View Full Version : Marine commander: Human intel flawed

06-27-03, 10:05 AM
Marine commander:
Human intel flawed
'We remained largely ignorant of intentions of enemy' leaders, says report

Posted: June 27, 2003
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Paul Sperry
2003 WorldNetDaily.com

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. "remained largely ignorant" about the intentions of Saddam Hussein's forces due to a "dearth" of human intelligence on the battlefield in Iraq, an internal military report reveals.

The May 29 report, written by the commanding general of the 1st Marine Division, says limited intelligence about the enemy commanders' personalities prevented U.S. forces from predicting their moves.

As a result, U.S. troops were caught "flat-footed" by their "unconventional responses."

"When the enemy failed to act in accordance with common military practice, we were caught flat-footed because we failed to accurately anticipate the unconventional response," said Maj. Gen. Jim Mattis, in the 67-page report, titled "Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) Lessons Learned."

"This was primarily due to a dearth of HUMINT on the enemy leadership," Mattis said, using the military abbreviation for human intelligence.

Troops were able to point with some certainty to where Hussein's forces deployed their armor and artillery, but they "were largely in the dark as to what they meant to do with it," he said.

His report noted the plethora of signals intelligence, satellite intelligence and chemical-sensors intelligence used to conduct surveillance on the enemy. But it didn't give Marines "insight into the human dimension of the battlefield."

"There was no available intelligence on the opposition commanders' personalities, educations, decision-making styles or previous experiences," Mattis said. "Lacking this information, we were left with guessing what we would do in their place."

U.S. intelligence officials say CentCom relied too heavily on computer and other technology, and neglected the human aspect of the battle, leaving troops vulnerable to ambushes and other treachery by Hussein's paramilitary forces.

They say recent attacks on U.S. soldiers occupying positions in and around Baghdad demonstrate a continuation of the problem.

"Officers are worried about computer networks and don't even see that there's a lack of human-intel collectors supporting the field commanders," a U.S. intelligence official told WorldNetDaily. Information about Hussein loyalists and other organized resistors "is not getting out at all."

The military is not utilizing all of its Arabic linguists, some also note. Many have not been deployed to Iraq.

"I thought our not locking the Iraqis down, due to a lack of troops and not going into mosques looking for stuff, was going to bite us in the ass," said another U.S. intelligence official. "What's our body count up to now from Iraqi ambushes and snipers?"

Some 20 U.S. soldiers have been killed in Iraqi attacks since May 1, when major combat was declared over.

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Paul Sperry is Washington bureau chief for WorldNetDaily.