Study ties Hussein, guerrilla strategy

US may have played into plans, report says. The ”shock and awe” attack that toppled Saddam Hussein in three weeks is often touted as a brilliant strategy that defeated Iraq with relatively few US casualties. But new information suggests that the United States may have played into Hussein’s plans for a quick war followed by a long guerrilla insurgency. The report last week of the Iraq Survey Group, based partly on interviews with captured leaders of the secretive Iraqi regime, said Hussein planned to have his troops and loyalists pull back after an initial US thrust and engage the Americans under terms more favorable to the Iraqis. The quick fall of Baghdad was once seen as vindication of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld’s belief in the power of smaller numbers of fast-moving troops. But recently, even President Bush has conceded that the early victory of the US-led coalition helped lay the groundwork for an insurgency that has claimed the lives of 929 US troops since the end of major combat on May 1, 2003. Full Story

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