View Full Version : The People Have Got to Want It

04-12-03, 07:04 PM
By Brigadier General David L. Grange, U.S. Army (Ret.)

As the Coalition forces continue to kill, capture, or dissuade Iraqi regime forces throughout the countryside and within Baghdad itself, the removal of the regime will come only with the support of the Iraqi people. Some brave souls—and more will follow suit—have demonstrated the courage to defy and revolt against Saddam's cruel regime if they can be convinced there is a better life and Saddam's henchmen will never return. The military might of the Coalition force may push deep into the heart of Baghdad, but control will be temporary unless the citizens of Baghdad want freedom, perceive that victory for Coalition forces is inevitable, and participate to some degree in the removal of the Special Republican Guard, Iraqi special forces, and Fedayeen.

In war, a victor must control three domains: the physical domain, the organizational domain, and the moral domain. The physical domain involves killing enemy soldiers, breaking things, and seizing ground. The organizational domain includes destroying or disrupting enemy command, control, and communications, separating the combined arms-fighting capability of ground and air power, and cutting supply lines. The moral domain involves influencing the morale and the will to fight of enemy forces, instilling hopelessness and fear, and convincing enemy troops that their cause is unjust. Of the three, the moral domain is the most effective in forcing enemy capitulation and saving the most lives. Next most effective is the organizational domain because it cuts off the head of the snake and forces any remaining enemy resistance to fight disjointed and in confusion. The physical domain is more of a tank-on-tank, soldier-on-soldier type of effort, which takes a considerable amount of time to manage. The master of the battlefield combines aspects and applies resources to all three domains in concert with each other.

What is occurring in Baghdad and in other parts of Iraq is the synchronization of all three domains. The Iraqi people and the rest of the world are witnessing the control of all three domains by Coalition forces. The people of Iraq continue to witness massive destruction of the Republican Guard, surrendering of Iraqi regular forces throughout the country, and nonstop movement of Coalition forces. They see Saddam's inner circle killed or under constant pressure, the inability of the regime to communicate in a convincing manner, and Coalition forces spreading humanitarian assistance and other goodwill. The effect is motivating, slowly but surely, the people of Iraq to join the overthrow of Saddam's regime. Without this support of the people, the war can never be won, or will be won only at a horrific price.

Brigadier General David L. Grange, U.S. Army (Ret.), was Commanding General of the First Infantry Division, where he served in Germany, Bosnia, Macedonia, and Kosovo. During his 30-year military career, Grange served as a Ranger, Green Beret, aviator, infantryman, and member of Delta Force. He is executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Robert R. McCormick Tribune Foundation.