There are sufficient American forces in Kuwait and the Persian Gulf to launch an attack on Iraq. This would be the “light and fast” attack. But the number of troops on hand is also sufficient to rush to Baghdad if there is a successful coup. Overthrowing Saddam could trigger a civil war in Iraq, and the U.S. would need to get into Iraq with troops as soon as possible to prevent chaos.
The U.S. army already has two armored brigades operating in Kuwait. One marine brigade is also there, and another just arrived off shore. Several more brigades worth of army equipment are on their way to Kuwait. An Apache helicopter gunship battalion has just arrived and two aircraft carrier task forces are in the Persian Gulf. There are over a thousand Special Forces and commando troops in the region.
The equivalent of two divisions (one heavy, one light and/or air assault, plus thousands of support troops, air forces, etc.) is all it would take. The story doesn’t, unfortunately, report on what units we have in Jordan and Turkey.
But it looks like they might already be set for the Go order.
If you’re a person of faith, now might be a good time to say a little prayer.