Monday, January 03, 2005

More insurgents than U.S. soldiers?

At least one Iraqi expert thinks so. The head of Iraq's intelligence service estimates that more than 200,000 Iraqis are involved in the insurgency against the U.S.:

The number is far higher than the US military has so far admitted and paints a much grimmer picture of the challenge facing the Iraqi authorities and their British and American backers as elections loom in four weeks.

"I think the resistance is bigger than the US military in Iraq. I think the resistance is more than 200,000 people," General Muhammad Abdullah Shahwani, director of Iraq's new intelligence services, said....

General Shahwani said that there were at least 40,000 hardcore fighters attacking US and Iraqi troops, with the bulk made up of part-time guerrillas and volunteers providing logistical support, information, shelter and money.

"People are fed up after two years without improvement," he said. "People are fed up with no security, no electricity, people feel they have to do something. The army [dissolved by the American occupation authority] was hundreds of thousands. You'd expect some veterans would join with their relatives, each one has sons and brothers."


3 comments:

Zak Braverman said...

Since you were against the Iraq war to begin with, this is perhaps an unfair (or just pointless) question, but do you think this sorry state of affairs was inevitable? In other words, if another administration had embarked on the same "adventure" (isn't that the word you used?) but had heeded the advice of Shinseki and others, and generally had made better tactical and strategic decisions throughout, do you think this could have been avoided? Or, do you think it was predestined all along, and the various misteps of the Bush administration have just made an already-impossible situation even more preposterously impossible?

purpleprose said...

My point behind the posting was not to endorse Shinseki's argument that we need more troops in Iraq. Rather, I wanted to communicate the scale of the insurgency that we face.

With that said, Zak, I do think the U.S. would have been fucked in Iraq no matter how the war had been executed, with the possible exception that if it had been done with the full support of the international community, it might have had a small chance of success, in that the international legitimacy would have had massive morale (and moral) implications.

zachawry said...

I know what your point was. I was just curious as to whether or not you believed that the huge scale of the insurgency was a fait accompli from the very beginning, no matter what the US did, or whether it was the result of certain actions that the US took (or failed to take). I take it you are closer to the latter.