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Friday, October 31, 2003

We've postulated several times that the current guerilla phase of the war against the U.S. in Iraq may have been part of Hussein's game plan from the beginning. The New York Times provides some more (although not enough to be conclusive) evidence that Hussein may in fact have a hand in coordinating resistance:

. . .

'But over the last month or two, the senior American officials said, there have been increasing signs that his [Saddam Hussein's] role may well be more significant. Two officials said there were indications that, in addition to meeting with subordinates to discuss the armed opposition, Mr. Hussein may be playing a role in bringing together different factions of loyalists involved in the attacks.'

'Some of the meetings may have been conducted in moving cars to avoid detection by United States forces, one American official said.'

'"Everyone has always recognized that it's important to get Saddam," the Defense Department official said. "But with these continued reports that Saddam may be behind some of the attacks, or coordinating them or leading them, there's now a military reason as well."'

We're cautious about this line of reasoning because of the lack of solid intelligence regarding Iraq and because the scorecard on U.S. intelligence in Iraq hasn't been too good up to this point. However, we still believe that Saddam Hussein must have known that he didn't have much of a chance of winning a conventional war against the U.S. (especially considering the degradation in his forces after the 1991 Gulf War) and thus considered various strategies to avoid total defeat. His survival instict runs too deep to for him to have been wedded to a scenario that included a big "final showdown" with U.S. forces (the assumption that led to planners believing there'd be a big battle to take Baghdad).

Andrew 9:47 AM : |


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