Iraq: December 13, 2003


Acting on a tip, and months of intelligence gathering in pro-Saddam areas, SOCOM commandos and 600 troops of the 4th Infantry Division raided a village north of Baghdad and found Saddam Hussein hiding in a root cellar. Hussein was taken alive, without a shot being fired. Several associates were arrested as well. Two AK-47s, two pistols, $750,000 in hundred dollar bills and a taxi were also seized.

A US Army bomb disposal expert was killed while trying to defuse a roadside bomb. Over 90 percent of such bombs are discovered and destroyed. But bomb disposal experts will try to defuse some of them to provide information on how it was built. There are several different groups building these bombs, and a bomb disposal specialist can identify which group built a bomb by examining it. But this is a dangerous business. However, every time there is an attack on American forces, or an attempt to use a bomb, the "crime scene" is thoroughly inspected and investigated. Data is collected and stored in computer databases, which makes it easier to keep track of the opposition, and eventually nail them. 

Many recruits for the new Iraqi felt the pay scale ($60 a month) was too low and just left. Nearly half the men recruited so far have gone. Apparently, $60 is enough for a single man, but many of those who volunteered had wives and children. When they volunteered several months ago there were fewer jobs, so they signed on. Now, with the economy booming, many of the married men took off for better paying jobs. Rather than send police after the deserters, the pay scale is going to be raised and more attention paid to screening new recruits. 

Over 100,000 Iraqis are now armed and working for coalition forces. Religious organizations and the Kurds have been allowed to keep their armed militias, but the movements of these militias has been restricted. The Kurds have to stay in Kurdish territory up north. The religious militias cannot operate outside the areas containing the holy places they are there to guard. But now  some of these militiamen are being recruited to help with the search for terrorists and pro-Baath forces. 

The coalition now has nearly 10,000 pro-Baath and terrorist suspects in custody. Many more have been arrested and later released. 





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