Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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December 19, 2003
By: Kevin Drum

INTEL IN IRAQ....The capture of Saddam Hussein may or may not have any immediate impact on the intensity of guerrilla war, but the methods that led to his capture might. Bruce Berkowitz has an op-ed in the New York Times today about why we were able to find Saddam:

Over the past weeks analysts worked alongside the military planners and special operations forces who seized Mr. Hussein. This is a break with the tradition of analysts keeping their distance from the players in the field so they maintain their objectivity.

....Similarly, intelligence workers developed new methods on the fly in their efforts to uncover Mr. Hussein's support network. In trying to depict the links between members of Mr. Hussein's enormous extended family, some analysts used a commercial software package that law-enforcement agents have long used to analyze crime rings. The software helped them visualize non-obvious family relationships, and eventually pinpoint the families in Tikrit who were hiding Mr. Hussein.

I hope this is all true. Saddam's capture may be important as a symbol in any case, but if we're genuinely developing innovative intelligence techniques that improve our counterinsurgency efforts, that's even better news.

Kevin Drum 9:49 AM Permalink | Trackbacks

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