Friday, June 16, 2006

 

Victory in Iraq

Open Source Analysis Draft on Iraq and 9/11

The United States invaded Iraq after failing to capture Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. This paper reviews several historical accounts of war, intelligence agencies, and a brief synopsis of why the United States invaded Iraq. The author asserts that the United States had few options as it responded to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The terrorists behind these attacks had extensive training and knowledge of U.S. regional goals and global ambitions. This training and knowledge had been supplied by the U.S. during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. The former Afghan freedom fighters in attacking the U.S. wanted to provoke a response. The most likely response was an invasion of Afghanistan by the U.S. The terrorists did not want a protracted battle with the U.S. in the Afghan mountains. Their goal was to fight the modern U.S. military in an oil rich Middle East country like Iraq. By invading Iraq, the U.S. failed in the anti-terrorism effort started on 9/11.

Introduction

In March 2003, the widely expected invasion of Iraq began with U.S. troops leading a motley coalition, which had been cobbled together like children on a playground picking sides for games. Like children, names were chosen. The invasion became Operation Iraqi Freedom, and the coalition became the Coalition of the Willing.

This second Western coalition to invade Iraq quickly defeated a demoralized military without the well advertised show of “Shock and Awe” promised by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfield and Vice President Cheney in the media. These media shows, part of an advertising campaign, were not unusual media events for modern governments. Governments use the media in a variety of ways including to inform the citizens, solidify support for political parties, confuse and possibly divide opposition parties, and perhaps to speed diplomatic signals when other more traditional channels are either lengthy or indirect. Communication channels between Iraq and its greatest Western enemy, the U.S., were clearly questionable in efficiency. The efficiency of the media to spread the often-repeated Western theme, surrender sovereignty or die, succeeded in the U.S. and many other modern countries. The main theme was not the only message being conveyed during the lengthy run up to invasion. It was merely the most important message to the disputing aggressor. The aggressor supplied the media with many proofs and allegations to justify the invasion, including events of 9/11, UN resolutions, and Western fears of Islamic extremists.

Thesis

Although the United States response to the terrorist attacks on 9/11 were well supported by the public and legislature, the invasion of Iraq was an ill advised addition to antiterrorism actions. The rhetoric used by government leadership to justify military force resembled a patchwork quilt of reasons. Some would say it was a shotgun or scattergun approach and others a loose cannon. Scatterguns spread a wall of shot to hit small targets. Loose cannons never hit where aimed. The plethora of reasons to invade should have foreshadowed the current results from military force. The invasion had been predicted and may have been the desired reaction by terrorist forces behind the 9/11 attacks. If US military action in Iraq was predictable and desirable, was the defense preset and predetermined? The answer is very clear. The long-term goal of counterintelligence and covert action is to weaken an enemy. The eventual invasion of Iraq was anticipated and a strategy set to prevent an American victory.

Open Source List

Ambrose, S. E. D-Day June 6, 1944: The Climatic battle of World War II. New York: Touchstone.

Stephen Ambrose covers the events, mistakes, and successes of the Normandy landings which also illuminate the normal fog of battle, the intentional fog created by counterintelligence, and the true fog of battle: gun smoke. This single battle, fought on a vast stage, belongs in any analysis of war. War is an actual event supported by nearly endless planning. Of planning, Ambrose recounts Eisenhower's comment that before battle, plans are everything but once battle begins, plans mean nothing. If Allied plans for invasion had been known by the defenders, what different steps would have been taken? Ambrose does not seek to answer this question. This question lingers in a new form for this paper. Should the defenders have known enough about the attackers to have used available assets to defeat the beach landings where they occurred? From that question, this paper asks, did al Qaeda have the ability to know where and how the U.S. would respond to a successful series of attacks?

Cirincione, J. (2005). “Niger uranium: Still a false claim.” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Proliferation Brief, Vol. 7, No. 12. Downloaded from http://www.carnegieendowment.org/publications/index.cfm on November 21,, 2005.

Cirincione reviews the time line for allegations that Saddam purchased or had tried to purchase uranium yellowcake from Niger. Niger could not have sold what it did not own nor did Saddam have any reason to purchase what he could have mined and already owned. He also recounts David Kay of Iraq Survey Group (ISG) in testimony before the Senate and House Select Intelligence Committee. Cirincione documents that no reports of yellowcake purchases or attempts existed in any intelligence file until after 9/11.

Clark, R. M. (1975). Scientific and technical intelligence analysis,” Studies in Intelligence, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 39-48. Originally classified ”Secret.” in: Inside CIA’s Private World: Declassified articles from the Agency’s Internal Journal, 1955-1992. Westerfield, H. B. (Ed.) New Haven and London: Yale University Press.

