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Monday, May 17, 2004



I would place a bet that its the 2nd brigade of the 2nd Infantry, because it has the two airmobile battalions from Camp Casey. These would be easier to move and are useful in Iraq as-is.
There is no 2nd division HQ in Iraq, so there is no particular reason to assign them to any existing HQ in Iraq. The 3rd brigade/2nd Infantry - Stryker brigade - has never been controlled by 2nd Division, having been based in the US for years.


I wonder what is so darn important in Iraq that the President of the United States of America is sending thousands of troops to an area where the people just want to be left, people that REALLY WANT TO BE LEFT ALONE to the point where they kill hundreds of innocent people and hundreds of good, young soldiers. It is obviously not an issue of freedom, liberty, and the war on terror. Freedom is an relative term, and the U.S has deposed the tyrant of Iraq...and we caught him. What more could coalition forces need to further do. I am pretty sure the Iraqis can handle themselves on their own-they've killed over 700 of our troops since the start of the war-what does that tell you?

I just wonder what the objectives of the U.S government are right now for their operation in Iraq, whether it be business or military.


Maybe, perhaps, to keep Saddam #2 from taking over ?

Paul H.

If it is in fact a brigade (normally 3 battalions) with its own brigade HQ then they can be attached to any US division that is currently assigned to Iraq.

If in fact 2 of the battalions are "airmobile" (with organic helicopters) then it would make sense for them to be centrally controlled as a reserve force once they reach Iraq, where they could be moved from place to place as needed (and "attached" and "detached" from division to division).

I wouldn't be too quick to assume these battalions will be the ones to be moved, though. If the US forces ground commander Korea has to have his force weakened, he would normally want to retain the most mobile units for his own area.

In the end the projected mission in Iraq will dictate which battalions are to be moved. It could be that three battalions will be sent individually, and attached individually, to divisions on the ground in Iraq, and the current brigade HQ's (2?) in Korea will be retained there (with fewer battalions under their immediate control).

My point is that these command arrangements by doctrine are completely flexible and will be adapted to whatever the mission is, rather than the other way around.


Paul H,
I don't think there is much call for airmobile units as such in Iraq. When the 101st was there they were all "leg" operationally.
Whats useful about the airmobile battalions is that they are 100% trained infantry.
The other type of units for which there is limited need are tanks and artillery. Both types have been turned into ad-hoc infantry in Iraq, retaining maybe 1/3 of their original functions.
As for Korea, it seems to me the best units to keep there are the heavy armor, as they are the hardest to move in case you need them. They are also the most useful vs a large scale NK armored/artillery attack.

The Yangban

luisalegria, Paul H.,

This brings up my next dumb questions. If a Brigade is attached to a different division, is there any problem with logistical bottlenecks? Would the Brigade have its own means of transporting supplies or would it depend on the division it is attached to? If the later, wouldn't that cause the division's supply system to be overtaxed?

So, I assume that the Brigade HQ would bring its own logistical support to Iraq. Is that correct?


I am fully aware that the White House would not want another Iraqi tyrant dictator from taking over Iraq; however, that I don't think it really is the issue right now. Prevent Saddam #2 from taking over? That's simple, just install a competent, popular, and 'real' Iraqi leader that cooperates with the United States, and hopefully, the U.S. will back him up all the way.

Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan seems to be doing fairly well, and I'm sure in the next twenty years, Afghanistan will be on the path towards becoming a developed country, that is if the people open up and don't put up that 'want to be left alone' attitude all the time.

Clearly, there is more to the 'military operation' in Iraq than just deposing Saddam and finding weapons of mass destruction. I'm sure even if there was WMD, no one is going to find it either. Hopefully, none of the insurgents (if they have it) intend on using it on coalition forces, but then again if they do, then I guess the United States is clearly justified in invading Iraq in the first place.

It's clear that France is unwilling to help Iraq because it knows that America is at the tip of the spear and pyramid in this operation, therefore, it won't really get in on the benefits of occupation (mainly oil). But their support would greatly be appreciated, and I'm sure their share of the pie will be given.

