Surface Forces: February 28, 2003

Archives

Iraqi oil smugglers, frustrated by Iranian cooperation with the UN embargo, thought they had a clever new idea. They began using dozens of small, wooden ships (traditional Arab dhows) to move the oil to nearby countries. The idea was that dhows leaving Iraq were not usually searched, and if a large number of them left at night, the warships in off the Iraqi coast could not stop and search many of them. One night recently, 68 dhows came out loaded with barrels of oil. But the Iraqis picked a bad time to try this. American SEALs and British Royal Marine commandos were assembling in the area for an invasion of Iraq. The British and American commandos brought with them dozens of their special small, fast, boats. The commandos were also equipped and trained to operate at night. Most of the dhows found themselves being stopped, with their cargo and boats seized and crews arrested for smuggling. That was the end of that bright idea. The oil smuggling is organized and controlled by Saddam Hussein's family and is thought to bring in several billion dollars a year. Or at least it was until the big crack down over the last year. The money was used to keep Saddam's henchmen happy and to develop or buy new weapons. 

 


Article Archive

Surface Forces : Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close