What if Iraq was invaded after the gulf war?

What if instead of stopping when Iraq was forced out of Kuwait snd beaten the US and Coalition forces invaded iraq? How feasible is this? What would happen if the invasion occured? How would iraq handle under an invasion and how would the war go? Would it be like the Iraq war or no? And what changes would this have going forward? For example what would happen to the Kurds or the ‘92 election for example?

I think that given the coalition’s overwhelming fire power and Iraq’s army being devastated that it should be an easy win, but I’m not sure if there’d be an insurgency this time. I think if the Kurds rise up they could at the least be rewarded with autonomy like they achieved iotl but not sure about an independent state. And if the war is clean at decisive I think it could give Bush Sr a boost to possibly win as well as enough other butterflies to allow him to win in 92. Although these are my thoughts what do y’all think?
 
Initial resistance would probably be bloodier than things were in 2003; I envision Saddam being more than willing to utilise whatever WMDs were at his disposal, and go down fighting or by his own hand in the ruins of his command centre instead of going to ground the way he did IOTL.

What happens after the dust settles really hinges on whether or not the numerous conflicting factions (al-Qaeda, Mahdi Army, Ansar al-Sunnah, etc) contributing to the OTL insurgency were sufficiently well equipped or well led during the 1990s (or even present at all during the 1990s for that matter) in order to cause trouble.
 
It might be better.

Larger International Coalition, Better US Leadership, Iraq economy not in decade of sanctions, Saddam not yet crush failed rebellion, Less neoliberal trumphalism, etc

But in the end it depends on Iraqis, and they didn't have good track record of stable government.
 
Wouldn't it risk major dissent in the coalition? It's one thing agreeing to fight in support of a UN- endorsed cause to free an invaded country, but quite another thing to then invade another sovereign state.
 
Wouldn't it risk major dissent in the coalition? It's one thing agreeing to fight in support of a UN- endorsed cause to free an invaded country, but quite another thing to then invade another sovereign state.
Even if said sovereign state was responsible for invading the innocent third party?
 
Bush 41 had been very careful and assiduous in creating and managing an arab alliance as well as exact use of UN principles unlike his son which delivered a solid and robust success, however that same caution and need to keep allies on board restricted him from full on regime change. I think he could have got away with a larger hook to destroy the Republican Guard and a more aggressive no fly zone on helicopters however
 
Initial resistance would probably be bloodier than things were in 2003; I envision Saddam being more than willing to utilise whatever WMDs were at his disposal, and go down fighting or by his own hand in the ruins of his command centre instead of going to ground the way he did IOTL.

What happens after the dust settles really hinges on whether or not the numerous conflicting factions (al-Qaeda, Mahdi Army, Ansar al-Sunnah, etc) contributing to the OTL insurgency were sufficiently well equipped or well led during the 1990s (or even present at all during the 1990s for that matter) in order to cause trouble.
More resistance and bloodier? I’m not sure about that or the use of WMDs. The coalition is far greater in size. The Iraqi military already greatly damaged and unable to resist us. No Fedayeen Saddam ready to resist. None of the militant groups you mentioned had been formed yet and I’m not too sure if they or something simialr would form ittl. And the aforementioned fedayeen saddam haven’t been formed yet which iirc helped form the various Sunni groups iotl.
It might be better.

Larger International Coalition, Better US Leadership, Iraq economy not in decade of sanctions, Saddam not yet crush failed rebellion, Less neoliberal trumphalism, etc

But in the end it depends on Iraqis, and they didn't have good track record of stable government.
Kind of what I was thinking. More legitimacy and a far larger collation. Different leadership, and a iraq that hasn’t faced a decade of sanctions and rebellions, snd likely a shorter rebellion. If there’s no insurgency or at least a weaker one then that plus a better plan for occupation and such might keep iraq more stable.
Wouldn't it risk major dissent in the coalition? It's one thing agreeing to fight in support of a UN- endorsed cause to free an invaded country, but quite another thing to then invade another sovereign state.
I don’t see why it would risk dissent. This was a justified war and no one was ok iraqs side. And regardless, in this scenario the entire coalition is ok with this.
 
