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[casi] Franks admits US bribed Iraqi Generals

It is no wonder Franks is 'resigning'.. The Iraqis suspected this from the
beginning.. pg

US army chief says Iraqi troops took bribes to surrender
By Andrew Buncombe in Washington
24 May 2003

Senior Iraqi officers who commanded troops crucial to the defence of key
Iraqi cities were bribed not to fight by American special forces, the US
general in charge of the war has confirmed.

Well before hostilities started, special forces troops and intelligence
agents paid sums of money to a number of Iraqi officers, whose support was
deemed important to a swift, low-casualty victory.

General Tommy Franks, the US army commander for the war, said these Iraqi
officers had acknowledged their loyalties were no longer with the Iraqi
leader, Saddam Hussein, but with their American paymasters. As a result,
many officers chose not to defend their positions as American and British
forces pushed north from Kuwait.

"I had letters from Iraqi generals saying: 'I now work for you'," General
Franks said.

It is not clear which Iraqi officers were bribed, how many were bought off
or at what cost. It is likely, however, that the US focused on officers in
control of Saddam's elite forces, which were expected to defend the capital.
The Pentagon said that bribing the senior officers was a cost-effective
method of fighting and one that led to fewer casualties.

"What is the effect you want?" a senior Pentagon official said. "How much
does a cruise missile cost? Between $1m and $2.5m. Well, a bribe is a PGM
[precision guided missile)  it achieves the aim but it's bloodless and
there's zero collateral damage.

"This part of the operation was as important as the shooting part; maybe
more important. We knew that some units would fight out of a sense of duty
and patriotism, and they did. But it didn't change the outcome because we
knew how many of these [Iraqi generals] were going to call in sick," he

The revelation by General Franks, who this week announced his intention to
retire as commander of US Central Command, helps explain one of the enduring
mysteries of the US-led war against Iraq: why Iraqi forces did not make a
greater stand in their defence of Baghdad, in many cases melting away and
changing into civilian clothes rather than forcing the allied troops to
engage in bitter, street-to-street fighting.

John Pike, director of the Washington-based military research group,
GlobalSecurity.Org, said: "It certainly strikes me that this is part of the
mix. I don't think there is any way of discerning how big a part of the mix
it is ... but it is part of the long queue of very interesting questions for
which we do not yet have definitive answers." In the run-up to the war
against Iraq, the Pentagon revealed its ambitious efforts to try to
encourage Iraqi soldiers and officers to lay down their weapons rather than
stand and fight.

As American and British troops massed in northern Kuwait in preparation,
millions of leaflets printed in Arabic were dropped over towns and cities
where troops were thought to be concentrated, urging them not to support
Saddam. The leaflets gave specific instructions as to how the troops should
surrender and included such information as ensuring that all tanks turrets
were turned around and pointed towards the north. Senior officers were also
targeted by US psy-ops officers using e-mails and telephone calls to their
private addresses and mobile phones.

As a result, while some Iraqi forces  especially those supported by
militias  put up staunch resistance in several cities as Allied forces
marched north, many thousands of Iraqi soldiers chose not to fight, in most
cases simply throwing off their uniforms and going home to their families.

But the confirmation  revealed in the current edition of Defence News by
reporter Vago Muradian  that crucial senior officers were bribed, would
explain why there was so little resistance in locations where it was
anticipated that better-trained troops such as the Republican Guard would
make a stand.

Some of the techniques employed by the Pentagon to persuade Iraqi troops not
to fight were used with some success in the recent war in Afghanistan, where
US special forces carried with them considerable sums of money in dollar
bills to buy off warlords whose support was deemed crucial to the war

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