Iraq: July 28, 2003


The war in Iraq has left 236 American dead so far, plus 43 British troops. Combat has killed 161 American troops, compared to 148 during the 1991 war. It took about six weeks to take control of Iraq, but that left most of Saddam's core supporters alive and on the loose. Saddam's power was maintained by some 100,000 secret police, about 15,000 men in the Special Republican Guard and 50-100,000 Baath Party leaders. There were also over 100,000 Republican Guard and army officers and senior NCOs. That's at least a quarter of a million people whose jobs and futures were tied to Saddam staying in power. There are a hundred or more attacks on American troops each week. Most of these attacks are inept and fail. But enough of them succeed to kill up to a dozen Americans a week. There are as many, or more, attacks on Iraqis who actively support American troops. There are probably even more threats made to Iraqis by pro-Saddam (or, more accurately, pro-Baath) activists. This indicates, based on how resistance organizations have historically operated, that there are at least a few thousand Iraqis (and some foreigners) actively engaged in the resistance. 

Centcom announced that in the last 24 hours coalition forces have conducted 29 raids, 1,096 day patrols and 889 night patrols. In addition, troops conducted 122 day patrols and 139 night patrols jointly with Iraqi police. More Iraqi police are being returned to active duty each day. The process of screening the old police force takes time, although it is speeding up now as more experience, and translators, is gained. Many Iraqi cops were corrupt, inept and brutal. You want to keep these out of the new police force. The police that are returned to duty have to be shown modern police methods, which takes at least a few weeks. The first priority is patrol and establishing minimal law and order. That process has been achieved in most neighborhoods. Now the police are going after the known criminals, some of whom began to operate openly after Saddams huge police state apparatus collapsed. 

The Iraqi police are also operating independently, particularly to crack down on the wave of kidnapping of wealthy Iraqis by criminal gangs. The gangsters prefer to grab women and children, while the men of the family scrounge up the ransom money.

A joint raid by Iraqi police and U.S. troops was made on a ten block neighborhood in Baghdad long known as a hangout for criminals. It is believed that many criminal gangs are also working with the Baath Party resistance, as the gangs did before the war.

So far, 30 nations have agreed to send troops to help with the pacification of Iraq. These are; Albania, Azerbaijan, Britain, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, Estonia, El Salvador, Georgia, Honduras, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mongolia, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain and Ukraine.




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