How Did We Win the War?
Exactly which elements of central U.S. strategy mattered most in winning the war in Iraq? Before the war, there was much talk of overawing the Iraqis with so spectacular a show of aerial firepower that they would instantly surrender, seeing how impotent they were to stop the U.S. attack. It seems clear that this particular application of "shock and awe" did not perform as advertised. It did, however, do sufficient damage to Iraqi command and control that individual commanders probably had little access to central commanders (if indeed the latter survived the initial attacks). In a tight dictatorship, commanders are selected for their lack of initiative (otherwise they threaten the regime). Disconnecting them from their usual chain of command might make them much riper for surrender.