Military Operations in the 2000s

Operation Iraqi Freedom

April-August 2003

Materials arranged chronologically.

Loeb, Vernon, and Dana Priest. "Missing Soldier Rescued: U.S. Forces Remove POW From Hospital ." Washington Post, 2 Apr. 2003, A1. []

According to defense officials on 1 April 2003, "Jessica Lynch, a 19-year-old private first class missing since the ambush of an Army maintenance company 10 days ago in southern Iraq, has been rescued by Special Operations forces.... CIA operatives in Iraq located Lynch in a hospital near Nasiriyah, where she was being held because of multiple wounds, officials said, and a helicopter-borne team of Navy SEALs and Army Rangers rescued her."

Priest, Dana, and Walter Pincus. "Iraqi Leaders Are Nowhere To Be Seen." Washington Post, 10 Apr. 2003, A1. []

"Secret CIA and military teams in Iraq and surveillance devices set up to monitor Saddam Hussein's inner circle reported [on 9 April 2003] that nearly the entire Iraqi leadership had vanished.... As Baghdad slipped from Hussein's control..., covert CIA and Special Operations teams dedicated to killing or capturing the Iraqi president and senior leaders discovered that the Baath Party leaders, Republican Guard leaders, troops and high-level government officials they had targeted were not at their usual posts."

Wall, Robert, and David A. Fulghum. "The Intel Battle." Aviation Week & Space Technology, 12 May 2003, 62 ff.

In Iraq, "[t]he Pentagon unleashed several new tricks from its growing coffer of information operations (IO) tools, and at the same time demonstrated that the barriers between the fiefdoms of intelligence collection and tactical operations are breaking down." The author reviews some of these intelligence-related "tricks."

Robinson, Linda. "The Men in the Shadows." U.S. News & World Report, 19 May 2003, 16-20.

"[S]pecial operations forces in Iraq played a key role in America's emerging model of precision, lightning-fast warfare. With the premium it puts on the use of real-time intelligence, pinpoint weapons targeting, and rapid transition from attack mode to stability operations, this new style of warfare plays perfectly to the unique skills America's special operators have been honing for years.... [In Iraq,] America's most elite fighting forces ... helped change not only the pace and prosecution of the war ... but the way America will fight an enemy force in the future."

Pincus, Walter. "Tenet Defends Iraq Intelligence: CIA Chief Rebuts Allegations of Pressure From Administration Before the War." Washington Post, 31 May 2003, A1. [http://www.]

In a statement released on 30 May 2003, DCI George J. Tenet "publicly defend[ed] the agency's intelligence on Iraq's possession of chemical and biological weapons.... Tenet's statement came in response to the release on [29 May 2003] of a 'memorandum' to President Bush posted on several Internet sites by a group of retired CIA and State Department intelligence analysts [Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity]. The analysts said there is 'growing mistrust and cynicism' among intelligence professionals over 'intelligence cited by you and your chief advisers to justify the war against Iraq.'"

Lakely, James G. "Official Rebuts Story of Iraq Intelligence Shortcomings." Washington Times, 7 Jun. 2003. []

Emerging from a classified intelligence briefing to the Senate Armed Services Committee on 6 June 2003, DIA Director Adm. Lowell Jacoby "said earlier press reports suggesting the United States had no reliable evidence of Iraq's chemical and biological weapons program were wrong and based on a 'single sentence' in a DIA report that 'was not intended to ... [ellipses in original] summarize the program.'"

Gellman, Barton. "Covert Unit Hunted for Iraqi Arms: Amid Raids and Rescue, Task Force 20 Failed To Pinpoint Weapons." Washington Post, 13 Jun. 2003, A1. [http://www.washingtonpost. com]

According to military and intelligence sources, Task Force 20, an Army Special Forces unit "operating in Iraq since before the war began in March, has played a dominant but ultimately unsuccessful role in the ... hunt for weapons of mass destruction." Among its other assignments, Task Force 20 "captured Palestinian guerrilla leader Mohammed Abbas in Baghdad in mid-April and the Iraqi scientists nicknamed Mrs. Anthrax and Dr. Germ; it fought a bloody battle behind Iraqi lines to prevent a catastrophic release of floodwaters from the Haditha Dam; and it retrieved Pfc. Jessica Lynch, an Army prisoner of war, from a hospital in Nasiriyah."

Jehl, Douglas, and Dexter Filkins. "U.S. Moved to Undermine Iraqi Military Before War." New York Times, 10 Aug. 2003. []

According to people involved in the effort, the U.S. military, the CIA, and Iraqi exiles "began a broad covert effort inside Iraq at least three months before the war to forge alliances with Iraqi military leaders and persuade commanders not to fight.... [C]ontacts with Iraqi officers were arranged beginning in late 2002 by Jordanian intelligence officers who were working with American Special Forces and C.I.A. agents." The operation was "led by the military's super-secret Task Force 20 and ... the contacts ... included phone calls, e-mail messages, visits and in some cases the payment of substantial sums of money."

Shadid, Anthony, and Daniel Williams. "U.S. Recruiting Hussein's Spies." Washington Post, 24 Aug. 2003, A1. []

According to U.S. and Iraqi officials, "U.S.-led occupation authorities have begun a covert campaign to recruit and train agents with the once-dreaded Iraqi intelligence service to help identify resistance to American forces." Although it is not the only target of the U.S. effort, "[t]he emphasis in recruitment appears to be on the intelligence service known as the Mukhabarat," the former regime's foreign intelligence service and the "most sophisticated of the four" branches in Hussein's former security service.

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