Information Warfare: February 21, 2003

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The American psychological warfare campaign against Iraq is offering "Honors of War" to Iraqi military commanders. Senior Iraqi military leaders are being told that if they keep their troops in their barracks once the shooting starts, the U.S. will, in effect,  award them "Honors of War." This is an ancient custom whereby an enemy unit that agrees not to fight (rather than being beaten into surrender) is awarded "honors" that include not being marched into captivity or disarmed immediately. In this case, small American MP units would be sent to watch Iraqi units that had agreed to sit out the war. This would involve, say, an MP platoon of 30 troops, plus some Special Forces troops, for an Iraqi brigade of 2500 men. The Iraqis would be supplied with food, water and medical care, and most of the troops would be released from military service after the war was over. Senior officers, and their families, would be protected by American troops until the new Iraqi government is set up. Many of the Iraqi colonels and generals saw American combat power up close during the 1991 war, and it appears many of them are willing to accept Honors of War, rather than die for Saddam. The major problem with this program is Saddam's custom of having secret policemen "guarding" the families of unit commanders, with the understanding that the wife and kids get killed if daddy turns traitor. 


 


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