Clark, in Westerfield’s Inside CIA’s Private World, answers that intelligence agencies, like the CIA, have been successful in marrying science and spies. Such a marriage would be capable of using the massive amounts of intelligence constantly being gathered and left unused by the CIA. If the CIA had used only two of Clark’s four maxims, Look at the whole picture and Experts can be wrong, the United States would not have invaded Iraq.

IAEA (2003). “Dear Congressman.” The personal correspondence of Senator Waxman and Pier de Klerk, a director with the International Atomic Energy Agency dated June 6, 2003 made available through www.FindLaw.com

Senator Waxman contacted the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in June 2003 about the Niger yellowcake controversy. This letter from the IAEA dated June 6, 2003 is one letter in the series between Waxman and the IAEA. The IAEA details defects in the allegations and the underlying single source document.

Graham, B. (2005). “What I knew before the invasion.” The Washington Post Sunday, November 30, 2005. B07

Former Senator Bob Graham responds to President Bush in an article in the Washington Post. The Senator is very upset with White House characterizations concerning the quality of intelligence available to Democratic congressmen prior to the Iraq invasion. Senator Graham alleges the president is less than honest in attacking the opposition. As proof, Graham reviews declassified materials that had been altered before being condensed for the general public and congress. Graham alleges a 90 page report was stripped of strong dissent and condensed to 25 pages that supported administration desires to invade.

Godson, R. (2001). Dirty tricks or trump cards: U.S. covert action & counterintelligence. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Transaction Publishers.

Roy Godson defends U.S. covert action and counterintelligence methods since 1945. In the post 1945 era, Godson believes that public perception of legitimate spy craft fails to acknowledge the lives, which have been saved, and advantages achieved by covert action and counterintelligence. Godson covers the fifty years of history since 1945, recounting successes and failures.

These failures brought about regulatory changes that weakened agencies. Godson argues for spy craft and restructuring agencies with emphasis on aggressive uses of spy craft. Among his basic tenets, “covert action should usually be conceived as a very long-term proposition” (Godson, 2001, p. 121). Successes from very long term propositions include, according to Godson, Elizabeth I’s plans to weaken Spain, and France giving aid to the budding American Revolution to weaken Britain (Godson, 2001). Godson gives a floor plan to modern covert action and counterintelligence.

Here is the first point of the thesis, counterintelligence and covert action have long-term goals to weaken, not defeat.

Jehl, D. (2005). “Qaeda-Iran link U.S.cited is tied to coercion claim.” New York Times, December 9, 2005.

Jehl in the New York Times reports on another single source intelligence conclusion used to justify the Iraq invasion. The claims of connections between al Qaeda and Saddam were ‘manufactured’ under Egyptian interrogation tactics by Ibn al-shaykh al-Libi. Ibn was captured in Afghanistan and taken to Egypt by ‘rendition’ where he provided detailed information on a relationship between Saddam and al Qaeda. Ibn has recounted his confession. No documents to support or collaborate his confession has been found in Iraq.

Machiavelli, N., (2003). Art of war, Lynch, C. (Ed. & Translation). Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.

Say the name, Machiavelli, and it is not defeat or weakening of the enemy. It is the Prince and how a prince should govern. Dialogue betweens equals governs the Art of War. Machiavelli through this method argues for skill in government and in military preparations as vital to a republic. In his introduction, Machiavelli says, “that if someone plans to succeed in the soldier’s career, he not only changes dress immediately, but … his customs, usages, voice, and bearing” (Lynch, 2003, p.3). Yet, the argument follows that when “everything is in order, as in ancient times” (Lynch, 2003, p.3) there can be no difference between the civilian and military ways. Machiavelli calls for the republic to be always prepared for war and never dependent upon mercenaries.

The modern nation state should heed this warning in the days after 9/11. The 9/11 hijackers were neither visibly military nor fully as civilian as their ‘dress.’ Under guise of civilian travelers, these attackers followed covert standards for spy-craft, not civilized standards for modern war.

Here is the second point of the thesis: The war on terror was a reaction to covert action.

Mueller, J. “What was the Cold War about? Evidence from its ending.” Political Science Quarterly. Vol. 119, No. 4, 2004-5

Mueller debates the Cold War and when did it end. His thesis is that the war ended long before politicians told the public it was over. This adds to the questions raised with Battlefield of the Future. If the Cold War ended so quietly with a winding down that even the CIA missed, and if that war meets criteria of Reagan’s definition of war, given that so many WMD existed in so many countries, can the public or political leaders trust our intelligence gathering services?

Parry, R. & Peter Kornbluh. “Iran-Contra’s untold story.” Foreign Policy, No. 72, Autumn 1988.

