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Iraqi Military Capabilities

This Estimate was approved for publication by the National Foreign Intelligence Board under the authority of the Director of Central Intelligence.

This Nalional Intelligence Estimate was prepared tinder the auspices of Maj. Gen. John R. Landry, USAalional Intelligence Officer for GeneralForces, and Ben Bonk, NIO for Near Easl and South Asia. Inquiries may he directed to Maj. Gen. Landry

ThisdiJineo rry KOVficrrR'ass,

Herb Conncll. and MAJ Tony Haager USA

|(CIA).| i

Scope Note

Iraqi Military Capabilities3

The Intelligence Community has reviewed its judgments in the National Intelligence. Iraqi Military Capabilities9

bf4 and the Update Memorandum to that NIE published inhis assessment:

Examines the status and capabilities of Iraq's military forces to conduct combat operations,

Describes what we believe are Saddam's attack options.

Reassesses Saddam's probable calculus inourse of action.

rovides an overview of our assessment. Volume IIore detailed discussion of force capabilities and analyses of Iraq's attack options. I-

What We Said]

In our4 NIE5 Update to that Estimate, which assessed Iraqi military capabilities through thee judged that the effects of Desert Storm and UN sanctions had severely diminished Iraqi military capabilities. We concluded that:

The effectiveness of future military operations would be plagued by problems in morale, leadership, and maintenance as hug as tliese restrictions remained in place.

Iraq's militaryotent force by regional standards atul would continue to be resilient and resourceful in inability toforces and capabilities.

No Agency was willing to rule out Saddam's attempting anotlier high-risk military confrontation, antt the Military Intelligence Community believed that Iraq had at least some chance of quicklyuUidivision attack that could successfully penetrateabia and damage oil facilities in the Al Jubayl-Dltahntn area.


Scope NoCe

rli'.iiH uk

Mililary Capabilities3

1 if 1 ii1 rt'llllt'it'l' 1 Ttrtf



Lnduring Vulnerabilities an<l


Iraqi Air Force


Air Defense




Ground Forces

capabilities ational Movement and Sustainment Infrastructure 17

Attack Options

Attacks Rapid Buildup. Major Offensives


Army-Only Attacks RGFC-Lcd Attack


of Rapid Buildup Attacks

eliberateisappearing Option 22

Calculus in Choosing an Attack Option



Toward the Future

Figure I

Iraqi Military Order of Battle,9



Key Judgments

Iraqi Military Capabilities3

Iraq's military capabilities have deteriorated significantlyesult of UN sanctions and damage inflicted by Coalition and US military operations. Its military forces are even less well prepared for major combat operations than we judged in the Nationalntitled IraqiCapabilities Through "tof4 and in an Update Memorandum published in January JWS.n

Iraqi forces, though degraded, remain capable of defeating internalgroups and. without significant and timely opposition from Western

believe Saddam's attack options have narrowed since45 estimates. Iraq's forces and transportation infrastructures are weaker and at greater risk from Coalition air strikes, vulnerabilities that have been manifested in Coalition attacks such as Desert Fox. Consequently,probable preferred attack optionlarge-scale.oivision Republican Guard Forces Command (RGFC) led attack to seize Kuwait and preempt or prevent Coalition reinforcement by extending operations into Saudino longer as feasible.

If, however, Saddam senses lhat he is increasingly beinge could alter his risk calculations. Saddam might conclude that an invasion of Kuwait, however risky, was the only hope of averting disaster. Byor actuallyajor military attack against Kuwait, most likely accompanied by threats to use weapons of mass destructionaddam might believe he could bargain for full sanctions relief in exchange for an Iraqi pullback or an agreement to stand down his forces.!-

An end to the No-Fly and No-Drive Zones would significantly reduce tbc Community's ability to provide warning of an attack against Kuwait.

Iraq's Military Capabilities Todayj

We assess degradation has occurred at different rates to Iraq's variouscapabilities.

