The U.S. finally admitted what had long been suspected, that negotiations were under way with senior Iraqi military leaders to obtain the surrender of Iraqi army units, including Republican Guard divisions. This may include army units inside Basra, that could be used to maintain order in the city while American and British units moved on towards Iraq.
Makes sense to me. We don’t have quite five full divisions operating in Iraq. 3ID, 1MD, 1 (UK) Armor (Reinforced [I think]), most of the 101AB, and elements of the 82AB. There are other, smaller units operating, but this list represents most of the land combat power in-theater.
More are on the way, but won’t arrive until after the campaign is won.
Admittedly, that’s a lot of combat power. Those five divisions, with supporting air units, are more lethal than the 200+ divisions Hitler assembled for Operation Barbarossa. But with only about 10,000 boots-in-the-mud infantrymen, those five divisions don’t have the means to occupy and pacify a nation the size of Iraq, doubly so while there’s still fighting going on.
We need some help — which is one of the reasons we’re sparing the men of the regular Iraqi army. If they can keep order in Basra for us, that’s one less job we have to do in an already complicated invasion.