President Ronald Reagan issued National Security Decision Directive 77 (DSDD 77) on January 14, 1983 (NSDD 2005). This directive defined and described the “Pentagon’s emerging doctrine of ‘low intensity conflict’ in which all elements of war – propaganda, civic action, and military effects – are integrated for the purpose of political victory.” This is an effective definition of modern war. Parry and Kornbluh discuss Iran-contra’s scandal and propaganda efforts in detail. Misinformation included a CIA operative appearing before the U.S. Senate dressed as a Roman Catholic priest. If the Senate did not learn to question presidential motives during Iran-contra, what hope would there be post 9/11 for government to monitor itself?

Perrett, B. (2000). The Changing Face of Battle. London: Cassell & Co.

Perrett analyzes portions of the first Iraq war also known as Desert Storm. His review of faulty intelligence and faulty analysis highlights more failures and over compensation by military forces that seem to plan for everything that could happen. Western forces expected Saddam’s army to be as formidable in defense as any Cold War conventional army. The Iraq army was weak, worn out from a long war with Iran, and eventually proven to be unwilling to fight against the greatest modern Western army. In preparation for a ground war that in reality lasted 100 hours, military planners expected up to 100,000 casualties and the ‘Mother of all Battles’ as promised by Saddam. Clearly Saddam knew how to use the media to communicate even when diplomatic ties were severed. It remains unclear if Saddam believed his rhetoric or if he believed such boasts would lead to a negotiation. Rhetoric or boast, those claims became effective counterintelligence.

Schneider, B. R. “Principles of war for the battlefield of the future.” in Battlefield of the future: 21st Century Warfare Issues. Schneider, Barry R. & Lawrence E. Grinter (Eds.) Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama: Air University Press revised 1998.

A well-written collection by various authors with wide military experience, edited, and printed at Maxwell Air Force Base, Battlefield of the Future is not official U.S. military policy. This second edition continues with the theme of the U.S. being able to fight two simultaneous regional wars in two different parts of the globe. Fighting in two regional theatres is current U.S. policy and this collection acknowledges facing a Saddam type of military foe with nuclear weapons or other WMD will “alter allied approaches to security and war termination ends and means” (Schneider 1998. p.6). Here is the genesis for many allegations haunting post Iraq analysis. If the U.S. truly expected 550 or more Iraqi WMD sites and other weapons labs, why was so little if any attention given to securing WMD as a part of the “war termination ends and means?” This is the first chapter in the book. It builds upon the thesis in that the U.S. when striking at Saddam used principals of mass and maneuver similar to WWI and WWII, not the new battlefield methods proposed for dealing with NASTI or Nuclear biological chemical Arming Sponsor of Terrorism and Intervention (sometimes NBC-arming sponsor of terrorism and intervention).

Wilson, J. C. 4th (2003). “What I didn’t find in Africa.” New York Times. Published Sunday, July 6, 2003.

This is the original op/ed piece written by Wilson and published in the New York Times in 2003. Wilson disputes the Niger yellowcake claim, details his four debriefings, and how Dick Cheney’s name was used by the CIA as rational for investing the Niger connection.

Iraq's war history

When Iraq invaded neighboring Kuwait in August 1990, no one labeled that aggression as a war. By contrast, the Gulf War started in January 1991 with an air invasion that would total 109,876 air sorties (“Operation” 2005). That war would last only 43 days while Kuwait endured 5 months under occupation. Occupation or war, does the title matter? For an entire shopping list of reasons, it matters. It matters most of all in propaganda. An invasion has the connotation of being wrong and aggressive. There are no" just invasion theories" but there are "just war theories." The difference is more than rhetorical.

Osama bin Laden would use rhetoric centered on how infidel troops stationed in Arabic countries defiled ‘holy lands of the Prophet.’ For his prophet Mohammed, bin Laden had fought in Afghanistan, suffering in victory a “fate … much worse than what happened to American’s Vietnam vets” (Friedman 2004 p. 25). America abandoned their well-trained mountain fighters when Russia left Afghanistan. From the surviving Afghan vets sprang al Qaeda the terrorist organization.

The United States had not created the organization but it had organized and trained Islamic fighters for the Afghan conflict. The U.S. had intervened in almost every corner of the world during the Cold War. Among these Cold War interventions were secret wars in Laos and Cambodia during the Vietnam War, supplying the Nicaraguan contras in Central America, and supporting the Shah of Iran until his fall from power. These interventions had many motivations such as human rights, peacekeeping, and humanitarian efforts. All these efforts always had the potential to succeed and fail at the same time by creating unintended consequences.