Air Force: Dramatic Erosion

The ability of the Iraqi Air Forcerotect national airspace and to conduct effective offensive iterations has been substantially reducedhe combat proficiency of most pilots is low and continues to decline. The impact of UN sanctions is the major cause of therce's decline.

Air Defenses: Weaknesses Evident

Air Defense Forces are significantly less capable thanear ago because of losses inflicted in the8 Operation Desert Fox and subsequent strikes.

Naval Forces: Still Sunk

Baghdad's Navy remains incapable of defending Iraq from naval or naval-bused threats posed by either Coalition or Iranian forces, but it potentially could sink or severelyhip with its residual Seersucker force.P

Ground Forces: Slower Erosion

In comparison to Iraq's other forces, the ground forces have suffered less degradation, in part because the regime has sought to preserve theirso they can protect the regime and maintain internal security.the capabilities of Iraqi ground forces have slowly but steadily eroded since5 Update Memorandum. Areas of particular ground forces degradation include: (lagging troop readiness and morale; strained combat materiel availability; inadequate unit logistics and support; and weakened transudation networks and sustainmcnt infrastructure.

Kuwait: Attack Option

Most of the attack options available to Saddamemain viable today.

Limited Attacks

Using III Corps forces, Iraq could conduct raids to damage or destroy selected facilities west and north of Kuwait Bay. Because III Corps units aa* garrisoned close lo the border and deploy for coumcrinsurgencythey could mount limited-sized operations in less thanours with little or no warning.epublican Guard unit were employed in thisits movement south from the Baghdad area could provide additional warning. P

Rapid Buildup, Major Offensives

To limit Western warning. Iraq couldajor offensive employing Regular Army units already garrisoned in the south or. more likely, launch

a combined RGFC-III Corps Regular Army allack composed of fourl heavy divisions, of which two or three would be Republican Guard armored divisions.

lm Ine aDsenceadequate Western

response. Iraq remains able to overrun Kuwait under either of these attack options.

Attackeliberateisappearing Option In45 estimates, the Intelligence Community judged that Saddam's preferred attack option wouldajor operation of someoivisions, ledhree-division RGFC Corps. This option would aim lo seize Kuwait and rapidly extend combat operations deep into Saudi Arabia to preempt or prevent Coalition ground force reinforcement. Its size wouldengthy buildup,!

Although Saddam probably prefers an option of thisto preempt Coalition reinforcementeprise of Desertbelieve that such an option is no longer as feasible because of Iraq's greater vulnerability to air strikes and because of the deterioration of Baghdad's strategic transportation capabilities. Saddam probably holds the same assessment. For this reason, wc believe that an Iraqi attack into Kuwait,arge-scale attack that extended into Saudi Arabia, is highly unlikely today.!-

What If Saddam's Risk Calculusigh-Risk Desperation Attack

In the unlikely event thai Saddam decided to attack Kuwait, he probably wouldapid buildup of RGFC-Regular Army uniu, using four to live divisions to seize Kuwait as hostage for subsequent negotiations. Threats to use weapons of mass destruction (WMD) would reinforce his negotiating stance. If Saddam believed the Coalition response threatened the destruction of his regime, he would be likely to useKuwait or in the region. I-

Views of Outside Expertsl

taproader range of views andwe supplemented our analysis byetired policymaker-Josepha warfighter. Gen. William Hartzog. USA

Ambassador Wilson served in BaghdadH1 as the Deputy Chief of Mission. He was the last American official to meet wilh Saddam Husayn prior to the launching of Desert Storm.

Ambassador Wilson agreed with llie NIB key judgment that the imparl of sanctions had degraded Iraq's military capabilities and had narrowed Saddam's attack options. He noted thai this was an assessment the Embassy similarly reached prior to Desert Storm; that is. that sanctions would bein degrading Iraq's military capabilities (but would he insufficient to force Saddam out ofe found the depiction of the logistic problems to be credible, especially because he had noted these types ofinar with Iran. He doubted that the Iraqi mililary could be inventive innew operations,hismilitary institutions and leader-sliip tend to plod along.

