Intelligence Bulletin #1

BY Herschel Smith
10 years, 6 months ago

Intelligence bulletin #1 covers the following subjects: [1] Iran’s Quds forces, [2] international war against the CIA, [3] recent combat action in Ramadi, [4] State Department unauthorized absence in the global war on terror, [5] British pullback from Iraq and the Mahdi army, [6] Iranian activities inside Iraq and Israeli concerns, [7] the M-16, [8] speculation on thermobaric weapons inside Iraq, [9] the wounded, and [10] A-10 flyover video.

Iran’s Quds forces

The Quds Force is an arm of the IRGC that carries out operations outside of Iran.  The AP recently reported on Iran’s highly secretive Quds forces being deeply enmeshed within Iraq:

Iran’s secretive Quds Force, accused by the United States of arming Iraqi militants with deadly bomb-making material, has built up an extensive network in the war-torn country, recruiting Iraqis and supporting not only Shiite militias but also Shiites allied with Washington, experts say.

Iran likely does not want a direct confrontation with American troops in Iraq but is backing militiamen to ensure Shiites win any future civil war with Iraqi Sunnis after the Americans leave, several experts said Thursday.

The Quds Force’s role underlines how deeply enmeshed Iran is in its neighbor — and how the U.S. could face resistance even from its allies in Iraq if it tries to uproot Iran’s influence in Iraq.

But as quickly as the connection between the Shi’ite insurgency and Iran is pointed out, the report equivocates, saying “still unclear, however, is how closely Iran’s top leadership is directing the Quds Force’s operations — and whether Iran has intended for its help to Shiite militias to be turned against U.S. forces.”  This line is parroted in a recent Los Angeles Times article on the same subject, as the subtitle reads “Does the government control the Quds Force? Experts aren’t sure.”  Picking up on the same AP report, Newsday says the same thing.

As I discussed in The Covert War with Iran, the deep involvement of the Quds Forces, Badr Brigade and other Iranian personnel assets in Iraq is undeniable.  But it is fashionable to bifurcate the actions of the Quds and Badr Brigade from the “highest levels of government in Iran.”  Even General Peter Pace does this, recently saying after reviewing the intelligence on Iran’s involvement in Iraq, “that does not translate that the Iranian Government per se, for sure, is directly involved in doing this…What it does say is that things made in Iran are being used in Iraq to kill coalition soldiers.


Comments

  1. On February 27, 2007 at 11:39 am, Koyuavci said:

    Your wrong on State Department not being in Iraq. While we aren’t here on the level of the Army/Marines, DoS is in country. We move as much as we can and have lost people as well. Maybe you should ask someone or do a bit of research before making accusations.

  2. On February 27, 2007 at 11:45 am, Breakerjump said:

    “Maybe you should ask someone or do a bit of research before making accusations.”

    That has got to be the funniest thing I’ve heard all day long. You embarrass yourself, Koyuavci.

  3. On February 27, 2007 at 11:39 pm, lirelou said:

    As a retired SF type who spent a tour with State, I would caution against gratuitious slights against those State types who are in Iraq. All organizations have a corporate culture, and no two are as diametrically opposed as those of the expeditionary forces and State. (I use expeditionary forces to separate those servicemembers who do “do the hard time” in the sandbox, versus those fellow uniform-wearers of whatever service who manage to homestead outside the sandbox.) State has the very same “two State Departments” mentality. Just like in the military, there are those who seek out the hard tours, those who, while not volunteering, willingly accept hard tours, and those (a majority in State) who do everything they can to avoid hard service, to include resignation if that is their only choice. If you are taking cheap shots at the Staties in Iraq, you are picking on the wrong crowd. Better to direct your anger or disdain elsewhere. Myself, I always saved my nastiest barbs for those fellow combat arms career officers who managed to spend 1965-72 in service without ever setting foot in either Southeast Asia or Korea.

