Here is a picture of most of Iraq.
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Do to my lack of maddd html skillz I cannot preset a picture zooming into the Iraq coastline, but dear reader, if you were to click on the down arrow once and on the right arrow once, you could see the tiny sliver (36 miles) of the Persia Gulf coastline that the Brits in their infinite wisdom allotted Iraq.
It has only two more or less deepwater ports large enough to handle the sorts of ships required to move massive amounts of troops out of Iraq. See the funnel? Zoom in more to the coastline.
One, port, Umm Qasr, is directly on the border with Kuwait, while the other, smaller port, Al Faw, sits directly on the border with Iran. Also notice how the dividing lines between both Kuwait and Iran run right down those relatively tiny waterways.
It's roughly half of a world away to get supplies from the US to one of the Iraqi deep sea ports.
It's 277 miles from Basra to Iraq. And only a couple of lanes. On Bad roads. Few people have been spotted throwing flowers, lately, though their pitching arms seem to be in prime shape.
The supply lines lengthen.
Muqtada al-Sadr, the Shiite cleric currently using his Madhi army to battle competing Shiite politician Nouri-Al Maliki (elected head of the Iraqi parliament), has pitched his current battle in Basra; right over our escape route.
We have approximately 158,000 troops in Iraq. Carriers, only two of which can only land at a time along the minimal Iraqi coast, only seem to hold about 3000 troops (apart from required staff). (This is way out of my area of expertise, comments appreciated.) Even if our troops to make it to Basra, what then?
Even Napoleon couldn't get his troops safely out of Moscow.