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Hallo all, The Council for Foreign Relations (main base: USA) explains itself Iraq, here: the Iraqi resistance. The wishiwashy way. At least officially. Obviously they can't even answer their own manipulated, stupid questions. Have there been any anormal sun corona eruptions or strange comets passing the earth lately ? Best Andreas ----------- http://www.cfr.org/background/background_iraq_resist.php IRAQ Resistance to U.S. Forces Updated: June 20, 2003 Are the ongoing attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq part of an organized resistance? It’s clear, officials say, that some of the assaults are being conducted by cells of experienced Iraqi fighters. What’s not clear is whether the attacks are the opening salvos of a nationwide resistance movement orchestrated by the remnants of Saddam Hussein’s regime, a possibility top U.S. officials have downplayed. Thirteen U.S. soldiers have been killed by enemy fire since President Bush announced the end of major combat operations May 1. Why do U.S. officials say there’s no national resistance? First, because most of the attacks—which appear to be occurring nightly—are taking place in a discrete triangle of territory that stretches from Baghdad 100 miles north to Saddam Hussein’s home town of Tikrit, and 35 miles west to the town of Fallujah, the site of perhaps the fiercest insurgency. Second, U.S. military officials say they haven’t seen signs of a central command or evidence that Saddam—who may still be alive, according to press reports—or other top leaders are calling the shots. “They [the attacks] are very small. They are very random. They are very ineffective,” said Major General Ray Odierno, commander of the Fourth Infantry Division. Why are the attacks taking place in that triangle? Because the predominately conservative Arab Sunni region was the source of many of Saddam’s most loyal troops and government officials, as well as his own home base. (Arab Sunnis make up approximately 18 percent of Iraq’s population). It was the last area to fall to U.S. forces, and American troops received a chilly welcome in the area. U.S. efforts since the fall of Baghdad to quell resistance—some of which caused Iraqi casualties— further inflamed tensions. What are the signs that the attacks may be locally organized? Some experts and officials emphasize three factors. First, the attacks are often technically well-executed, with coordinated movements of groups of fighters. Second, U.S. forces rounding up Saddam loyalists have found large caches of money and weapons that appear to be intended to help the resistance. Third, the attackers, who employ tactics similar to those used by resistance fighters who harassed U.S. supply lines during the war—ambushes, drive-by shootings, sniper attacks, ruses—seem to have little trouble escaping and hiding. Who are the attackers? U.S. commanders believe that some are remnants of Saddam’s most loyal security forces, including Baath Party fighters, the Fedayeen Saddam militia, the Iraqi Special Republican Guards, and Iraqi intelligence services. In other cases, attackers appear to be militant Islamic volunteers from other countries, or “just some plain Iraqis who are poor and are being paid to attack U.S. forces,” Odierno said June 18. He did not say how much he thought attackers were being paid. How many forces loyal to Saddam are still in Iraq? It is difficult to know, but if prewar estimates of Iraqi military strength were accurate, the numbers could be in the thousands. Analysts estimated that among the most loyal forces were 60,000 to 70,000 Republican Guard troops and 15,000 men in the Special Republican Guard—the military unit closest to Saddam. In addition, there were some 30,000 Fedayeen Saddam militia members, as well as tens of thousands of men working in some capacity for Saddam’s security services. What happened to the Republican Guard and other fighting units after the war ended? Far fewer Iraqi soldiers were captured than coalition forces expected, which means most soldiers—even from the elite security units—blended into the Iraqi population. During the war, U.S. and British troops captured some 13,800 Iraqis from among the elite forces and the 300,000 to 350,000 regular Iraqi Army troops. Independent analysts place the number of Iraqi military killed at between 5,000 and 10,000; the U.S. government said it did not keep track of Iraqi deaths. In the 1991 Gulf War, by comparison, some 71,000 men were captured. Estimates of the number killed range widely, but some analysts place the number between 75,000 and 100,000. How serious is the threat against U.S. forces? It’s hard to judge. