The Invasion of Iraq Has Probably Begun
Debka Files had this story a month ago and Holsinger really adds no more than tactical detail; but my sense is his strategic sense is spot on.
Where he may go a little wrong is in his assumption that covert permission to overfly Saudi was needed. First, there was nothing at all that the Saudis could do to prevent the Americans from overflying. Second, there is no real reason why the Americans need to overfly.
In the Debka Files piece the idea of the salami slice approach to the problem of Iraq was raised. Part of that solution would be to set up forward bases in the Syrian desert within Blackhawk range of Baghdad. As well, forward basing south of Mosul, again within a hundred miles of Baghdad is likely an accomplished fact.
The demonstrated ability of American airpower to casue massive and largely costless casualties among relatively ill trained troops was abundantly demonstrated in Afghanistan. The Iraqis would have virtually no chance of retaking a forward base ringed with Special Forces and B-2s orbiting above.
The Grandmother of all Battles could well be over in an hour if the Americans can preposition with impunity.