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Iraq Insurgency Larger Than Thought

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posted on Jul, 9 2004 @ 10:11 PM
Iraq Insurgency Larger Than Thought

The Associated Press

Friday 09 July 2004

Baghdad - Contrary to U.S. government claims, the insurgency in Iraq is led by well-armed Sunnis angry about losing power, not foreign fighters, and is far larger than previously thought, American military officials say.

The officials told The Associated Press the guerrillas can call on loyalists to boost their forces to as high as 20,000 and have enough popular support among nationalist Iraqis angered by the presence of U.S. troops that they cannot be militarily defeated.

That number is far larger than the 5,000 guerrillas previously thought to be at the insurgency's core. And some insurgents are highly specialized - one Baghdad cell, for instance, has two leaders, one assassin, and two groups of bomb-makers.

Although U.S. military analysts disagree over the exact size, the insurgency is believed to include dozens of regional cells, often led by tribal sheiks and inspired by Sunni Muslim imams.

The developing intelligence picture of the insurgency contrasts with the commonly stated view in the Bush administration that the fighting is fueled by foreign warriors intent on creating an Islamic state.

So while Bush and Rumsfeld have been babbling on about the insurgency being a few foreign terrorists and Saddam loyalists, it turns out we are actually facing a well-armed, well-organized guerrilla force of 20,000.

I have heard two rules of thumb about what it takes to win a guerrilla war. The first is that you need ten counter-insurgency soldiers for every guerrilla fighter. That means 200,000 soldiers. The second is that you need twenty counter-insurgency soldiers for every 1,000 residents when the indigenous population supports the guerrillas. Since the population of Iraq is approximately 25 million, that means 500,000 soldiers.

Looks like General Eric Shinseki was right when he said several hundred thousand troops would be required for the occupation. Of course, numbnuts Wolfowitz said the good General didn't know what he was talking about.

[edit on 7/15/2004 by donguillermo]

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