“No such thing as a neutral intervention … the rhetoric of peacekeeping always differed from the reality on the ground. Intentions – maintaining regional order – were close but not quite identical to …rhetoric… Interventions could generate severe opposition and resistance in the target countries. This was a price the U.S. was prepared to pay … the U.S. saw these interventions as low risk … the U.S. assumed other countries would trade a degree of national autonomy in exchange for stability and prosperity” (Friedman 2004 p. 52-53). Friedman (2004) would label the Bush War on Terror as the Fourth Global War. And, in this scenario, each war had its genesis in the previous war, or the termination of the war, from WWI and Versailles through WWII and the Cold War.

The Iraq-Iran war of the 1980’s could have been the genesis of the Kuwait invasion by Saddam. Saddam had borrowed money to purchase weapons in the long border battle with Iran. Iran and Iraq lost more than a million combatants to conventional and chemical war. The war debts were a burden even to oil rich Iraq. Iraq may have made an attempt through diplomatic channels to test U.S. reactions prior to invading oil rich but tiny Kuwait. Even if this foreshadowing of the Kuwait invasion did happen, the world’s many intelligence agencies failed to predict Iraqi tanks rolling across the Kuwait border. As Friedman recounts, “Since World War II, the U.S. intelligence community has failed to predict the North Korean invasion of the South, the Chinese intervention in Korea, Khrushchev’s plan to place missiles in Cuba, the fact that U.S. strategy in Vietnam would fail, the fall of the Shah of Iran, the collapse of communism, or the breakup of the Soviet Union … U.S. Intelligence has never been good at forecasting the big things” (Friedman 2004 p. 61.). An outbreak of peace it would seem, is more unpredictable than war (Mueller 2004). A war plan, called War Plan Red, exists and is updated for the contingency of a war with Great Britain (Friedman 2004 p. 79).

So Iraqi tanks rolled across an arbitrary line on a map, beginning a war that would never be called a war in the Western press. A Western response formulated under a diplomatic form of shock and awe ponderously moved conventional weapons onto hastily prepared new bases. From these bases and other bases half way around the world, the planning for war updated again and again. War is more predictable than peace with a twisted sort of game strategy. “In war, the enemy’s next move is usually predictable. War is a game played with most of the pieces on the table most of the time” (Friedman 2004 p. 35). Over time, as more and more pieces are moved, options become greater and counter options adapt in an imitation of jazz music. But, before the jazz, with all the pieces on the table, opening moves are limited like the opening moves in checkers. The first move in checkers must be one of four men moved to one of four possible squares. The Iraqi army occupied the square called Kuwait. To leave Kuwait was to lose the war. Saddam’s rhetoric about the mother of all battles foreshadowed a defensive battle for the Kuwaiti square. That the defense of Iraq meant defense of Kuwait was no secret.

Machiavelli addressed the need for secrecy in his Art of War, “For to keep your actions and plans secret [would] always be very useful” (Lynch, 2003, p133). With a table filled with pieces and limited moves, there is no secrecy for the defender only the strength in defense. Defenders need not conquer, only survive to continue fighting. The Prussian General von der Goltz said “’ the fundamental idea behind the strategic defensive is to remedy an unfavourable situation … while…the enemy are more rapidly consumed in the attack’” (Falls, 1961, p. 218). Sun Tzu, Machiavelli, and Clausewitz all agree. Letting your enemy advance into your territory extends lines of communication and supply. To protect those vital lines, garrisons must be left behind, dividing your enemy’s forces (Lynch.2003. Falls 1961). The forces arrayed against Saddam in Kuwait did not have to advance into Kuwait to dislodge the invaders. They only needed to invade Iraq to make the Kuwaiti defense pointless. These defenders fled or were recalled to defend Saddam and Baghdad. The roads from Kuwait towards Baghdad became death traps for air pursuit. Pursuing a enemy pushed from the battlefield can be more deadly to the enemy than the actual battle. In the retreat, there was no battle only slaughter as air power acted out the pursuit role once used by Napoleon’s cavalry. “This pursuit was more deadly than the French fire on the battlefield” (Falls, 1961, p.38).

The battlefield for a defensive war was abandoned and whatever army Saddam might have commanded melted as fiery death rained from the skies. From this bitter defeat, what could be predicted? The fall of Saddam from power or the increased use of violent power by Saddam to retain his leadership position? The Western coalition was not prepared for the ends or the means of termination. “The speed of a modern advance commonly leaves uncleared and even unexplored vast areas of country in which bodies of hostile troops have been outstripped in their retreat. The men, though ‘perhaps only seeking to capture food, vehicles, and fuel in the hope of escape, may prove highly dangerous” (Falls, 1961, p. 222). The danger with modern warfare in Iraq was a victory so quick and complete that Saddam did not topple from power. From his powerful position in Iraq, perhaps like the troops Falls described as outstripped, Saddam and Iraq remained uncleared and unexplored and highly dangerous in a post 9/11 world.

