable.”

:Gen. Myers spoke to reporters during a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor newspaper.

He provided the first peek at the military’s war plan for Iraq, which would involve massive strikes with precision-guided bombs and missiles.

“It would not be the template of Desert Storm,” said Gen. Myers, referring to the 1991 Persian Gulf war.

“And we can’t forget that war is inherently violent and people are going to die.”

Pentagon war planners will try to minimize civilian casualties and damage to nonmilitary structures, but that “will occur,” he said.

The four-star general said the war plan will employ a concept dubbed “shock and awe” to finish a conflict quickly. “Some of those techniques will be used,” he said.

Harlan Ullman, a former Navy pilot and National Defense University specialist is a key architect of the shock and awe concept, which calls for achieving “rapid dominance” on the battlefield.

It calls for intense bombing that inflicts both physical and psychological damage on an enemy, including both high-explosive bombs and electronic-pulse weapons designed to cause widespread electronic failures.

Gen. Myers did not provide operational details of the war plan but said a key difference is the goal of disarming Iraq and disabling the Iraqi leadership.

“Shock and Awe” rolls off the tongue quite nicely. And makes far more sense than the slow, grinding carrot and stick approach that bogged us down in Vietnam.