Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Analyst Says He Warned of Iraqi Resistance Danger Was Clear Early, White Said


Days after the United States invaded Iraq, senior U.S. officials were warned that Iraqi Sunnis would strongly resist American troops' occupation efforts, according to testimony given yesterday before Senate Democrats.

Wayne White, a former deputy director in the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, told senators that when British soldiers were forced to repeatedly take the port city of Umm Qasr from Iraqi guerrillas, "I knew then and there that we would have a serious problem on our hands."

"I quickly warned, around the first week or 10 days of the war . . . that this spelled danger as we moved farther north, especially into Iraq's Sunni Arab heartland," White told the Senate Democratic Policy Committee.


They also predicted that the occupying forces would become targets and that "war and occupation would boost political Islam, increase sympathy for terrorist objectives and make Iraq a magnet for extremists from elsewhere in the Middle East," Pillar said.

White's and Pillar's testimony marked the first time intelligence assessments on postwar Iraq have been specifically discussed in a congressional session.

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