War and its Aftermath: Destructive Force

The human cost of the war, especially for Iraqi forces killed and injured, has been largely out of sight. But with probably tens of thousands affected, the impact on families across the country will be considerable. Bitterness and anger may produce opposition and retaliation for years ahead.

The World Today Published 1 May 2003 Updated 21 October 2020 3 minute READ

Paul Rogers

At the start of the Iraq war, there was an expectation that the Saddam Hussein regime might collapse almost at once. As soon as the ‘shock and awe’ air campaign started, with many hundreds of cruise missiles and thousands of satellite-guided bombs used against key regime targets, it seemed possible that a ground war might be avoided entirely.

In addition to precision-guided munitions and conventional ‘dumb’ bombs, systematic use was made of area-impact munitions such as might collapse almost at once. As soon as the ‘shock cluster bombs, designed specifically to cause death and injury over and awe’ air campaign started, with many hundreds of cruise missiles and thousands of satellite-guided bombs used against key regime targets, it seemed possible that a ground war might be avoided entirely.

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