Friday, March 21, 2003

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The first big surrender

There is mounting evidence that the psyops campaign is working. Iraq's 51st Division, which is deployed in Southern Iraq, has surrendered to U.S. Marines:

"The commander of Iraq's 51st division and his top deputy surrendered to United States Marine forces today, according to American military officials.

It was the first time that the commander of an Iraqi division has surrendered to allied forces. The 51st is a Regular Army unit that was deployed in southern Iraq directly in the path of the allied invasion.

American forces made a determined effort to persuade the 51st division to give in, including leaflets and propaganda broadcasts. The leaflets instructed Iraqi forces that did not want to fight to park their tanks and walk at least half a mile away. American officials said that many of the soldiers of the 51st had simply left their posts and that the division melted away.

There are indications that other Regular Army forces want to surrender or stay out of the fight. The most loyal capable forces, however, are the Republican Guards, who still seem determined to fight."

Film of tens or hundreds of Iraqi troops surendering is nice, but this is the scale of surrendering that suggests the regime is cracking up (athough Donald Rumsfeld's comments are being spun in a more pessimistic way in this Reuters article.

I note that Sean-Paul Kelly has yet to post this information. Advantage: Drezner!! That'll teach Sean-Paul not to take breaks.

posted by Dan on 03.21.03 at 03:57 PM