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Iraqi Perspectives Project. A View of Operation Iraqi Freedom from Saddam's Senior Leadership

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Iraqs response to the Coalitions military threat was dictated by the nature of the regime and of Saddam Hussein himself. While to Western eyes the choices Iraq made may appear dysfunctional or even absurd, the regimes responses to the threat and then the invasion were logical within the Iraqi political framework, even if later proven to be counterproductive. Saddam may have been, to a large extent, ignorant of the external world he was, however, a student of his own nations history and culture. Thus, the Iraqi response to threats and the invasion of Coalition forces was a function of how Saddam and his minions understood their own world, a world that looked nothing like the assessments of Western analysts. As the massive buildup of coalition forces proceeded in 2002 and early 2003, two major assumptions governed Saddams preparations. The first assumption was that the greatest danger the regime faced was an internal coup. In fact, Iraqs national history is littered with military coup attempts with one following another in dreary progression. Even Saddams Baath Party saw its first try at seizing power in the early 1960s collapse under the hammer blow of a military coup that overthrew the first efforts of the Baath party to mold Iraq in accordance with its ideology. In response to the catastrophic defeat of Arab armies by Israel in the Six Day War, another military coup ushered the Baath return to power on July 17, 1968, with Saddam as one of its leading players. Saddam and his colleagues were determined that this time the military would not overthrow their new Baath regime, and created a multitude of secret police organizations to ensure the unswerving loyalty of the population. These secret agencies immediately proceeded to infiltrate the military in order to ensure its loyalty.

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  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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