Poor US Military Intelligence in Iraq
The Associated Press did a story on Friday on the US military’s lack of good human intelligence skills and assets in Iraq. This lack of Arabists and analysts familiar with Arab politics and culture helps explain the morass into which the US has fallen in the past six months.
The articles says, ‘Most Army intelligence specialists, both officers and enlisted soldiers, were unprepared for the job when they reached Iraq, said that report, from the Center for Army Lessons Learned. Written by experts who visited in June, the report found the specialists “did not appear to be prepared for tactical assignments” and often exhibited “weak intelligence briefing skills” and “very little to no analytical skills.” ‘
The military is trying hard to get up to speed, but obviously has a long way to go. A general in Baghdad admitted, “we don’t have the best intelligence in the world” .
I think an investigation should be launched into the degree to which Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith and his Office of Special Plans actually interfered with Pentagon preparations for the Iraq occupation in ways that detracted from US intelligence operations. Certainly there are persistent reports that the civilians in the Pentagon stopped experienced Arabists from going to work for the Coalition Provisional Authority on the civilian side. The Rumsfeld/Wolfowitz/Feith had some sort of shady plans to turn Iraq into a dictatorship run by their crony Ahmad Chalabi, and they actively excluded from the whole operation anyone with the background to recognize and object to what they were doing.
As a result, they bear a big responsibility for getting so many of our guys killed in Iraq, since they in essence blinded the US operation there for the sake of their crackpot political schemes.
Karen Kwiatkowski, a now-retired officer in the Pentagon, has explained how she watched the RWF group hijack US Iraq policy.