Interesting tidbits in that Washington Post story on Syria and Iraq. Disturbing news from the Green Zone:
“As described by defense officials, new intelligence on the insurgency suggests some other emerging problems, such as how extensively U.S. operations in Iraq have been penetrated by members of the insurgency and by people sympathetic to it.
The Green Zone in central Baghdad, home of the U.S. Embassy and the offices of the interim Iraqi government, is especially ‘overrun with agents,’ said one Defense Department official who recently returned from Iraq. One activity that has been noticed is that when major convoys leave the zone, Iraqi cell phone calls from the zone seem to increase, he said. An additional concern is that the insurgency seems to be using some Iraqi companies to get into U.S. bases, he said.”
And I had no idea that we used to take the families of insurgent leaders hostage, which is what this passage seems to suggest:
“The argument over the nature of the insurgency has also provoked some infighting over a classified briefing given late last month to Rumsfeld about steps U.S. forces could take in Iraq to put down the militants. One of the slides in the briefing, delivered by Army Brig. Gen. Kevin Bergner, deputy director for Middle Eastern affairs on the staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recommended actions that would ‘intimidate the intimidators.’
Some U.S. officials in Baghdad resented the briefing, which they saw not only as a form of long-distance micromanagement but also as misguided in its recommendations. For example, some fear that it could lead to a resumption of the tough tactics used sometimes last year as the insurgency emerged, such as taking families hostage to compel an insurgent leader to turn himself in. Subsequent internal Army reviews have criticized such tactics as counterproductive.”