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,” a copy of which was obtained by WorldNetDaily on June 13.
“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
“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