Bush 41 had been very careful and assiduous in creating and managing an arab alliance as well as exact use of UN principles unlike his son which delivered a solid and robust success, however that same caution and need to keep allies on board restricted him from full on regime change. I think he could have got away with a larger hook to destroy the Republican Guard and a more aggressive no fly zone on helicopters however
I haven’t really read up much on why they didn’t invade but iirc they felt the war goals were met and that saddamn wouldn’t survive this. Let’s say that in this scenario he wasn’t cautious and wanted a solid knock out victory over iraq.
 
Just keeping the war going another 48 hours would've destroyed the Republican Guard and brought down Saddam's regime. The Kurds would've had effective autonomy, and the Sunni, and Shiites would've fought it out on their own when the Coalition forces left. It would be messy, but probable better than 12 years of a crippled Saddam waging war on his own people, and the Coalition to hang onto to power.
 
More resistance and bloodier? I’m not sure about that or the use of WMDs. The coalition is far greater in size. The Iraqi military already greatly damaged and unable to resist us. No Fedayeen Saddam ready to resist. None of the militant groups you mentioned had been formed yet and I’m not too sure if they or something simialr would form ittl. And the aforementioned fedayeen saddam haven’t been formed yet which iirc helped form the various Sunni groups iotl.
I would still deem 'immediately-post-Kuwait' Iraqi Army to be much more fearsome than what the Coalition faced in 2003. A wounded beast, yes, but a dangerous one nonetheless.
 
What if instead of stopping when Iraq was forced out of Kuwait snd beaten the US and Coalition forces invaded iraq?
At the time, Krauthammer advocated this but IIRC there was a problem. By the end of the war, US logistics was said to have been stretched to the breaking point. If that were true a further advance to Baghdad would've been problematic. It would've depended on what the US/coalition planned beforehand. If the initial preparations sufficed just for retaking Kuwait a sudden advance farther could've been messy.
 
What if instead of stopping when Iraq was forced out of Kuwait snd beaten the US and Coalition forces invaded iraq? How feasible is this?

Coalition forces were in Iraq at the end of the war. (US forces were outside Baghdad, not in large numbers but there)
What would happen if the invasion occured? How would iraq handle under an invasion and how would the war go? Would it be like the Iraq war or no? And what changes would this have going forward? For example what would happen to the Kurds or the ‘92 election for example?

Most of the Arab components governments of the Coalition were dead set against regime change so were threatening to pull out if the US continued in Iraq. Turkey for example was worried about the Kurds and wanted Saddam around to help keep them in check. Since the US needed the other nations (our logistics without them would have collapsed) we pulled back and accepted the surrender.

A successful invasion and regime change would have required a very different Coalition (for example letting China come in and play which they wanted to do but nobody on our side wanted involved) or Iraq to have done something like unleash chemical weapons on Coalition forces or cities. As a military Iraq still had some forces but they were at the end point isolated and unable to move effectively while the Coalition had almost no restrictions on mobility and operations so continued operations would likely have seen a successful invasion. One major difference was the US and allied forces were actually prepared for "what comes next" if need be unlike 2003. We had plans in place and forces ready to actually occupy and stabilize Iraq if we had to. That would likely have given Bush a more sustained popularity boost in 92 but his failures on domestic issues was still going to be a big factor in the election so it may not have been enough to get him reelected.

I think that given the coalition’s overwhelming fire power and Iraq’s army being devastated that it should be an easy win, but I’m not sure if there’d be an insurgency this time.

There would have been no disbanding of the Iraq Army and Police and much less disruptions and chaos. Infrastructure would have been rapidly rebuilt and the Army and Police retrained and reinstated much faster. As I said we had plans in place in case we actually had to use them.

I think if the Kurds rise up they could at the least be rewarded with autonomy like they achieved iotl but not sure about an independent state.

Turkey was never going to allow that no matter how much the US supported such a move unfortunately. They'd probably have gained some autonomy but there would be pressure to keep them in line.

And if the war is clean at decisive I think it could give Bush Sr a boost to possibly win as well as enough other butterflies to allow him to win in 92. Although these are my thoughts what do y’all think?

