The Battlefront: A Long Siege Ahead

While the allies step up the air assault and Saddam hunkers down, both sides plan for a war lasting months, not weeks

Remember all the chatter about a short war? Well, forget it. "We would prefer not to talk in terms of days or weeks but months," says White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater. About the earliest anybody in the Bush Administration expects victory over Iraq is mid-March; British estimates run to mid-April or so. Which of course would still be short by comparison with World War II, Korea or Vietnam, but hardly the lightning victory that the success of the first air strikes on Baghdad had led some commentators to anticipate.

Does that mean the allied strategy is being foiled? Just the opposite....

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