Iraqi Resistance Grows as CIA Issues Pessimistic Report

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Nov 12 11:42:40 MST 2003


CIA: Iraq security to get worse
Bremer meets with White House advisers to discuss situation
Wednesday, November 12, 2003 Posted: 4:57 AM EST (0957 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A recent CIA assessment of Iraq warns the security 
situation will worsen across the country, not just in Baghdad but in the 
north and south as well, a senior administration source told CNN Tuesday.

The report is a much more dire and ominous assessment of the situation 
than has previously been forwarded through official channels, this 
source said. It was sent to Washington Monday by the CIA station chief 
in Iraq.

It was not immediately clear if the assessment was what prompted the 
hastily arranged trip to Washington by Iraq civilian administrator L. 
Paul Bremer, who met Tuesday at the White House with President Bush and 
senior national security officials.

The report was discussed during the high-level meetings, sources said.

The senior administration source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, 
said Bremer agreed with the CIA assessment and added his personal 
comments to the station chief's memo.

In his Veterans Day speech Tuesday, Bush referred to "recent reporting" 
of cooperation between Saddam loyalists and terrorist elements from 
outside Iraq.

"Saddam loyalists and foreign terrorists may have different long-term 
goals, but they share a near-term strategy: to terrorize Iraqis and to 
intimidate America and our allies," Bush told the conservative Heritage 
Foundation.

"In the last few months, the adversary has changed its composition and 
method, and our coalition is adapting accordingly."

Another senior administration official said those points in the speech 
were based on a U.S. intelligence report about the security situation.

A third U.S. official said the intelligence report was from the CIA and 
that it highlights what the official conceded are several "major ongoing 
security issues."

That official refused to characterize the report in further detail. But 
the senior administration source who did discuss the report said it 
essentially says things are "gonna get worse" across Iraq.

The source said the memo notes that:

• More Iraqis are "flooding to the ranks of the guerrillas." Many of 
these Iraqis are Sunnis who had previously been "on the sidelines" but 
now believe they can "inflict bodily harm" on the Americans.

• Ammunition is "readily available," making it much easier to mount 
attacks.

The assessment also notes that organization and coordination are getting 
"tighter" among foreign insurgents -- extremists including but not 
limited to al Qaeda and Hezbollah -- and those "displaced people" who 
lost power. (Full story)

On a related matter, this source said Bremer sent out his own separate 
two-page memo Monday in which he provided alternatives to the current 
seven-step U.S. plan for the transition of power from the Coalition 
Provisional Authority to the Iraqi people.

U.S. officials in Washington and military commanders in Iraq have voiced 
concern about the recent increase of attacks against coalition and other 
targets in Iraq. Bush has urged his national security team to accelerate 
the training and deployment of Iraqi security forces.

A large explosion Wednesday apparently shattered the Italian police 
headquarters in the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah. Initial reports 
indicated that six people were killed. (Full story)

Thirty-eight U.S. troops have died this month, bringing the number of 
U.S. troops killed in the Iraq war to 398. Since President Bush declared 
an end to major combat May 1, 259 U.S. servicemen and women have been 
killed.

There is no reliable source for Iraqi civilian or combatant casualty 
figures, either during the period of major combat or after May 1.

The Associated Press reported an estimated 3,240 civilian Iraqi deaths 
between March 20 and April 20, but the AP said that the figure was based 
on records of only half of Iraq's hospitals, and the actual number was 
thought to be significantly higher.

CNN's Andrea Koppel and Dana Bash contributed to this report.


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