When U.S.-led coalition forces estimated the number of terrorists in Iraq at 5,000, it may have seemed low to most casual observers.
However, military sources from around the world contacted by Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin – especially those specializing in counter-terrorism operations – are stunned at how high the number is.
In fact, they say, if the estimate is correct, the U.S. may indeed need more manpower to capture or destroy forces of the “Iraqifada.”
If indeed there are some 5,000 terrorists operating in Iraq today, insufficient progress is being made to capture or kill them based on the reported results of recent raids and patrols by U.S. forces.
Guerrilla warfare experts contacted by G2 Bulletin say in such conflicts, the conventional forces need a 20-to-1 manpower advantage. Among those 20 individuals required to counter one guerrilla are soldiers involved in all levels of activity from field support and logistics to actual operations.
A British officer, a veteran of the street fighting in Londonderry, says the numbers should actually be much higher, more like 50 to 1. The average the Indian army holds in the Jammu and Kashmir area is close to 100 to 1, and the Israeli experience, which includes occasional use of armor, armored bulldozers and selected helicopter targets, is anywhere between 15 to 1 and 25 to 1.
These figures take into account the consideration that many of the operations are conducted in areas not under direct control of conventional forces.
Therefore, if 5,000 is indeed the sacred number, the U.S. will need 100,000 troops in active combat duty to pacify Baghdad and Tikrit, not to mention all the other duties requiring troops.
U.S. military planners did not count on a stiff guerrilla war following the conventional conflict, reports G2 Bulletin.
Now, with an entirely different reality than the primarily envisioned one, the army is in dire need of suitable equipment, designed for close combat in an urban setting. Small and swift armored vehicles are needed, so are many more Arab-speaking interpreters.
There is an urgent necessity to form new urban guerrilla special forces, of at least one company size each, specifically trained in mock Arab urban settings. The requirement for specially designed and established intelligence gathering units such as the famous Israeli unit 504 known as the “Mistarevim” (Arab-look-alikes), cannot be overstressed, reports G2 Bulletin.
There seems to be a new respect for the guerrillas among top U.S. military planners, evidenced by a recent change in the Pentagon’s official terminology describing anti-coalition terrorists as an “enemy.”
This followed an upgrade in their description from the previously used terms like “guerrillas” or “insurgents” or “terrorists.”
The term “enemy” was used, for example, by Brig. General Mark T. Kimmitt, deputy director of operations for combined Task Force 7, who, in the wake of operations Iron Hammer and Ivy Cyclone II, described some of the task force’s recent actions and achievements.
There was no doubt the general spoke in terminologies more suitable to a main battlefield realm rather than an anti-urban guerrilla campaign. Last week, the general summarized 24 hours of coalition force operations combining 1,588 patrols and 19 raids.