In contrast to the judgment in the NIE. Ambassador Wilson gave greater emphasis to miscalculation by Saddam, rather titan desperation, as llie dynamic that wouldan attack to seize Kuwait. Wilson described Saddam's clutracter as an eclectic mix of narcissism, derangement, thuggery, and unrepentant ambition.

Saddam would act upon any perceivedof weakness among his enemies, and for thishas to be confronted wiih blunt force. In his view, this was why Desert Fox had proven so successful. He felt that StuUiam was -reviewing the Balkan crisis for opportunities to drive wedges between UN SecurityFrance. Russia, andtlw United States.[

Wilson concluded that Saddam equates his own fate wilh that of the Iraqi nation.defines victory as merely his ownThus, as Saddam enwrges from each confnmtation with the Coalition, he sees himself asnd havingenewed opportunity lo pursue his regional


Looking Toward the Future

Iraq's military capabilities willlow and steady decline as long as both economic sanctions and the arms embargo are maintained.and other efforts to circumvent the embargo will be inadequate to halt this trend.!-

Mews of Outside Experts^ ^continued)

General Hartzog served as Commanding General, Training and Doctrine Commandnd was the hi formmand during Operation Just Cause in Panama. I I

General Hartzog regarded the judgments of Iraq's military capabilities as accurate, and he took note of the enduring institutional strengths of Iraq's ground forces as compared lo other regional ground forces. He cautioned lhat increased corruption in the officer corps might not necessarily be an accurate indicator of declining morale and leadership. He thought lhat the Iraqis might simply view this asacceptable method for officers to compensate for other hardships.

Hartzog thought that the operating style of's regime was similar to that of strongmen lur had dealt with in Latin America. Hartzog's observation was that dictators over time purge individuals of moderation and competence from iheir inner circle. Eventually theleadership consists ofa chiefoterie of sycophants and blood relations. Hatzog doubled lhat the security forces of such regimes would fight to the end for the tyrant, and he felt

that these forces would "flee like ratsinkingf the regime were confronted directlyommitted

We asked Hartzog about lite judgment that Saddam would be likely to use WMDoalition military response directlythe regime. We were particularlyin Hartzog's thoughts as to what threshold would have to be crossed forto believe the end was imminent, thus making him more likely to embrace the risks associated with WMD use against hisHartzog fell that dictators such aswould only think the end was near when tangibly and directly threatened; forif Coalition paratroopers were deployed on ihe palace grounds. In Hartzog's view, such dictatorsigh threshold forbecause of their delusions ofand invincibility and would retain the belief that they could outwit their enemies through evasive maneuwrs within thebottlers even as the country was sub-jected to massive attack.


Military Capabilities3

Iraq's Current Military

Four more years of UN sanctions andalong with damage inflicted by USoperations, have significantly degraded Iraq's military capabilities. Erosion of Iraqi Air Force capabilities has been most pronounced, reflectedontinuous decline of operational aircraft, sortie generation rales, and pilotAir defense capabilities have suffered more recently, primarily from destruction byair forces. Sinceaval forces have been more active; however, naval forces remain incapable of defendingaval-based operations. Ground forces have fared ccvnparalivcly better than other services, but even they arc less wellfor major combat operations than4P

Despite these difficulties, Iraq's armed forces arc capable of defeating internal opposition


continue to assess

that, without significant and timely opposition from Westernraq could overwhelm Kuwait, because of lite small size of Kuwait's mililary and its long vulnerable border with Iraq. Iraq continues to fall behind Israel in both

the qualitative and quantitative militaryIraqi and Iranian conventional forces have different sets of strengths and weaknesses. We judge that neither country couldecisive military advantage over the other. Iranuge naval advantageimited and growing advantage in air capabilities. Iraq's Republican Guard Forces Command (RGFC) is superior to Iron's ground forces. Finally, wc judge lhat Iraq retains residual chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and missile capabilities that can inflict severe damage on unprepared military forces and disrupt host-nation logistic functions and facilities that would be used to support the deployment of Coalition forces. [

