Information Warfare: December 7, 2002

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On December 2nd, U.S. psychological warfare troops had leaflets dropped in southern Iraq. Some 240,000 leaflets warned Iraqi technicians not to try and repair the damage U.S. aircraft are doing to the Chinese built fiber optic communications system. The leaflets made it clear that any attempts to repair damage could get the repair crews killed. In addition to carrying much more data, the fiber optic system is immune to electronic countermeasures. The system was built mainly for military purposes, particularly for supporting the air defense network. The fiber optic network allowed the warning radars to more effectively communicate with anti-aircraft gun and missile units. Chinese firms built the system in the late 1990s, in violation of the arms embargo on Iraq. China forced the Chinese firms to withdraw after the United States government complained several times and threatened economic retaliation. The current leaflet campaign is apparently the beginning of an effort to demoralize civilian and military crews from repairing damage done by the increasing number of bombing missions. While the Iraqi government can threaten the crews with death if they don't get out there and do repairs under fire, this will only encourage repair crew members to desert or work at much reduced efficiency.

 


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