[QODLink]
Archive
US not prepared for Iraq - report

A leading think tank has reported that the United States is ill-equipped for the scale of problems encountered in occupied Iraq.

Last Modified: 15 Oct 2003 17:11 GMT
Baghdad plunged into instability following invasion

A leading think tank has reported that the United States is ill-equipped for the scale of problems encountered in occupied Iraq.

Washington failed to prevent the spread of weapons, restore public order in the days after it ousted former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and to quickly reinstate basic services.

These are the findings in a report drawn up by the influential International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS).

The London-based IISS released its annual Military Balance report, a survey of military capabilities and defence economics across the world, on Wednesday. 

Half a year after US and British tanks rolled into Baghdad, “the situation has hardly improved and small arms and light weapons are readily available to criminals and insurgents alike”, said IISS director John Chipman.

The report noted that the US administration was not prepared for the breakdown in law and order that followed the fall of Hussein.

Washington and its staunch ally London launched war in March against Iraq to overthrow Hussein’s government, which it accused of developing weapons of mass destruction. They have found no such arms yet.

Lawlessness
 
More US soldiers have lost their lives in guerrilla-style attacks than during the war.

Delays in providing food, water, electricity and medical services have quickly  exacerbated the situation, "leading to dissatisfaction which started to undermine military success, making the transition to, and consolidation of a state of peace ever more difficult," said the report.

This dissatisfaction has also fed into increased resistance attacks, it noted. 
  
The relationship between Europe and the United States was  “severely charred" by European complaints about American unilateralism, said Chipman. 

US forces come under daily attack

But Europe and Washington have worked together effectively over the alleged threat of Iran’s nuclear enrichment programme, which Chipman claimed could give Tehran a "nuclear weapons breakout option" within a few years.

Iran insists its nuclear programme is strictly for peaceful means, mainly generating electricity.
  
North Korea
  
The security agenda has also been dominated by the issue of North Korea, from which the United States is demanding a dismantling of its nuclear weapons drive.
  
There seemed to be "no prospects for dramatic progress in the coming months," despite the parties agreeing in principle to meet, said Chipman.

In its assessment of Europe, the IISS report said defence spending remained flat as a debate over the region's future defence plans continued. 

NATO was showing signs of change, taking over command and expanding the role of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.
  
The IISS report said that Japan had shown a greater desire to take part in international military operations, while China had reduced the People's Liberation Army (PLA) by about 500,000 troops.

Source:
AFP
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
Since independence, Zimbabwe has faced food shortages, hyperinflation - and several political crises.
After a sit-in protest at Poland's parliament, lawmakers are set to raise government aid to carers of disabled youth.
A vocal minority in Ukraine's east wants to join Russia, and Kiev has so far been unable to put down the separatists.
Iran's government has shifted its take on 'brain drain' but is the change enough to reverse the flow?
Deadly attacks on anti-mining activists in the Philippines part of a global trend, according to new report.
join our mailing list