I personally don't like the way the whole Iraq situation is being dealt with. It's not like another Afghanistan where we are liberating an oppressed people from a ragtag regime of 'thugs', and giving hope. There's obviously more involved in this situation than tyrants and WMD.


Logistics are handled in several levels. Some are at brigade, others at division and corps. Presently in Iraq there are task force commands that serve as divisional HQ's for some of the disparate brigades they control, plus several divisional HQ's, plus I believe two corps HQ's. Whether these would be overtaxed or not depends on the actual resources available for transportation. Considering the total personnel count is not changing greatly - 125,000 - 150,000 or so - I don't think so.


I recommend you to the "Zarquawi letter", which is the best exposition of the war-aims of the Iraqi insurgents available. Basically, there was a Sunni Muslim/Central tribal establishment that dominated Iraq. These people did not like having their dominance overthrown, and want the US out so they can re-establish it - through another Sunni dictator like all the others over the last few hundred years. The Sunni Muslim fundamentalists also won't abide an Arab-Shia state.
There are oppressed people in Iraq - the Shiite majority and the Kurd minority have been the underdogs for centuries.
You are also wrong, to some degree, about Afghanistan. The Taliban/Pashtun government represented a greater proportion of Afghans (40%)than the Sunni establishment in Iraq (20%).
The US is needed in Iraq because the Shia still lack the institutions to preserve their rule. The old army officers, elite troops, and NCO cadre were nearly all Sunni Arabs. If permitted, these would outclass the Shia in any military confrontation, and they are ruthless enough to suppress any Shia revolt.

Paul H.

Luis is correct and I should have thought of that, even late in the night.

The infantry battalions are perfectly capable of being redeployed to Iraq without the helicopters and operating without them. The helicopters are not organic to the battalions or even the brigade anyway; they will be organized in aviation companies, as part of an aviation battalion, assigned to the 2nd Inf Div "base".

A generic division "base" being the various combat support (CS) and combat service support (CSS) units (organized as battalions and some independent companies) that support the operations of the combat maneuver (infantry and armor) battalions and brigades.

Will the 2nd ID commander agree to give up his helicopters? He will if the Pentagon orders it, but he won't volunteer them, if the Army ground forces commander in Iraq hasn't gone to Central Command and asked for them. But we've got no idea from these general vague news reports as to what Central Command has actually requested. The unofficial private newspaper Army Times (weekly) will be reporting on this in detail, and if I still subscribed I'd be able to try to discern what exactly will be sent from Korea. (I'm sure they're on the web but subscription only...)

Any US Army division can theoretically accept any type of combat battalion from another division as a semi-permanent "attachment". The receiving division is expected to be able to support the attached battalion using its own "base" of CS and CSS companies and battalions. If there is some logistical need that is outside the receiving division's capabilities, the receiving division's staff is expected to be able to immediately identify this (if it hasn't been foreseen already -- it should have) and go to the next higher level (corps) to ask for supplementation to the division "base" as needed.

Doctrinally US Army brigade HQ's are relatively lean, with only a headquarters company with some organic maintenance and supply capabilities. The division is considered to be the lowest level organization capable of full-scale deployment to a relatively long-term combat operation as an independent unit.

Generic example: If a "light" infantry division (say, 9 infantry battalions -- 3 Brigades of 3 battalions each) has an armor battalion from an "armored" division attached to it (approx 54 M1 Abrams tanks), it will suddenly have an enormous logistical and maintenance burden it is not equipped to handle (as you correctly infer). The solution is that the appropriate assets will have to be provided as well (such as maintenance units with specialized mechanics, and transportation units (additional trucks to haul heavy tank ammo and spare parts, also fuel tankers).

Some or all of these could come from the "detaching" division; some could come from "independent" battalions that are part of a "corps" level base (corps being the next higher level from divison). The solution will be "ad hoc" in time and space, based on what's available -- in this case the worldwide Army is the availability "pool".

There's even more variations to this business than I'm letting on here. There are lesser degrees of support than "attachment" (operational control, direct support, general support, maybe one or two others I can't remember offhand).

