February 16, 2006
The recently-released tapes of Saddam Hussein's telephone conversations regarding a possible terrorist attack on the United States really don't prove anything one way or the other. To me it sounds like he was speaking in contrived fashion "for posterity," like when Nixon said "But it would be wrong."
What is more significant are the recent revelations by former Iraqi generals that Saddam's weapons of mass destruction were transfered to Syria just before the U.S. invasion in March 2003. According to former Iraqi Air Force General George Sada, the neighboring Baathist regimes reached an ageement in the 1980s that if either of them was under threat of foreign occupation, it would transfer WMDs and other strategic assets to the other. In an interview with Sean Hannity at foxnews.com in late January, Sada explained this arrangement in great detail. There have been similar reports in the past, but not many from such a highly placed source. This has since been corroborated by another former Iraqi military commander, Ali Ibrahim al-Tikriti, as explained by The American Thinker, via Barcepundit.
As such evidence accumulates, it would seem that the day of reckoning for the two other mideastern "rogue regimes" -- Syria and Iran -- is fast approaching. I'm inclined to believe that the confrontation will involve more covert, cloak-and-dagger tactics than outright military invasion.
Today's Washington Post describes how the U.S. Army's 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment has shown marked improvement in its counterinsurgency tactics since its first deployment to Iraq in 2003, when its performance was below expectations. Now that it pays more attention to understanding what motivates the enemy, and treating prisoners with dignity, the 3rd ACR has become a much more effective fighting force. This is a good example of one of the seldom-recognized strong points of the American armed forces: the eagerness of our soldiers to apply themselves in a never-ending search for new and better ways to outwit and defeat the enemy. During the Cold War, U.S. military planners counted on the superior quality of U.S. personnel to offset the superior quantity of Soviet Bloc forces, improvising and adapting to rapidly changing battlefield conditions.