RealNews

US Struggles to Determine Who Is the Enemy in Iraq

The Pentagon is struggling to figure out who the enemy is in Iraq, with officials saying they remain foggy about the leadership and organization of the insurgency and analysts decrying a huge intelligence lapse. Military commanders and U.S. intelligence officials describe resistance forces in Iraq as some combination of loyalists of toppled President Saddam Hussein’s government, criminals paid by those loyalists to carry out attacks, Islamic militants from outside Iraq, and isolated Shiite radicals. Gen. John Abizaid, responsible for military efforts in Iraq as chief of U.S. Central Command, has estimated that no more than 5,000 people have taken up arms in the resistance. But U.S. officials said they could not identify the leader or leaders of the insurgency, the degree of collusion among its elements and whether central coordination existed or autonomous groups operated merely at a regional level. “It would be helpful if we knew. That might make it easier. At least you know who you’re going after,” a defense official said on Friday. Full Story

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