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said June 18 that the attackers are organized into “pockets of dead-enders,” small groups usually made up of about 10 or 20 gunmen. But some experts caution that, unless it is put down quickly and aggressively, the low-level, loosely coordinated insurgency campaign apparently underway could grow more organized over time. “I’m concerned,” says General Wayne Downing, who resigned in 2002 as director of the National Security Council’s Office of Combating Terrorism. “Because there are so many of the low-level Saddam loyalists still out there and because we don’t have proof that Saddam and his sons are dead. Many Iraqis believe that Saddam and his regime could still come back.” Who is being targeted? U.S. forces conducting routine patrols, manning checkpoints, or driving from one post to another. Some recent attacks appear to be against Iraqis—apparently to discourage cooperation with Americans. Resistance fighters have fired rocket propelled grenades at the courthouse and the office of the U.S.-backed mayor in Fallujah. On June 18, insurgents fired a mortar round into a building being used by U.S. forces in Samarra, a city between Tikrit and Baghdad, killing one Iraqi and injuring 12. How many attacks have there been? The Pentagon has not released a total, but some reports indicate there may be as many as a dozen attempted attacks per day. A total of 45 soldiers have died since May 1 in Iraq, 32 of them in non-combat related accidents, according to the Department of Defense. During the war, 138 U.S. soldiers died, including those killed accidentally. In what way do the attacks show evidence of military training? In one recent ambush, U.S. commanders say, five or six Iraqis provided cover fire while one slipped out of a ditch and placed an explosive under a U.S. tank. Iraqis in Fallujah have been using a system of flares to signal the approach of U.S. troops. They have also cut off electricity in parts of the town before an attack, according to press reports. What countermeasures are U.S. troops taking? The United States has begun a number of large-scale military operations to root out the insurgents. In Operational Peninsula strike, which took place in mid-June, hundreds of infantrymen supported by helicopters and armored vehicles swept into a region 40 miles north of Baghdad. Four hundred Iraqis were arrested; all but sixty were subsequently released, press reports said. Military experts say a tough approach is key to stopping the attackers: “You have to have a very aggressive presence on the ground,” said retired colonel Ken Allard, a military expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Fifty men from Saddam’s special security services - along with $8.5 million in cash—were captured June 18 in two farmhouses near Tikrit as part of the escalating U.S. raids in the region. Are there enough coalition soldiers in Iraq to stop the attacks? Experts disagree. Allard, for example, says that security would improve if there were more coalition forces on the ground. There are currently 146,000 U.S. troops and approximately 12,000 British troops in Iraq; 20,000 to 30,000 troops from Poland, Italy, Spain, and other nations are expected to arrive in August. Retired Major General Robert Scales, the former commandant of the U.S. Army War College, on the other hand, says that gathering information about who is organizing and conducting the attacks is more important than bringing in more troops. “What’s missing isn’t troops, what’s missing is intelligence,” he says. How could U.S. forces gather more information about the insurgency? They need to offer Iraqis a combination of “carrots and sticks,” some military experts say—improve living conditions to gain the confidence of Iraqis as troops conduct aggressive operations against the violent resistance. Winning the trust of Iraqis would create a pool of “fence-sitters and enough snitches” to provide information on the insurgents, Scales says. Are the U.S. troops using disproportionate force to control dissent? Perhaps. Of particular concern, say human rights groups, are two incidents in which U.S. forces fired into crowds of demonstrators, reportedly killing 17 people in Fallujah on April 28 and two in Baghdad on June 18. A June Human Rights Watch report charges that U.S. forces lack training in peacekeeping and crowd control tactics and requests an official inquiry into the Fallujah crowd shooting. House-to-house searches, especially those conducted without an Iraqi man present, have incensed traditional Muslim families in Fallujah and elsewhere. If the counterinsurgency campaign is to succeed, a balance between aggressive policing and respect for the local population is key, military experts say. Training and deploying more Iraqi police forces could help, Downing says. _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk