Intelligence: August 18, 2003

Archives

Using a technique proven effective in domestic crime fighting, American troops are offering cash for information in Iraq. This is nothing new for military operations. During the occupation of Japan and Germany after World War II, paid informers were essential in cracking down on various criminal activities (black marketers, and various other gangsters) as well as political opponents (Soviet spies and unrepentant Nazis and Japanese militarists.) In Iraq, coalition intelligence were quick to pick up the Baath Party's use of cash to drive their armed opposition. Rewards were offered (paid in U.S. dollars) for attacks on coalition troops, sabotage of Iraqi infrastructure and, especially, killing or wounding coalition soldiers. It was probably also noticed that the Israelis had been very successful in keeping their intelligence network viable inside Palestinian areas by offering rewards for services. Actually, cash has long been a popular weapon in Middle Eastern conflicts. During the Lebanese Civil War (1975-90), the various warring militias kept the conflict going by paying their "fighters" salaries and, in some cases, benefits (health care, schooling for children, pensions.) In Iraq, Saddam maintained his power with a combination of terror, and cash rewards for useful services. During the Iran-Iraq war, Saddam paid large awards, in cash or goods (like automobiles) to the families of soldiers killed in the unpopular conflict. In the 2001 Afghanistan war, American victory was bought with a combination of smart bombs and millions of dollars of cash to get warlords to switch sides. The Taliban had earlier used the same technique, especially for warlords who were too powerful, and thus too expensive, to fight. In Iraq, the rewards (of $100-500) for things like the location of roadside bombs and weapons caches has already paid off. Giving this program publicity is another important issue, for the more people who know about the rewards program, the more will be tempted to cash in.

 


Article Archive

Intelligence: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close