  4. On February 28, 2007 at 12:40 am, Herschel Smith said:

    I would have thought it obvious that my disdain is not for the “staties” in Iraq. Why would it be? They’re engaged. No, it is for the SD generally which is, for the most part, not engaged in the GWOT. I will borrow some words from my friend Oak Leaf at Polipundit recently.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/23/AR2007022302049_pf.html

    Begin quote:

    In Diyala, the vast province northeast of Baghdad where Sunnis and Shiites are battling for primacy with mortars and nighttime abductions, the U.S. government has contracted the job of promoting democracy to a Pakistani citizen who has never lived or worked in a democracy.

    The management of reconstruction projects in the province has been assigned to a Border Patrol commander with no reconstruction experience. The task of communicating with the embassy in Baghdad has been handed off to a man with no background in drafting diplomatic cables. The post of agriculture adviser has gone unfilled because the U.S. Department of Agriculture has provided just one of the six farming experts the State Department asked for a year ago.

    “The people our government has sent to Iraq are all dedicated, well-meaning people, but are they really the right people – the best people – for the job?

  5. On February 28, 2007 at 1:58 am, Dave N. said:

    Nice post, great topics and links.

    1. Strange that Tony Snow can give a straight “yes” to a question that General Pace felt the need to waffle on. I can understand General Pace not wanting to get out front of the President on announcing something like this, which as you say could count as an act of war. However, my patience has worn pretty thin with supposedly “leadership” people giving weasely, legalistic answers to questions when they darn well know the right answer and it’s pretty simple. That’s not leadership, it’s just abuse. When did talking plainly and truthfully become forbidden?

    2. Wouldn’t one think that we ought to have some kind of language in our mutual defense treaties with NATO countries and other allies, to give some kind of diplomatic cover to covert operators doing (or attempting) legitimate security operations across borders? I could understand hostile countries prosecuting CIA agents. But countries with extensive security-sharing agreements with us, I’d think there’d be a more co-operative arrangement already in place. We don’t have agreements to cover this kind of contingency in place with Germany and Italy? Did we miss a step?

    3. Reading Col. Parks’ article, I’m again astonished that modified versions of ROE are written willy-nilly by military lawyers, and not subjected to the type of testing in controlled experimental conditions I have outlined in a previous comment, but rather are just promulgated with a “let’s see what happens” attitude. Nobody would field a weapon system without testing it under controlled conditions first, but according to the lawyers, its perfectly okay to field a set of ROE without having tested it first under controlled conditions, and compared to other competing ROE sets. This is part of the legal way of thinking, gumming things up again, in this case specifically, relying on retrospective studies to determine the outcomes of their work, and apparently not realizing that nearly every other profession under the sun uses prospective studies to predict the outcome of their work, and looks askance at retrospective studies as tools of the sloppy and the lazy.

    Name me a medication that was marketed before being tested for effectiveness and safety with prospective studies, rather than just thrown at patients without testing, and with only retrospective studies to “see what happened” afterwards. There aren’t any. Sure, there are still mistakes and things withdrawn from the market after retrospective studies. But how many more mistakes would there be, if prospective studies weren’t required before new medicines were marketed?

    But I’ve already described how I think ROE could be scientifically developed and evaluated, I won’t rehash it again. The problem is not one of thinking up the experimental methods, a few cognitive psychologists could do that. The problem is that the lawyers who inflict untested ROE on our troops are coming from a worldview (legal process of legislation combined with agencies and departments writing regulations, and courts following up afterwards) in which it is acceptable to inflict untested rule sets on populations (legislation, or regulations, written almost entirely ad hoc), and then only after people have suffered under them for a time, evaluate their efficacy and side effects (court cases which challenge the rules introduced by the legislation or regulation). It is this mindset of putting out their product (rules) untested, and then later looking backward to see if it worked, and insisting that because this is “how the legal system does things,” that that makes it somehow acceptable, that just boggles the mind. How they get away with it, more than three centuries after the scientific revolution showed the need for experiment to separate good ideas from wrong ideas, what works from what doesn’t work, is nothing short of astonishing. The ROE problem is just a microcosm (and a tragic one) of this larger human struggle to emancipate ourselves from nonsensical ways of thinking.