Historical accounts

Conventional wisdom makes many errors in politics, street corner debates, and widely circulated newspapers about war and the combat arms. Historical accounts of combat arms contain many thrilling stories like the three hundred Spartans defending the pass at Thermopylae, the misnamed Battle of Bunker hill, and the U.S. Army Rangers on D-Day. Real combat stories are often fictionalized by Hollywood. Hollywood and romanticized notions of heroes has not yet tampered with some historical accounts.

Alexander the Great conquered many cities and the Persian Empire using very crude methods by modern standards. These methods were innovative and ingenious to his enemies, earning many negotiated victories. Among the battles that highlight tactics and counter-tactics being developed almost instantly are the battles for Tyre, an island city, and Sogdian Rock, a natural fortress similar to Masada.

Tyre, although proclaimed neutral, represented a threat to Alexander’s communications the further Alexander penetrated the Persian Empire. Tyre probably felt Alexander could not besiege an island fortress with a land-based army. Alexander engineered a ‘mole,’ also known as a stone pier, jetty, breakwater, or junction between places separated by water. Using the mole, Alexander brought his land-based army across half a mile of water to besiege the walled city. (Lonsdale 2004, 111). “In a fine example of the action-reaction dynamic in warfare,” (Lonsdale 2004, 112) the Tyre defenders attacked the mole from sea, destroying Alexander’s siege engines and wooden towers that were being used to attack the city walls (Lonsdale 2004, 112). The city would eventually fall to Alexander but only when he engaged a fleet of ships to conquer the island city.

During Alexander’s conquest and rule of the former Persian Empire several rebellions arose. One group of rebels took shelter at a natural fortress protected by sheer rock walls. With only 300 skilled climbers, the defenses were breached at night. In the ensuing panic, the numerically superior rebels surrendered. “Military force does not always have to be used in large numbers to achieve its goals. A well-orchestrated raid by minimal forces can have disproportionate effects on the will of the enemy” (Lonsdale 2004, 164, 165). The ‘will of the enemy’ may be its most valuable military asset. As an asset in opposition, that ‘will’ must be destroyed for victory. Victory can lead to empire if that same ‘will’ can be salvaged and attached to a warrior king.

Alexander pursued Darius, the Persian King, for ten months after capturing the Persian Empire. A Persian commander, Bessus ‘usurped’ the power of Darius but Alexander continued the pursuit. When Bessus killed Darius, “Alexander gave Darius a royal burial at Persepolis” (Lonsdale 2004, 152, 153). Merely seizing the Persian King’s land did not end the political motivation for war. Even when Bessus ‘usurped’ the king’s power, holding the King as hostage, Alexander was forced to continue pursuit for political reasons. Only when Bessus killed Darius, ending a political line of succession, did Alexander have military victory. By giving Darius a royal funeral, Alexander took power with a public and symbolic power exchange. Only a king can bury a king with respect. (Lonsdale 2004, 152, 153).

Moving from ancient battles to a war equal in time to the American Civil war, C. B. Falls (1961) describes a battle in the Franco-German war that started when the Germans believed the French had retreated from Metz to Verdun. The battle occurred at Gravelotte-St. Privat, on the18th of August 1870. Of Helmuth von Moltke Falls says, “Few commanders can have fought more battles which they did not intend to fight, or did not mean to fight in the way or at the time the battles occurred” (Falls, 1961, p.80). This battle started with faulty intelligence, determined the war’s outcome. The Prussians under Moltke believed the French army had completely withdrawn from Metz. Moltke’s advance was merely a maneuver to harass the French rear guard. Moltke struck the front or vanguard of the French retreat. The retreating French possessed superior weapons and experience but could not overcome the Prussian advantage in numbers. The Prussians having accidentally struck the French army outside fixed defensive positions won the battle according to Falls “in the absence of genius … [when] a sound spirit and a sure doctrine were applied to the struggle” (Falls, 1961, p. 80). If the French army had fought the German army in a typical engagement of that time period on a flat level battlefield, the Germans would have been slaughtered. The slaughter was prevented by accident and poor intelligence estimates of the enemy location and movements.

C. B. Falls also cautions that “[w]e [must] also distinguish between strategic and tactical surprise. The first is … secret movements. The second is … attacking when or where the enemy does not expect an attack” (Falls, 1961, p.215). Gravelotte-St. Privat became a tactical surprise, which can be compared with the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Only the 9/11 attacks were predicated on solid intelligence, planning, and masterful use of innovation and ingenuity.
Modern use of intelligence in War

R. M. Clark recounts what may have been the first use of a scientist in an intelligence service with this brief story:

In 1939, the British … assigne[d] a scientist to the Intelligence Branch of the Air Staff … to study ‘new German weapons’ … the first of these was a blind bombing system” The first scientist ever assigned to an intelligence service determined the Germans were using radio beams to guide bombers. By jamming these frequency ranges, the British caused the Germans to “scatter their bomb loads over the British countryside.