As above I think he'd have gotten a more sustained boost with ongoing operations in Iraq and the nation looking like it was getting back on its feet but his handling of domestic affairs was what was dragging him down OTL and that won't be enough I think to squeeze out a win.

Randy
 
One major difference was the US and allied forces were actually prepared for "what comes next" if need be unlike 2003. We had plans in place and forces ready to actually occupy and stabilize Iraq if we had to

There would have been no disbanding of the Iraq Army and Police and much less disruptions and chaos. Infrastructure would have been rapidly rebuilt and the Army and Police retrained and reinstated much faster. As I said we had plans in place in case we actually had to use them.
We did? Cites?

We have good reasons to believe these plans were fairly realistic? Who did them, no-politicized civ-ops types who'd been doing this as part of WW3 planning?

The difference in 2003 was what? A refusal to plan? 'Planning' based on talk radio, editorial page ideologues?
 
We did? Cites?

We always do, whether they work or not is a question and whether the politicians implement them or not is the major question. The US military and State Department literally have sections dedicated to planning such operations, that's their entire job and they (again literally) wrote the book(s) on how and what to do.

We have good reasons to believe these plans were fairly realistic? Who did them, no-politicized civ-ops types who'd been doing this as part of WW3 planning?

Military and civilian agencies who's job it is to prepare and flesh out contingency operations based on current requirements, information and resources. If implemented as planned and supported by political will then yes the plans were likely realistic and achievable. The main problem was the first Gulf War was indecisive by political decisions while the second failed to make any use of such planning with political will failing to make any long term plans or aims for possible outcomes.

The difference in 2003 was what? A refusal to plan? 'Planning' based on talk radio, editorial page ideologues?

Those "in charge" of the 2003 Gulf War literally wrote a "White Paper" detailing how conquering Iraq and turning it into an "American aligned" state would lead to Middle East (and world) peace with about zero actual details on to accomplish this and even less details on anything beyond "taking out Saddam". American internal politics crippled the 'response' after GW1 and this was aggravated after GWII simply because the political leadership had no idea what to do with either Afghanistan or Iraq once both were taken. Couple this with an unwillingness for "one side" to allow "the other side" to gain any real traction in the situation (that internal American politics) and nothing every really got done towards making either a stable nation which the US could withdraw from.

Yes very much "one side's plan" (and I use the term loosely) was essentially based on ideologue's and talk radio "talking points" rather than the actual situation on-the-ground and was followed up by opposition to the "other side's plan" on general principles leading to a dead-lock state of non-action beyond quick-fixes and patch jobs. Long term occupation is something the US does not do well and the 'goal' is always to reach a point where the "government" is stable and friendly enough to allow a major reduction in forces. (Usually we don't go for full withdrawal but aim to gain a "Status of Forces Agreement" for a certain number of troops/bases if it's a possible area of conflict)

In the context of GW1 our allies were not comfortable with the US taking out Saddam and replacing him but WE had to make plans for just that in case it happened by accident or there was an internal coup or any other shift in power. The thinking during the run up to, and the war itself was that Saddam could not likely 'survive' a surrender or loss of the war but we hadn't counted on most of the allied Arab nations, (including Saudi) backing him to stay in power once the war was lost. (Actually we probably DID 'count' on it in some way. As I noted we try to plan for every contingency) Worse the post-GW1 ambiguity and lack of political guidance kept everything in the area in flux as did the shifting political winds which drove different (often conflicting) policies.

Everyone from the top down "knew" when GW1 ended we'd end up being back to "finish the job" within a decade. None of us quite realized how unhinged American post-Cold War politics had become though.

Randy
 
Coalition forces were in Iraq at the end of the war. (US forces were outside Baghdad, not in large numbers but there)


Most of the Arab components governments of the Coalition were dead set against regime change so were threatening to pull out if the US continued in Iraq. Turkey for example was worried about the Kurds and wanted Saddam around to help keep them in check. Since the US needed the other nations (our logistics without them would have collapsed) we pulled back and accepted the surrender.