    4. I’m sure DoS workers are present in Iraq, and have suffered there. I’d be interested, however, in hearing how many DoS workers are in Iraq, and what exactly they’re doing. We have somewhat over 130,000 military people there, and we hear a lot of them are doing civil affairs. How many DoS people are on scene? How many Peace Corps people? And what do they do? The Peace Corps started as an outfit that would actually install plumbing and so forth. In more recent years we hear they’ve gone upscale. “What, a village school needs plumbing? I’ll have my people talk to your people. We’ll make up a slideshow and see if we can put together some financing. Run it up the flagpole. Let’s schedule some meetings. Maybe bring in some NGO’s too, work up some proposals. Then take bids, get some contractors to come in, look at it, present schedules and budgets. Great. Let’s do lunch sometime.” How many DoS people (let alone Peace Corps) are turning wrenches and pulling cable in Iraq, and how many are pushing paper or making slideshows? And when the Marshall Plan was helping rebuild Western Europe, how many people were assigned to make up and present slideshows back then? As opposed to sorting out Displaced Persons and cleaning up the rubble?

    5. Hearing that the M-16/M-4 system is still plagued by jams all these decades after the M-16 was originally plagued by jams, is just heartbreaking. Blaming jams on troops not cleaning them often enough is shameful. Another excuse I have heard is that America’s M-16’s and M-4’s jam because they’re more precisely made (tighter tolerances), in accordance with our philosophy of minimizing colateral damage. The H&K 416 seems to debunk that excuse, I can’t imagine either H&K making a low-accuracy gun, nor SOCOM accepting one. So we don’t field high-jam-rate M-4’s in the name of accuracy. One canard put to rest, anyway.

    So now they’re back to blaming dirt, and blaming America’s highly professional troops who follow the ROE even under the worst circumstances, but who, according to the Generals, are just too darned lazy to clean their guns as often as they’re told to. Are they KIDDING? Who would believe that? And are we to believe that in wars America fought prior to the introduction of the M-16, there wasn’t dirt, dust, sand, and/or mud present in large quantities on the battlefield? Apparently a transformation second only to the Fall from Grace occurred when the M-16 was fielded, suddenly battlefields became dirty places. What a coincidence! All this is just another shameful refusal to admit the obvious, and buy and field a better gun for the troops. No disrespect for Mr. Stoner, but come on, enough is enough. The original design, if I recall, was to be a lightweight survival rifle for aircrews, not a main battle rifle, the M-16 became that more by expedience than true suitability. (Go ahead and flame me, I am far from an expert in this area, and I know the M-16 family has its fans. People come to love a weapon that they have trusted their lives to, even if it has obvious flaws when viewed objectively. It’s probably a basic psychological instinct, like loving your family members despite their flaws.) But come on, sentiment aside, it’s a machine, it’s supposed to work right in the expected environment and conditions.

    I do understand the advantages of the varmint-class .223, or 5.56, whatever; a veteran of WWII of my acquaintance told me he definitely preferred the M-1 Carbine over the M-1, due to being able to carry more rounds of ammunition for the same weight, in addition to the gun itself being lighter. That experimental gun mentioned in the article, that weighted 18 pounds due to having some kind of 1000-yard grenade launcher built in, makes me think we have the wrong guys working on this problem. Likewise, the nonsense that we would have to change out all one million rifles in the inventory at the same time. Of course you’d want to change over entire units at one go, possibly up to Brigade level. But that’s closer to maybe 4000 or fewer, rather than a million, at a time. And it’s not like the US has never fielded multiple types of infantry rifles at the same time. Even more, it’s not like the H&K 416 (or Colt re-design using similar piston system) uses a new caliber of ammunition (I understand why that would be a much bigger deal).

