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Contractors beware

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Well-known member
Jul 4, 2005
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The U.S. Agency for International Development presents a bleak picture to potential contractors. Excerpts; link below; my emphasis.

Although President Bush and senior administration officials tend to see the enemy primarily as Saddam Hussein loyalists and foreign terrorists, the USAID analysis also places emphasis on "internecine conflict," which includes "religious-sectarian, ethnic, tribal, criminal and politically based" violence.
The Sunni-vs.-Shiite violence goes back centuries. Today, the differences are being exploited on both sides as Sunni bombings of Shiite sites along with kidnappings and killings have been matched by Shiite retaliation and revenge killings of Sunnis.
"It is increasingly common for tribesmen to 'turn in' to the authorities enemies as insurgents, this as a form of tribal revenge," the paper says.The activities of religious extremists against secular Iraqis were also noted by USAID. The paper describes how in the southern part of Iraq, which is dominated by Shiites, "social liberties have been curtailed dramatically by roving bands of self-appointed religious-moral police." In cities, women's dress codes are enforced and barbers who remove facial hair have been killed, and liquor stores and clubs have been bombed.
The USAID paper describes some findings that in the past were carried only in classified briefings, congressional sources said. For example, the paper states that external fighters and groups such as al Qaeda "are gaining in number and notoriety as significant actors," and that most suicide bombers are coming from "Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region."
The breakdown of Iraqi society and "the absence of state control and an effective police force" have let "criminal elements within Iraqi society have almost free rein," the paper states. Iraqi criminals in some cases "have aligned themselves with most of the combating groups and factions to further their aims" and Baghdad "is reportedly divided into zones controlled by organized criminal groups-clans," it states.
The USAID analysis also raises the potential for political parties to come into armed conflict, as the two main Kurdish parties did in the mid-1990s. "As political parties regain importance in the emerging democracy, there is an increased risk they may devolve into conflict groups," the paper warns.
Paul Pillar, the CIA's former national intelligence officer for the Middle East and now a visiting professor at Georgetown University, said the analysis conveyed "the reality that the violence in Iraq is complex and multi-faceted."


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