[QODLink]
Archive
Rumsfeld: Iraq estimates not reliable
US intelligence agencies have failed to provide any reliable estimates on the number of anti-US fighters in Iraq, Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has admitted.
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2005 23:35 GMT
The Pentagon is not sure of the size of its opponents in Iraq
US intelligence agencies have failed to provide any reliable estimates on the number of anti-US fighters in Iraq, Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has admitted.

During a hearing of the House of Representatives' Armed Services Committee on Wednesday, Rumsfeld declined to publicly answer lawmakers who asked him the numerical strength of those fighting US troops in Iraq.

"The intelligence community looks at that. The CIA does, the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), others do. And they have differing assessments," Rumsfeld said.

"My job in the government is not to be the principle intelligence officer and try to rationalise differences between Iraqis, the CIA and the DIA. I see these reports. Frankly, I don't have a lot of confidence in any of them, on that number," he said.

"I am not going to give you a number for it, because it's not my business," the defence secretary said. He added he could not reveal CIA and DIA estimates because they were classified.

Sketchy details

The Pentagon has struggled to come to grips with the size, composition and organisation of those fighting US-led troops in Iraq.

Also at the hearing, General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, disputed an estimate on the number of fighters offered recently by General Muhammad Abd Allah Shahwani, director of Iraqi intelligence.

Shahwani had said there were 200,000 fighters, of whom 40,000 were hardcore.

Myers said US intelligence estimates were "considerably lower" and Rumsfeld called Shahwani's numbers "totally inconsistent" with US estimates.

Myers also admitted getting an accurate count was difficult.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.