EXTRACT FROM "STRATFOR GEOPOLITICAL
"THE BAATH PARTY HAVE GONE UNDERGROUND
TO WAGE GUERRILLA WARFARE"
is the main US Institute of Strategic and militaries studies.
Geopolitical Diary: Monday, May 26, 2003 :
U.S. soldiers were killed and several others wounded in
attacks on U.S. convoys Monday in Iraq. The first incident
occurred near the town of Haditha, about 110 miles northwest
of Baghdad. Attackers fired automatic weapons and
rocket-propelled grenades at a column of the 3rd Armored
Cavalry regiment. The second incident occurred a few hours
later when an explosion -- probably a detonated land mine --
destroyed a Humvee in a convoy on the outskirts of Baghdad.
One was killed and three others were wounded in the attack.
Two other attacks were reported on Monday, May 26, without
casualties. In addition, two other U.S. soldiers were hurt in
accidents. Another U.S. soldier was killed on Sunday at an
Iraqi ammunition dump.
are serious events. An opposition clearly has been organized
and now is capable of carrying out attacks on U.S. forces.
These are not militarily significant at this point, since they
do not affect the ability of the United States to occupy Iraq.
But they do have substantial political implications. At this moment, the trend line on the U.S. occupation is downward. The
perception -- and to some extent the reality -- of the
situation is that Washington has not gained control of the
situation in Iraq, that improvements have been slow in
coming. The attacks, which must be assumed to be
coordinated, indicates that there are forces still
operational in Iraq that can reverse what progress there has
is difficult to be certain of the opposition group's identity.
However the attack in Haditha is in Sunni country, which seems
to indicate that the Baath Party and possibly Saddam Hussein
have gone underground to wage guerrilla warfare.
Escalating beyond occasional attacks will not be easy.
Hit-and-run attacks are different than waging concerted
guerrilla warfare. But this is a serious problem for the
The essential problem is that the United States
wants Iraqi territory to deploy forces in relation to Syria,
Iran and even Saudi Arabia, but does not want to undertake the
burden of imposing order and destroying low-grade resistance.
First, there is the question of manpower. The United States
does not have sufficient forces trained in this type of
operation for a country the size of Iraq. Then there is the
political issue. U.S. officials do not want to be
responsible for the casualties that inevitably will happen if
it clamps down. In the case of Iraq, law and order and
repression go hand in hand. Washington wants to transfer the
onus to an Iraqi government, but it is afraid that it will
lose control of the situation if it does. In short, the
United States has to make some fundamental decisions about
Iraq, and these are not going to be easy decisions to make.
Paul Bremer, the U.S. administrator in Iraq, is going to have
to sort out the matter, and he really doesn't have much
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