Knduring Vulnerabilities and Strengths

Iraq's military suffers from longstanding endemic vulnerabilities that undermine the morale of iroops, impair unit cohesion, and hinder combat leadership. Materiel andshortfalls exacerbate these vulnerabilities.

nepotism, and rampantdetract from the professionalism of the officer corps.

inherent distrust of the military and his repressive policies foster fear andand they discourage initiative,and candor among officers and enlisted men. In particular, military commanders resent the authority of Saddam's intelligence officers over their operations. bVtncd a* hate US and Coab-on nam presently in theater aupneniod by US and CoaHtma (orcca (hat could rapidly deploy to the region.



Figure 2

Iraq's Forces and Equipment Inventories as Comparedther Regional Powers

"This iiKludcsr$onncl on active duly und wniipmcni assessed lo he unrrauonalEorcat personnel only.

'Includes uune command vehicles thai were noi included4 Irau) loinKivoiu-usance vehicles thai nverc not includedraqiighlei/fighter tanker*.

between units islimited to discourage coup plotting. This approach reduces effective coordination and cooperation between commanders, units, and the various military services.

military tasks. Absences from duly to work civilian jobsommon occurrence. Poor pay and benefits and loss of status alsomorale and motivation. Theseare probably greater today than

ethnic (Arab versuseligious (Sunni versusnd tribal divisionsto mistrust, resentment,ack of motivation among military personnel.shown toward chic security andGuard unitsimilar impact, especially in the Regular Army.

Family hanlships resulting from regimepolicies and UN sanctions continue to distract officers and enlisted men from their

Shortcomings in leadership, training, soldier skills, and execution of combined armscontinue to limit Iraq's ability to exploit the effectiveness of the relatively few modern weapons it possesses.

Continuing internal security operations fatigue men and equipment.

Nevertheless, in comparison to other potential regional foes, Saddam's mililary retains several strengths and is likely to do so in the future:

Iraq's military remains larger than that of the combined Gulf Cooperation Council states or other Arab neighbors.

Iraqell-established miliiaiy-industrial base by regional standards.

Baghdad's forces have more combatand logistic expertise. Iraqi officers have good staff skills. The Iraqi military has shown its ability to implement technical and tactical innovations to overcome specific obstacles.

By regional standards, Iraq maintains aand comprehensive schedule of training and exercisesignificant militaryinfrastructure. Frequent rapidand military exercises have somewhat enhanced readiness.

Iraqi leaders know the collection capabilities of hostile intelligence services, and theyimplement excellent operational secu-rity and denial and deception plans.[

The Iraqi Air Force

The Iraqi Air Force (IZAF) is substantially less capable today thananctions and embargoes are the major cause of the Air Force's decline. Saddam's distrust of LZAF officers also has contributed to the degradation of the Air Force. To discourage pilot defections or attacks against the regime, fuel andloads are usually restricted.

Iraq has had difficulty keeping its bestflying. Since4raq has essentially grounded its fleet of.

The number of sorties flown by Iraq'ss declined56 from the comparatively high levels of flight activity seenollowedurther,drop of someercentraq apparently has managed to obtain spare parts fors through smuggling. Bylight activily increased, but flight activity remains far below4 level.

number of aUcraft sorties has declined, largely because of maintenance problems and shortages of spare parts.he IZAF averaged someorites per day, compared to arounde believe the Iraqi Air Force would be hard pressed lo maintain two sorties per day/per aircraft for more than two days.

combat proficiency of most Iraqi pilots is low and continues to decline. Pilots are now conducting fewer training flights lhan at any time since they resumed flyingilots are nowean level of onlyoours annually, compared toooursnly someoerceni of IZAF sorties have been dedicated to combat training, and much of lhat lacks realism. Iraqi pilots have difficulty finding and striking ground targets during training. Wc judge (he Iraqi Air Force has little or no nighttime or adversc weather capabilirics.f-

Mission Capabilities

The Iraqi Air Force's ability to protect national airspace and to conduct effective offensive operations is limited. Although most Iraqi pilots arc incapable of successfullyestern Coalitionmall cadre of senior, very qualifiedreceive more lhan

Figure .*

Iraq: Military Totals

mean level of flight trainingbe able to prosecute and execute an intercept mission. This group of pilots spearheads Iraq's

challenges to the No-Fly Zones. Iraqi pilotsinimal capability against regional threats.