More WWII stories about D-Day recount the use of General Patton to create a mock invasion army complete with radio traffic, the dropping of small parachute soldier dolls to confuse the Germans about reports of paratroop landings, and intelligence leaks used to indicate the landings would occur at Calais instead of Normandy (Ambrose 1994). Among the failures in this critical battle were the many communication failures between field personnel and German High Command. It was not only a problem within the German military during WWII, but also a problem between U.S. intelligence gathering agencies and the White House as seen in the Verona Project.

The Verona project was started in 1939 to intercept Soviet and German consular communications, “later authorized by the War Powers Act of 1941” (Theoharis 2002, 6-9). More than 2900 messages were intercepted and decoded. Almost all Soviet spies and half of their American sources were identified from 1946 to 1980 with few if any being arrested. All deciphered messages were released between 1995 and 1997. Only the deciphered text was released. “Release of the Russian language text is essential. How specific phrasings were translated can help resolve whether a Soviet agent’s relationship with a source was an espionage or political intelligence operation, and further whether the reports of the Soviet agents exaggerated their achievements” (Theoharis 2002, 6-9). President Truman was never briefed on the intercepts, the messages, or the deciphered contents. General Carter Clark said, “The only people entitled to know anything about this source were [deleted] and the FBI” (Theoharis 2002, 6-9). The FBI and "[deleted] "must have believed in long term uses of the Verona information versus short term events like arrests and briefing the duly elected President of the United States.

Presidents today would not be consoled to know that “Covert action should usually be conceived as a very long-term proposition” (Godson, 2001, p. 121). Political propositions are very short term for individual politicians but have always been viewed in terms of weakening a country’s opponents if not defeating them. Successes from very long term propositions include, according to Godson, Elizabeth I’s plans to weaken Spain, and France giving aid to the budding American Revolution to weaken Britain (Godson, 2001).

Echoing Godson, Machiavelli argues for skill in government and in military preparations as vital to a republic. Machiavelli says, “that if someone plans to succeed in the soldier’s career, he not only changes dress immediately, but … his customs, usages, voice, and bearing” (Lynch, 2003, p.3). Machiavelli says that when “everything is in order, as in ancient times” (Lynch, 2003, p.3) there can be no difference between the civilian and military ways: all citizens would be soldiers. Citizen soldiers are today’s mercenaries; attracted to service from the poorest of the poor with promises of cash bonuses, college education, and a new social foot hold within the republic. Machiavelli calls for the republic to be always prepared for war and never dependent upon mercenaries.

The modern nation state should heed this warning in the days after 9/11. The 9/11 hijackers were neither visibly military nor fully as civilian as their ‘dress.’ Under guise of civilian travelers, these attackers followed covert standards for spy-craft, not civilized standards for modern war.

Run up to 9/11

President Ronald Reagan issued National Security Decision Directive 77 (DSDD 77) on January 14, 1983 (NSDD 2005). This directive defined and described the “Pentagon’s emerging doctrine of ‘low intensity conflict’ in which all elements of war – propaganda, civic action, and military effects – are integrated for the purpose of political victory” (Parry and Kornbluh, 1988). This directive dating from the Iran-contra scandal defines the war the U.S. expected to fight in the post Cold War world. In 2001, Rumsfield entered into the Secretary of Defense planning to make two basic changes to the military: Prepare it to fight in scenarios like Desert Storm. Prepare for the emergence of another global superpower, like China, over time. “It is a fixed idea in American thinking that nonstate organizations could not pose a strategic threat to a major state” (Friedman 2004 p. 90). This was one more intelligence failure illustrated with the 9/11 attacks.

Intelligence failures included being centered on gathering information but not on analyzing the information, on cultivating sources, and penetrating elite groups. Certainly, post 9/11, an effort has been made to create a single intelligence agency. That was once the intention behind the creation of the CIA, to be the only agency handling intelligence. (Friedman 2004).

Another intelligence failure was repeated in attacking Iraq. Iraq is to President George Bush as the Bay of Pigs is to Kennedy, Vietnam’s escalation of ground troops is to Johnson, secret wars in Southeast Asia is to Nixon, and the failed intervention in Lebanon is to Reagan. American presidents can over estimate military might as an effective tool for obtaining desirable international goals.