    I recall reading somewhere that during the Indian Wars, the Native Americans frequently had better rifles than the US troops, repeaters even, because the Indians would buy what they could get on the market, and the Federal troops were issued relics from the Civil War. Maybe we could have some staff officer make up a powerpoint slide set on “Lessons Learned from the Indian Wars” to get the ball rolling. Nothing happens without a good slide set to help make the case. Nobody will believe the troops, but put something on a slide, suddenly it has credibility.

    Joking aside, to not even have a competition at this point, just seems like an error due to pridefulness or something related; we can’t admit we need a new rifle, because that would validate the criticism the old one has gotten for the past 40 years. With that attitude, the Pentagon will still be buying M-16/M-4 family guns a hundred years from now. It’ll never be the right time to admit they really do jam. This is an occasion that demands actual leadership. Not the kind of “leadership” that gives weasely, legalistic answers to questions when they darn well know the right answer and it’s pretty simple. But I’m back to where I started.

  6. On February 28, 2007 at 2:27 am, Dave N. said:

    To Liralou, just read your comment, I’m not trying to be out of line, I just haven’t seen any news or info (in years) about what DoS is doing in Iraq. From following the news, if I didn’t know better, I’d think the only thing the State Dept. did was to stick up for and make excuses for the worst regimes on the planet. And once in a while tell Israel not to defend itself so much. If State is doing good work in Iraq, that’s great, and I commend those who are doing that. But from one year to the next, we don’t hear about it.

    The only thing I can recall hearing, this whole time, that connects the State Dept. with Iraq, is the whole Joe Wilson going to Niger brew-ha-ha, his pathetic attempt to discredit the Bush Administration, which only discredited himself. That’s the image that State has projected, that they’re a bunch of clowns who are trying to subvert the Administration’s policies.

    So, again, I do respect anyone from DoS who actually is in Iraq and doing useful things. We just don’t hear about them.

  7. On February 28, 2007 at 2:32 am, Herschel Smith said:

    Thanks Dave for your extensive comments. And just for the record, I have asked Koyuavci for proof of employment with the SD (such as a *.gov e-mail). It is no different from requirements from military folks, for whom I require an e-mail from an *.mil network domain (and never publish). To the time of this writing, I have not received confirmation.  Edited: Confirmation.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment


You are currently reading "Intelligence Bulletin #1", entry #468 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Department of Defense,Intelligence,Intelligence Bulletin,Iran,Iraq,Military Equipment,War & Warfare and was published February 25th, 2007 by Herschel Smith.

If you're interested in what else the The Captain's Journal has to say, you might try thumbing through the archives and visiting the main index, or; perhaps you would like to learn more about TCJ.