A successful invasion and regime change would have required a very different Coalition (for example letting China come in and play which they wanted to do but nobody on our side wanted involved) or Iraq to have done something like unleash chemical weapons on Coalition forces or cities. As a military Iraq still had some forces but they were at the end point isolated and unable to move effectively while the Coalition had almost no restrictions on mobility and operations so continued operations would likely have seen a successful invasion. One major difference was the US and allied forces were actually prepared for "what comes next" if need be unlike 2003. We had plans in place and forces ready to actually occupy and stabilize Iraq if we had to. That would likely have given Bush a more sustained popularity boost in 92 but his failures on domestic issues was still going to be a big factor in the election so it may not have been enough to get him reelected.



There would have been no disbanding of the Iraq Army and Police and much less disruptions and chaos. Infrastructure would have been rapidly rebuilt and the Army and Police retrained and reinstated much faster. As I said we had plans in place in case we actually had to use them.



Turkey was never going to allow that no matter how much the US supported such a move unfortunately. They'd probably have gained some autonomy but there would be pressure to keep them in line.



As above I think he'd have gotten a more sustained boost with ongoing operations in Iraq and the nation looking like it was getting back on its feet but his handling of domestic affairs was what was dragging him down OTL and that won't be enough I think to squeeze out a win.

Randy
Huh. Didn’t know they were in Iraq or near Baghdad. neat.

Didn’t know they were that dead set against regime change, why is that? Were the Syrians agianst it? And I can see why the Turks would be against it thought. And in this scenario the coalition is for it. Maybe Bush Sr made good arguments or coerced everyone to support an invasion and take part.

China offered to take part? That’s not something I’d of ever expected lol. Was that really feasible for them im 1991? And I know that they’d need to have prepared for such an invasion. You can’t just invade on a dime, it’s gotta be prepared. They’d need to get ready for it and all I know. How wild the iraqi military have fared once the invasion began? Or how would they compare against the Iraqi military of 2003 when we invaded? At least in ‘91 they had a plan for what came next based on what you say. That would definitely help post invasion and hopefully mean a much less volatile occupation. I’ll touch on bush below since no need to repeat lol.

Why the hell was that done after ‘03 anyways? Why would they disband them and not just use them and reform them? I’d imagine keeping them going in a post ‘91 invasion would help?

That’s what I suspected. Turkey wouldn’t be happy with independence. But if they can be as autonomous as they are iotl then it should be feasible here.

I kinda disagree here, don’t you think an even more decisive victory might have enough butterfly’s to shift the election his way? I know that it almost certainly wouldn’t change domestic issues. But ive seen it be said that people thought Bush was unbeatable after his victory in Iraq and some democrats decided to stick it out and wait for ‘96. Maybe this causes Clinton to stick out? Maybe prevent a few gaffs. Perhaps keep Ross Perot out? Or at least give him enough of a talking point to edge out a win? Idk. Would be interesting.

Always great reading what you have to say!
 
At the time, Krauthammer advocated this but IIRC there was a problem. By the end of the war, US logistics was said to have been stretched to the breaking point. If that were true a further advance to Baghdad would've been problematic. It would've depended on what the US/coalition planned beforehand. If the initial preparations sufficed just for retaking Kuwait a sudden advance farther could've been messy.
In this scenario they wouldn’t just run in without prep obviously things would be hard. But as randy said they had plans for this just in case so I can’t imagine they wouldn’t be prepared for it. But I’m not expert obviously. In this scenario the decided for a full invasion in advance
I would still deem 'immediately-post-Kuwait' Iraqi Army to be much more fearsome than what the Coalition faced in 2003. A wounded beast, yes, but a dangerous one nonetheless.
Would it be willing to fight? Especially after such a defeat and with the coalition rushing in with overwhelming fire power. Especially if a coup or rebellion occurs.
Just as in OTL, the issue isn’t the war. It’s what occurs when the war is over.

ric350
Very true. I’d imagine with more troops and a better plan that things would hopefully go smoother.
 
I'd see Saddam's regime fall to the coalition. The U.S. and allies did destroy his armies in front of live-TV, so it shows that big-standing army could be crushed with mighty air and naval power. The next Bush Sr. needs to do is how to stabilize Iraq since the Iranians would want to take a shot at taking the South.
 
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