History will answer these questions as to the timings of 9/11. Did al Qaeda pick the neo-cons of George W. Bush and his mostly Cold War collection of Russian experts? Or did a cruel twist of fate place political believers in the realist school in control of our country just in time for the worst terrorist attack of current history? Rumsfield served under Nixon, Reagan, and Bush’s father, George H. W. Bush. George W. Bush entered the presidency with a minority of the popular vote. Without broad public support, his options were split into a weak position of power sharing or playing from as if from position of internal strength.

The Islamic movement now known as al Qaeda had no strength beyond terrorism to spread its message. Terrorism has a message component in each act of violence as well as an agenda to provoke a response. “Osama bin Laden wanted to coax just the right response out of the United State by creating a situation in which the United States could not ignore him … causing a massive [counter] attack to be launched on the Islamic world that used the most advanced and sophisticated methods” (Friedman 2004 p. 93). Bin Laden believed he could survive such an attack and eventually defeat the U.S. (Friedman 2004). A new president, a president needing to project power to retain legitimacy, fitted the long-term goals of al Qaeda and bin Laden. Those long-term goals included a worldwide Islamic uprising against the western powers and deployment of superpower assets in an Islamic middle east. As an Islamic rebel in Afghanistan, bin Laden had seen and exploited the tremendous transportation costs known since WWII as excessive transportation. The French excessive transport of troops in armored vehicles provided the Viet Minh in the Indo-china war effective roadblocks during an ambush. An ambushing Vietnamese force need only disable one vehicle to stop a convoy and cost the occupying French blood and money. U.S. money provided air transport when the U.S. tried to use excessive transport in the same Vietnam where the French had been defeated. The U.S. defeat in Vietnam may have came as much from military losses as it did from logistical costs that included a 10 to 1 ratio in support troops to combat troops and a 12,000-mile supply line.
Osama bin Laden hoped to create another Vietnam for America just as America had helped him recreate Vietnam’s lessons for the USSR in Afghanistan. From al Qaeda bases in Afghanistan, trained and committed men plotted the destruction of the United States, not in a single attack. No single attack short of nuclear war could destroy the United States. But, if a single attack could provoke deployment of all the expensive modern military accoutrements into Afghanistan or the Middle East then al Qaeda could bleed the U.S. like the Russians had been bled.

Justifying the Iraq War

After the Taliban government fell to the Northern Alliance with U.S. help, the United States failed to capture bin Laden and his command core in Afghanistan. Bin Laden had escaped the U.S. in the same territory where he had evaded the Russians for a decade. Despite American bounties in millions of dollars, bin Laden avoided capture. One al Qaeda captive, Ibn al-shaykh al-Libi, taken to Egypt by ‘rendition’, provided statements during “torture” that Saddam had ties to al Qaeda and bin Laden (Jehl 2005).

In the effort to capture bin Laden and render al Qaeda leaderless, the U.S. had needed military bases closer to Afghanistan. Pakistan, Afghanistan’s eastern neighbor would not allow U.S. troops within Pakistani borders but pledged other support. Military bases to support the hunt for bin Laden were secured in parts of the former USSR.

Before arriving in the borrowed bases in the USSR, the U.S. had to move troops and supplies around the world. Like Alexander the Great, President Bush had to deal with claims of neutrality that clearly hampered his antiterrorism goal. Was Iraq, contained and neutralized by a decade of UN sanctions, of any importance to the efforts in Afghanistan? Bob Graham, who was chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, says no. On September 5, 2002, CIA Director George Tenet could provide no “rationale for a preemptive war in Iraq” when asked (Graham 2005). Graham directed the completion of a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) against the desires of Tenet (Graham 2005). Tenet produced at the insistence of the intelligence committee a classified 90 page document that Saddam had produced or stored WMD at 550 sites within Iraq (Graham 2005). The NIE document contained vigorous dissents from the State Department and other executive agencies (Graham 2005). Under questioning, Tenet could not support the NIE through independent sources within Iraq (Graham 2005). All sources for the preparation of the NIE were Iraqi exiles or third country sources (Graham 2005). American analysts concluded that Saddam would not use any WMD unless attacked (Graham 2005).

In October 2002, a 25 page unclassified paper, “Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Programs” circulated and claimed Iraq was within a year of making a nuclear weapon with material purchased in Africa (Graham 2005). The African claims were reinforced in “State Department Fact Sheet of 19 December 2002” (IAEA 2003 p. 1) and the International Atomic Energy Agency immediately began an investigation of the claims (IAEA 2003). Within ten days of receiving copies of the supporting documents, the IAEA concluded that such an underlying transaction as described in the contract “could not have been honoured” (IAEA 2003). Going further and using open source information exposed numerous errors including the wrong letterhead for the Niger government, the wrong symbol for the Niger Presidency, and wrong dates for Niger’s constitution and internal legal codes, the allegations were discounted (IAEA 2003).

