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Thursday, September 11, 2003

From the Archives (July 2):

'. . . One thing I don't hear very often is analysis of Iraq's war plan. I tend to believe that Hussein knew that he was about to suffer a huge military defeat. Let's assume that you've come to the conclusion that a large-scale defeat of your military is inevitable. What would you do? The record of the war so far contains all sorts of statements about Iraqi troops "dissolving into the population", giving up their posts and putting on civilian clothes. Surely someone has considered that this may be part of Hussein's strategy -- let the Anglo-American force destroy all the armor, take some casualties, keep the rhetoric hot (via the Iraqi information minister), but disappear into the desert and melt into the population. One knock-on benefit of this is that your forces could take advantage of missteps by the invading force vis-a-vis their relations with the local population. The pattern that's emerging in Iraq tends to support some sort of loose plan to wage a guerilla war, only this time with the supports of the Shias and possibly the Kurds (it remains to be seen if they'll express their nationalism in a military way). . . .'

Thanks to Jim Lehrer (yesterday's News Hour transcript), this has now entered the public discourse:

'And they bled into the countryside and so they're still there. So while the major combat operations ended May 1, what you've got now is a low-intensity conflict that is going to continue until more of those people are rooted out. And that's going on every day. There's probably twelve,fifteen incidents a day where our forces are engaged.'

'JIM LEHRER: Looking back on it, do you think that that was a strategy of Saddam Hussein and his people from the beginning that knowing full well there was no way they could defeat a United States force, that they were going to just drop back and that was part of their deal and they're just carrying out what they've planned all along?'

'DONALD RUMSFELD: Well, they fought South. So…I don't know. We very likely... we've got enough people now. We've captured or killed 42 out of the top 55, and we've got a good chunk of them. We're interrogating them. We may get some visibility into that question. It will be very interesting to see if it was a strategy.'

Andrew 9:26 AM : |


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