December 21, 2003
INTERESTING STRATFOR ANALYSIS:
The importance of Hussein's capture is not only its symbolism -- although that certainly should not be underestimated. Its importance is that it happened, that U.S. intelligence was able to turn a debacle into a success by identifying the core weakness of the enemy force and using it for the rapid penetration and exploitation of the guerrilla infrastructure.
The guerrillas understand precisely what happened to Hussein: Someone betrayed him for money. They also understand that even though attacks on U.S. troops can be purchased for dollars, the Americans have far more dollars than they do. That is why, in the week prior to Hussein's capture, the guerrillas twice attacked banks: They desperately needed to replenish their cash reserves. In one case, they even went so far as to engage in a pitched battle with U.S. armor, a battle they couldn't possibly win.
The threat to the guerrillas is snowballing betrayal. The guerrillas must be increasingly paranoid. At the prices the Americans are paying, the probability of betrayal is rising. As this probability rises, paranoia not only eats away at the guerrillas' effectiveness, it also raises the temptation to betray. Better to betray than to be betrayed.
Read the whole thing. (Via Volokh).
UPDATE: Jeff Jarvis has an Iraqi bloggers roundup.