Ralph Peters is a retired Army intelligence officer — and it shows. Read:
The commander of our forces in Iraq stated that “great analytical work led to [Saddam’s] capture.” Tip-offs likely helped, too. But whatever the details of nabbing the Grinch of Baghdad may be, our intelligence operations remain a success story.
Behind the headline attacks on our soldiers and Iraqi civilians, we’ve been killing 50 to 70 hardcore terrorists and renegades each week, while arresting hundreds. We’ve busted more and more key Ba’athist officials. Now Saddam’s going to have to celebrate New Year’s Eve without a single bottle of Dom Perignon.
How have we done it? The old-fashioned way. By data-mining the enemies of our enemies. By listening to all sides and testing their claims against each other. By exploiting captured files. By appealing to both selfish and selfless interests. By exploiting family and tribal connections. And by laying down hard cash.
The volume of information Iraqis volunteer to us is a fundamental metric of success. It was already soaring before we grabbed Saddam. Now it’s bound to turn into a deluge. Our intel hands, so often criticized, deserve an enormous pat on the back for this one. Even if a tipster turned the tide.
If Peters seems proud of his former comrades, it’s because he should be.