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LONDON (Reuters) - The United States and Britain are planning a massive seaborne invasion of Iraq from the Gulf as the first stage in any ground war, a British defense ministry source said on Saturday.
"Discussions on future amphibious operations are at an advanced stage," the source said, adding that Britain would commit its elite 3 Commando Brigade of Royal Marines to the proposed invasion.
In the 1991 Gulf War, U.S.-led forces assembled a large amphibious task force in the Gulf, but never mounted an assault by sea. Instead, infantry poured into parts of Iraq and Kuwait from Saudi Arabia by land.
The British defense ministry source said planners were this time leaning toward an amphibious assault in the case of a war with Iraq in part because of the difficulties of protecting a large ground-based army from chemical or biological attack.
"Would you really put 200,000 troops in one place and let them be targets for an attack?" the source said.
The amphibious option also reduces the diplomatic and political sensitivity of moving large land forces into countries in the region which have not yet publicly given consent for their territory to be used as a launch-pad for an invasion.
Other ground forces could deploy later, after amphibious forces had already opened up a front, the British source said.
I'm sure we are going to see many, many more of these kinds of stories. I doubt that the military intelligence of the U.S. and Britain are going to give ANYONE what our real plans are. I see this story is coming from Reuters, so I wouldn't put too much stock in it anyway.