26th MEU (10)
Abu Muqawama (12)
ACOG (2)
ACOGs (1)
Afghan National Army (36)
Afghan National Police (17)
Afghanistan (679)
Afghanistan SOFA (4)
Agriculture in COIN (3)
AGW (1)
Air Force (31)
Air Power (9)
al Qaeda (83)
Ali al-Sistani (1)
America (8)
Ammunition (28)
Animals in War (4)
Ansar al Sunna (15)
Anthropology (3)
Antonin Scalia (1)
AR-15s (98)
Arghandab River Valley (1)
Arlington Cemetery (2)
Army (55)
Assassinations (2)
Assault Weapon Ban (26)
Australian Army (5)
Azerbaijan (4)
Backpacking (2)
Badr Organization (8)
Baitullah Mehsud (21)
Basra (17)
BATFE (56)
Battle of Bari Alai (2)
Battle of Wanat (17)
Battle Space Weight (3)
Bin Laden (7)
Blogroll (2)
Blogs (7)
Body Armor (17)
Books (2)
Border War (7)
Brady Campaign (1)
Britain (27)
British Army (35)
Camping (4)
Canada (2)
Castle Doctrine (1)
Caucasus (6)
CENTCOM (7)
Center For a New American Security (8)
Charity (3)
China (10)
Christmas (8)
CIA (25)
Civilian National Security Force (3)
Col. Gian Gentile (9)
Combat Outposts (3)
Combat Video (2)
Concerned Citizens (6)
Constabulary Actions (3)
Coolness Factor (2)
COP Keating (4)
Corruption in COIN (4)
Council on Foreign Relations (1)
Counterinsurgency (215)
DADT (2)
David Rohde (1)
Defense Contractors (2)
Department of Defense (132)
Department of Homeland Security (17)
Disaster Preparedness (3)
Distributed Operations (5)
Dogs (6)
Donald Trump (1)
Drone Campaign (3)
EFV (3)
Egypt (12)
El Salvador (1)
Embassy Security (1)
Enemy Spotters (1)
Expeditionary Warfare (17)
F-22 (2)
F-35 (1)
Fallujah (17)
Far East (3)
Fathers and Sons (1)
Favorite (1)
Fazlullah (3)
FBI (11)
Featured (177)
Federal Firearms Laws (18)
Financing the Taliban (2)
Firearms (666)
Football (1)
Force Projection (35)
Force Protection (4)
Force Transformation (1)
Foreign Policy (27)
Fukushima Reactor Accident (6)
Ganjgal (1)
Garmsir (1)
general (14)
General Amos (1)
General James Mattis (1)
General McChrystal (41)
General McKiernan (6)
General Rodriguez (3)
General Suleimani (7)
Georgia (19)
GITMO (2)
Google (1)
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (1)
Gun Control (525)
Guns (1,162)
Guns In National Parks (3)
Haditha Roundup (10)
Haiti (2)
HAMAS (7)
Haqqani Network (9)
Hate Mail (7)
Hekmatyar (1)
Heroism (4)
Hezbollah (12)
High Capacity Magazines (11)
High Value Targets (9)
Homecoming (1)
Homeland Security (1)
Horses (1)
Humor (13)
ICOS (1)
IEDs (7)
Immigration (58)
India (10)
Infantry (4)
Information Warfare (2)
Infrastructure (2)
Intelligence (22)
Intelligence Bulletin (6)
Iran (169)
Iraq (378)
Iraq SOFA (23)
Islamic Facism (48)
Islamists (73)
Israel (18)
Jaish al Mahdi (21)
Jalalabad (1)
Japan (2)
Jihadists (80)
John Nagl (5)
Joint Intelligence Centers (1)
JRTN (1)
Kabul (1)
Kajaki Dam (1)
Kamdesh (9)
Kandahar (12)
Karachi (7)
Kashmir (2)
Khost Province (1)
Khyber (11)
Knife Blogging (3)
Korea (4)
Korengal Valley (3)
Kunar Province (20)
Kurdistan (3)
Language in COIN (5)
Language in Statecraft (1)
Language Interpreters (2)
Lashkar-e-Taiba (2)
Law Enforcement (3)
Lawfare (6)
Leadership (5)
Lebanon (6)
Leon Panetta (2)
Let Them Fight (2)
Libya (14)
Lines of Effort (3)
Littoral Combat (8)
