Pentagon Report Says Russia
Gave Iraq Intelligence
March 24, 2006
Russia provided intelligence to Iraq's
government on U.S. military movements in the opening
days of the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, a Pentagon
report released on Friday said.
The report said an April 2, 2003,
document from the Iraqi minister of foreign affairs
to President Saddam Hussein stated that Russian intelligence
had reported information on American troops plans
to the Iraqis through the Russian ambassador.
The intelligence, the document stated,
was that the American forces were moving to cut off
Baghdad from the south, east and north, that U.S.
bombing would concentrate on Baghdad and that the
assault on Baghdad would not begin before around April
15. In fact, Baghdad fell about a week before that
"Significantly, the regime was
also receiving intelligence from the Russians that
fed suspicions that the attack out of Kuwait was merely
a diversion," the report stated.
Army Brig. Gen. Anthony Cucolo of
U.S. Joint Forces Command told a briefing he viewed
Russia's decision to give intelligence to Saddam's
government as "driven by economic interests."
The report noted Russian business interests in Iraqi
The revelations were contained in
a report by the U.S. military's Joint Forces Command
assessing the Iraqi view of events in the opening
months of the war, from March to May 2003, based on
interviews with senior Iraqi officials and captured
The report said a document sent to
Saddam on March 24, 2003, stated, "The information
that the Russians have collected from their sources
inside the American Central Command in Doha is that
the United States is convinced that occupying Iraqi
cities are (sic) impossible, and that they have changed
their tactic," to avoid entering cities.
The report said this kind of information
was "only one of the fog-generators obscuring
the minds of Iraq's senior leadership."
The report also dealt with the issue
of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. President George
W. Bush cited the threat posed by such weapons as
the prime justification for the invasion. No such
weapons ever were found.
The authors stated that the report
was not intended to examine "the technical extent
of Saddam's WMD capabilities," noting that other
investigators had done so.
"But the tension created by the
regime's steadfast refusal to 'come clean' with regard
to WMD shaped the actions and interactions of both
sides leading up to war," the report stated.
"Saddam walked a tightrope with WMD because as
he often reminded his close advisors, they lived in
a very dangerous global neighborhood where even the
perception of weakness drew wolves."
It stated that there were benefits
for Saddam to let his enemies believe he had such
weapons, even if he did not, while at the same time
it was critical to his survival for the United States
and the rest of the West to believe he did not have
"He had placed himself into a
diplomatic and propaganda Catch-22," the report
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