Military Operations in the 2000s

Operation Iraqi Freedom

September-November 2003

Materials arranged chronologically.

Balano, Randy Carol. "Operation Iraqi Freedom: The Role of the Office of Naval Intelligence." Naval Intelligence Professionals Quarterly 19, no. 3 (Sep. 2003): 9-10.

"ONI's initial contributions included intelligence preparation of the battle space and the establishment of a 24 by 7 analysis and production operation.... In addition, teams of specially-trained ONI reservists provided critical support to HUMINT collection efforts and the exploitation of captured enemy material."

Baldwin, Al [COL/USMC]. "1st Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF) Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) in Operation Iraqi Freedom." Naval Intelligence Professionals Quarterly 19, no. 3 (Sep. 2003): 11-12.

The regimental combat teams (RCTs) were provided "with the ability to directly receive most of the signals from the theater and tactical sensors. By cutting out the middlemen ... the intelligence got to the using unit much faster and in time to have a chance to shape the local action."

Pincus, Walter. "Spy Agencies Warned of Iraq Resistance." Washington Post, 9 Sep. 2003, A1. []

According to administration and congressional sources, "U.S. intelligence agencies warned Bush administration policymakers before the war in Iraq that there would be significant armed opposition to a U.S.-led occupation.... The general tenor of the reports, according to a senior administration official familiar with the intelligence, was that the postwar period would be more 'problematic' than the war to overthrow Hussein.... Before the war, the CIA passed on intelligence that some members of Hussein's Republican Guard military units and his Baathist Party had plans to carry on resistance after the war, according to one senior intelligence official."

Priest, Dana. "House Probers Conclude Iraq War Data Was Weak." Washington Post, 28 Sep. 2003, A1. []

"Leaders of the House intelligence committee have criticized the U.S. intelligence community for using largely outdated, 'circumstantial' and 'fragmentary' information with 'too many uncertainties' to conclude that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and ties to al Qaeda." The criticism is contained in a letter sent on 25 September 2003 by the committee chair and the ranking Democrat to DCI George J. Tenet. See also, Carl Hulse and David E. Sanger, "New Criticism on Prewar Use of Intelligence," New York Times, 29 Sep. 2003.

Kessler, Glenn, and Dana Priest. "Iraq Data Not Old, Bush Aides Insist." Washington Post, 29 Sep. 2003, A15. []

On 28 September 2003, "President Bush's senior foreign-policy advisers ... disputed assertions by the leaders of the House intelligence committee that the administration waged war against Iraq based largely on information about Iraq's weapons programs that was five years old, when U.N. inspectors left the country."

Pincus, Walter. "U.S.-British Differences Show Iraq Intelligence Gap." Washington Post, 30 Sep. 2003, A12. []

"In the buildup to the Iraq war..., the intelligence agencies of Britain and the United States raised questions about each other's most dramatic claims concerning Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, according to newly released British documents and recent interviews with U.S. congressional and administration officials.

"Documents published by British government investigators show that in September 2002, British intelligence played down as not conclusive evidence that Iraq's attempted purchases of specialized aluminum tubes signaled an intention to use them to produce nuclear weapons.... In turn, U.S. intelligence officials in September 2002 questioned the reliability of intelligence on Iraq's alleged effort to purchase uranium in Africa and Hussein's capability to deploy chemical weapons within 45 minutes."

Burger, Timothy J., and Michael Ware. "The Secret Collaborators." Time, 20 Oct. 2003, 30-36.

"[T]he quick and relatively painless U.S. overthrow of Saddam's regime was achieved not just by military means but also by betrayal. Before a shot was fired, the U.S. recruited and dispatched Iraqi collaborators to uncover Saddam's plans and capabilities, and hobble them. Deals were done; psychological warfare was waged; money was paid; and even blackmail was used.... By the time the first U.S. tanks crossed the Kuwaiti border, top Republican Guard officers had been won over, and the secret police had been penetrated. Spies had infiltrated, and spotters had been dispatched to help guide American bombs."

Ricks, Thomas E. "Intelligence Problems in Iraq Are Detailed." Washington Post, 25 Oct. 2003, A1. []

A report published this week by the Center for Army Lessons Learned, Ft. Leavenworth, KS, says that "[t]he U.S. military intelligence gathering operation in Iraq is being undercut by a series of problems in using technology, training intelligence specialists and managing them in the field."

Efron, Sonni, and Greg Miller. "Intelligence Veteran Faults Iraq Arms Data." Los Angeles Times, 29 Oct. 2003. []

Carl W. Ford, Jr., newly retired former assistant secretary of State for intelligence and research (INR), said on 28 October 2003 that "the U.S. intelligence community 'badly underperformed' for years in assessing Iraq's weapons of mass destruction."

Coll, Steve. "Seized Intelligence Files Spur U.S. Investigations." Washington Post, 3 Nov. 2003, A15. []

According to U.S. officials, "[t]he CIA has seized an extensive cache of files from the former Iraqi Intelligence Service that is spurring U.S. investigations of weapons procurement networks and agents of influence who took money from the government of Saddam Hussein." The officials said that the files "contain not only the names of nearly every Iraqi intelligence officer, but also the names of their paid foreign agents, written agent reports, evaluations of agent credentials, and documentary evidence of payments made to buy influence in the Arab world and elsewhere."

Shanker, Thom, and Eric Schmitt. "Pentagon Says a Covert Force Hunts Hussein." New York Times, 7 Nov. 2003. []

According to Pentagon and military officials, Gen. John P. Abizaid, the top U.S. commender for the Middle East, "has created a covert commando force to hunt Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden and key terrorists throughout the region.... Military officers say that focusing the intelligence, and the Special Operations firepower, within one organization, called Task Force 121 [and commanded by an Air Force brigadier general], streamlines the effort to use information on these targets and mount an attack."

Chandrasekaran, Rajiv. "7 Spaniards Killed In Iraqi Ambush." Washington Post, 30 Nov. 2003, A1. []

"More than a dozen insurgents ambushed and killed seven Spanish intelligence officers on [29 November 2003] on a highway near [Latifiya,] south of Baghdad.... Spain's defense minister, Frederico Trillo, said in a televised address that the soldiers, from the country's National Intelligence Center, had eaten lunch in Baghdad and were 'on their way to carry out reconnaissance in the area.'"

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