Not only did the IAEA discount the allegations, but also the CIA had dispatched Joseph C. Wilson 4th to Niger in February 2002 to determine if the allegations had any factual basis. During four separate debriefings, Wilson asserted that no transfer of uranium yellowcake from Niger to Iraq had taken place (Wilson 2003).

Despite having no substantiation by human sources, Britain presented a “’white paper’ asserting Saddam Hussein and his unconventional arms posed an immediate danger. As evidence, the report cited Iraq’s attempts to purchase uranium from an African country” (Wilson 2003). In January, during his State of the Union address, President Bush repeated the debunked claim that Iraq had reconstituted his nuclear weapons program based in part upon the British ‘white paper.’

In fact, according the Carnegie Endowment Proliferation Brief, Volume 7, Number 12, Saddam possessed a natural source for uranium and had no need to purchase African uranium (Cirincione 2005). Five hundred tons of uranium yellowcake (lightly processed ore) and two tons of lightly enriched uranium had been inventoried by the IAEA and UN arms inspectors in Iraq (Cirincione 2005). The proposed purchase of Niger yellowcake represented one third of total production for either of the active Niger mills. Both mills are foreign owned, operated, and pre-sell their entire annual production (Cirincione 2005).

Armed with false allegations that Saddam possessed WMD, had ties to al Qaeda, presented a real and imminent threat to the world/U.S., the United States invaded.

Post Invasion

No efforts were ever uncovered in pre-planning the invasion to secure any of the 550 sites alleged to be stockpiles or production sites of WMD and no WMD stockpiles were found. No additional support for the allegations of reconstituted nuclear weapons programs were found. Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi recanted his statements tying Saddam to al Qaeda, saying he fabricated information to stop his “torture” (Jehl 2005). Was he a plant by bin Laden to lead the U.S. into Iraq? How many of the Iraqi exiles and third country sources for the British ‘white paper’ and the CIA NIE could have been counterintelligence agents of al Qaeda? Will we ever know? What were the plans for ending the war and securing the 550 WMD sites, necessary according to Schneider (1998) on all NASTI battlefields?

Conclusion

The U.S. invaded Iraq and deposed its ruler, Saddam Hussein. Hussein remains a captive on trial for his life, treated as a criminal, unlike Darius who was buried as a king by a king. The United States cannot rule Iraq, rebuild Iraq, or leave Iraq. The Iraq War was advertised as necessary, short, effective, and a part of the antiterrorism campaign started on 9/11. Today it appears to be none of these things.

Al Qaeda has provoked the U.S. into a poorly chosen war where the most modern army in the world is ineffective and can be bled in lives and dollars, like in the U.S. in Vietnam and like the Russians in Afghanistan.




















References

Ambrose, S. E. D-Day June 6, 1944: The Climatic battle of World War II. New York: Touchstone.

Cirincione, J. (2005). “Niger uranium: Still a false claim.” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Proliferation Brief, Vol. 7, No. 12. Downloaded from http://www.carnegieendowment.org/publications/index.cfm on November 21,, 2005.

Clark, R. M. (1975). Scientific and technical intelligence analysis,” Studies in Intelligence, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 39-48. Originally classified ”Secret.” in: Inside CIA’s Private World: Declassified articles from the Agency’s Internal Journal, 1955-1992. Westerfield, H. B. (Ed.) New Haven and London: Yale University Press.

IAEA (2003). “Dear Congressman.” The personal correspondence of Senator Waxman and Pier de Klerk, a director with the International Atomic Energy Agency dated June 6, 2003 made available through www.FindLaw.com

Graham, B. (2005). “What I knew before the invasion.” The Washington Post Sunday, November 30, 2005. B07.

Godson, R. (2001). Dirty tricks or trump cards: U.S. covert action & counterintelligence. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Transaction Publishers.

Jehl, D. (2005). “Qaeda-Iran link U.S.cited is tied to coercion claim.” New York Times, December 9, 2005.

Machiavelli, N., (2003). Art of war, Lynch, C. (Ed. & Translation). Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.

Mueller, J. “What was the Cold War about? Evidence from its ending.” Political Science Quarterly. Vol. 119, No. 4, 2004-5

Parry, R. & Peter Kornbluh. “Iran-Contra’s Untold Story.” Foreign Policy, No. 72, Autumn 1988.

Perrett, B. (2000). The Changing Face of Battle. London: Cassell & Co.

Schneider, B. R. “Principles of war for the battlefield of the future.” In Battlefield of the future: 21st Century warfare issues. Schneider, Barry R. & Lawrence E. Grinter (Eds.) Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama: Air University Press revised 1998.

Wilson, J. C. 4th (2003). “What I didn’t find in Africa.” New York Times. Published Sunday, July 6, 2003.

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