Each of these has generic doctrinal definitions which are infinitely dry and wearying, even to those staff officers who deal in them. Except -- confusion in the command arrangements can have significant consequences on the battlefield -- and in today's media age, on the whole strategy of the war.

Example: my hazy impression from a distance is that the 507th Maintenance company, out of Fort Hood TX, was a corps level base independent unit, detached from the corps HQ at Fort Hood and assigned to the Army corps level command (I think called a "task force") for the invasion of Iraq.

Rolling up one of the two major routes of advance behind the leading echelon of Army combat maneuver forces, the young company commander (captain) in charge of his company convoy made a navigation error, got off the route, and ran into an angry beehive of Iraqis. He spun his Hummv around and escaped but his soldiers weren't so nimble. Thus, we ended up with the "immortal" saga of Jessica Lynch, which should never have happened -- except that in war there are always "fubars". But the whole point of the endless amounts of field training that the Army does is to avoid these, and also to learn to plan for them when they do happen.

Had this unit been a divisional one, I'm thinking it would have gotten more "adult supervision" from aggressive division commanders who would have raised cain with their staff and lower commanders to make sure none of their organic units were allowed to go astray. But if I'm correct, and no division HQ was responsible for the 507th, then to me it's no accident that what happened to them happened.

Same thing applies to the command arrangements between the 800th (?) Military Police Brigade and the xxx Military Intelligence Brigade (can't remember the numbers), ref: who's in charge at Abu Ghraib prison. I suspect that experienced Army officers who saw those photos, and then learned of the confusion involving the command arrangements, immediately inferred what had happened.

Jessica A.

I just hope the 2nd ID don't get sent over there I am here in S.Korea visiting my husband and thats what he is in but he works on the apaches! Which are just pray for us that a miracle happens and my hubby will be safe at home with me and not over there. In the last year and a half we have only been together 3 months oh and our daughter yeah hes only seen her 2 months since shes been born we have spent enough time apart they need to find someone else to go so we can finally be a family thats my thoughts!

Sugar Shin


the Marines and US army troops are actually fighting in Falluja (Sunni triangle) and in Najaf and Kerbala (holy Shia cities with improtant shrines for their Shi'ite Islamic belief) against the Mahdi militia of young Shia leader al-Sakwi. It seems, that the only friendly domestic ally the US occupation force has, are the Kurds in the north, who are happy, that they can enjoy an authority over their own region.

Jessica A.,

I wish you, your husband and your little baby all the best, hopefully your family can go back together safely to the USA.

Sugar Shin

Correction of the name of the rebellious Shia cleric troublemaker: Muqtada al-Sadr.

At Asia Times there's an inforamtive article about the growing sympathy between Sunni and Shi'ite insurgents in Iraq, here.


yep, i'm serving here in the 2 id too, and i sure as hell don't want to go BACK to iraq from here. A year there, then a prospective year here is enough to make anyone crazy, let alone going back to iraq for yet ANOTHER year. i think the army is about to have one hell of a retention problem. i don't think it's an issue of avoiding the duty- i just think that soldiers want leaders who aren't going to let them be systematically abused on such a large scale. and i don't think Bush has enough foresight to realize what he's putting the troops through, and the detrimental effect it will have on U.S. national security in the long term. we need to keep quality people in the military, and I feel like were doing alot to drive some of them away.


i would first like to say that i am praying for every troop over in iraq. Secondly, my brother is one of the ones being sent from Korea to Iraq. I think it is very idiotic that he has been there for 11 months and being sent straight to Iraq without first coming home to spend time with his loved ones. Now it will be two years before we see him again. That has got to do something for soilder morale. Praying for you all.


koreans want us out of here because their (Lee Sung-hee looking) women like our big (truck)s and not their little ones.

(NOTE: Yangban edit for language and general nasty tone)

Sugar Shin

No, they love your little brain, LittleUSFKbrain.


yeah i am part of 3rd brigade 2id SBCT.And being already deployed over here in Baghdad i got some opinions myself i think that deploying our better half from Korea to Iraq is quite a daring move by our great leader!!it is goig to tick alot of peopleoff especially us if we get extended when we got 3 other stryker units coming here. But so far so good!!!

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