Intelligence: April 22, 2003


The rapid capture of Baghdad by coalition forces has created something of an intelligence windfall for the United States and Britain. Special intelligence units searched government buildings for documents and already, some of the findings have leaked out. Not surprisingly, the Russians were feeding Saddam's government useful intelligence information on Iraq's neighbors and political and diplomatic events in Western Europe. Russia still has an excellent agent network in the Middle East and Europe. It uses the information as "barter goods." In this case, it wanted to insure that Russian firms obtained billions of dollars in oilfield development contracts, and that Russian weapons delivered in the 1980s were eventually paid for. The Iraqi documents give some insights into the extent of Russia's agent network and what kind of information the Russians are willing to give up to a foreign partner like Iraq. 


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