Although Army officials insist that they had anticipated a certain level of
violence in post-Saddam Iraq, they still were surprised by the “quantity
and quality” of the attacks, said Gen. Dan K. McNeill.
McNeill, who heads the U.S. Army Forces Command, rejected the notion that “intelligence
failures” necessarily led to the large numbers of U.S. and allied casualties
in counter-insurgency operations after the fall of the Saddam Hussein regime
more than a year ago.
“I don’t think the Army was unprepared,” McNeill said during
a panel discussion hosted by the Association of the U.S. Army. “We anticipate
those things,” he said. However, “if there was anything that wasn’t
expected was the intensity.”
Both U.S. forces and Iraqis who support the U.S. presence there have been victims
of suicide bombings, roadside bombs and various forms of attacks with improvised
explosive devices. The Army subsequently set up an “IED Task Force”
to figure out ways to counter the enemy tactics. The solution involves a combination
of “intelligence, technology, tactics, techniques and procedures,”
said Army Col. Joseph L. Votel, deputy director for information operations on
the Joint Staff. He said the task force includes members from all the services.