Logistics (49)
Long Guns (1)
Lt. Col. Allen West (2)
Marine Corps (246)
Marines in Bakwa (1)
Marines in Helmand (67)
Marjah (4)
MEDEVAC (2)
Media (37)
Memorial Day (3)
Mexican Cartels (24)
Mexico (30)
Michael Yon (5)
Micromanaging the Military (7)
Middle East (1)
Military Blogging (26)
Military Contractors (4)
Military Equipment (24)
Militia (5)
Mitt Romney (3)
Monetary Policy (1)
Moqtada al Sadr (2)
Mosul (4)
Mountains (18)
MRAPs (1)
Mullah Baradar (1)
Mullah Fazlullah (1)
Mullah Omar (3)
Musa Qala (4)
Music (16)
Muslim Brotherhood (6)
Nation Building (2)
National Internet IDs (1)
National Rifle Association (17)
NATO (15)
Navy (21)
Navy Corpsman (1)
NCOs (3)
News (1)
NGOs (2)
Nicholas Schmidle (2)
Now Zad (19)
NSA (3)
NSA James L. Jones (6)
Nuclear (54)
Nuristan (8)
Obama Administration (218)
Offshore Balancing (1)
Operation Alljah (7)
Operation Khanjar (14)
Ossetia (7)
Pakistan (165)
Paktya Province (1)
Palestine (5)
Patriotism (6)
Patrolling (1)
Pech River Valley (11)
Personal (35)
Petraeus (14)
Pictures (1)
Piracy (13)
Pistol (2)
Pizzagate (21)
Police (264)
Police in COIN (3)
Policy (15)
Politics (320)
Poppy (2)
PPEs (1)
Prisons in Counterinsurgency (12)
Project Gunrunner (20)
PRTs (1)
Qatar (1)
Quadrennial Defense Review (2)
Quds Force (13)
Quetta Shura (1)
RAND (3)
Recommended Reading (14)
Refueling Tanker (1)
Religion (123)
Religion and Insurgency (19)
Reuters (1)
Rick Perry (4)
Rifles (1)
Roads (4)
Rolling Stone (1)
Ron Paul (1)
ROTC (1)
Rules of Engagement (75)
Rumsfeld (1)
Russia (29)
Sabbatical (1)
Sangin (1)
Saqlawiyah (1)
Satellite Patrols (2)
Saudi Arabia (4)
Scenes from Iraq (1)
Second Amendment (200)
Second Amendment Quick Hits (2)
Secretary Gates (9)
Sharia Law (3)
Shura Ittehad-ul-Mujahiden (1)
SIIC (2)
Sirajuddin Haqqani (1)
Small Wars (72)
Snipers (9)
Sniveling Lackeys (2)
Soft Power (4)
Somalia (8)
Sons of Afghanistan (1)
Sons of Iraq (2)
Special Forces (25)
Squad Rushes (1)
State Department (19)
Statistics (1)
Sunni Insurgency (10)
Support to Infantry Ratio (1)
Supreme Court (3)
Survival (14)
SWAT Raids (53)
Syria (38)
Tactical Drills (1)
Tactical Gear (1)
Taliban (167)
Taliban Massing of Forces (4)
Tarmiyah (1)
TBI (1)
Technology (16)
Tehrik-i-Taliban (78)
Terrain in Combat (1)
Terrorism (92)
Thanksgiving (6)
The Anbar Narrative (23)
The Art of War (5)
The Fallen (1)
The Long War (20)
The Surge (3)
The Wounded (13)
Thomas Barnett (1)
Transnational Insurgencies (5)
Tribes (5)
TSA (14)
TSA Ineptitude (11)
TTPs (1)
U.S. Border Patrol (5)
U.S. Border Security (14)
U.S. Sovereignty (17)
UAVs (2)
UBL (4)
Ukraine (3)
Uncategorized (43)
Universal Background Check (3)
Unrestricted Warfare (4)
USS Iwo Jima (2)
USS San Antonio (1)
Uzbekistan (1)
V-22 Osprey (4)
Veterans (2)
Vietnam (1)
War & Warfare (212)
War & Warfare (40)
War Movies (3)
War Reporting (18)
Wardak Province (1)
Warriors (6)
Waziristan (1)
Weapons and Tactics (57)
West Point (1)
Winter Operations (1)
Women in Combat (19)
WTF? (1)
Yemen (1)

August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006

about · archives · contact · register

Copyright © 2006-2017 Captain's Journal. All rights reserved.