Iraqi Air Defease

Iraq's Air Defense Forces are significantly less capable today thanear ago, priiuarily because of losses inflicted by Coalition forces in Operation Desert Foxnd subsequent strikes. Sanctions also havewilh maintenance capabilities; direct observation of Iraqi missile handling andprocedures indicates very lowSome surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) are likely to reach the end of their useful service life, potentially making them less reliable.

Combat Losses. Twelve strategic SAMand iwo SA-otoercent from each forte have been rendered nonop-crational sincetrikes against Iraq's integrated air defense system (IADS) in the No-Fly Zones have reduced the number of radars and forced Baghdad lo pull back surviving equipment.

Losses of Reconslilutiun Capabilities.

Destruction of the At Taji missilefacility during Desert Fox hasreduced Iraq's SAM repair and refurbishment capabilities. Iraq has few fire-control radars in reserve. SAM radars struck during Coalition strikes in9 were either not replaced or replaced with radars from other SAM batteries, rendering ihe donor batteries nonoperational.

from Defensive Ffforts. Constant redeployment of SAM equipment not designed for mobile operations degrades readiness.

In the face of these losses and difficulties, the mililary has displayed considerable ingenuity and resourcefulness. Iraqi units have: modified tactics to reduce vulnerability; employed denial

and deception techniques wiih some success: decentralized operations to reduce time required for target identification; and modified equipment to improve electronic countcr-coun-termeasurcs. P

Mission Capabilities

Despite ongoing efforts to adapt operations and equipment, Iraq's Air Defense Forces remain unable to mount an effective defense against Coalition threats. They are significantly less capable today lhan5 of protectingforces and high-value installations from Coalition air strikes. Air Defense lwces would be more effective in defending against Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) or Iranian air threats, although their ability to cover broad sectors and sustain operations against these threats also has been degraded by Ihe impact of sanctions and Coalition strikes.

Iraq's Navy

Iraq's Navy was devastated during the Gulf war, and Baghdad has been able to do very little to reconstitute its capabilities since then.4raqi naval activity was limited lo small cruft patrols along itsand inland waterways. Iraq's only post-Desert Storm naval and coastal defensewas inhis lack of training and poor maintenance on Iraq's armed cruft and coastal cruise missile equipment limit the threat from these systems.

In response to the8 Desert Fox attacks, Iraq deployed several antiship cruise missiles (ASCMs) and support equipment to the Al Faw peninsula only to lose at least one launcher to US air strikes in

Iraq has only two lo four launchers left, and the majority of the remaining missiles are judged marginally operational at best

lacks ovcr-thc-horizon targeting capabil-ities lo ensure accurate, maximum-range


Shorter range engagements, out to aroundom. can be conducted with greater effectiveness.

only one operational antiship cruise missile boat (thequippedive gunboats,imited coastal surveillance capability. Iraq's shipl>orne surface attack capabilities are practically nonexistent.

Iraq's naval mining operations capability is limitedack of suitable launch platforms. Iraq could, however, employ small craft and fishing boats to lay mines or conductmining with drifting mines. Wc dc^not know the size of Iraq's mine inventory.^

Mission Capabilities

Overall. Baghdad's navy cannot defend Iraq from naval or naval-based threats posed by either Coalition or Iranian forces, but it could potentially sink or severelyhip wiih its residual Seersucker force. The Iraqi naval threat beyond its territorial waters is limited to potential harassment mining in the extreme northern Gulf.

Iraqi Ground Forces

Iraq has four fewer divisions today than it didaddam's six RGFCbackbone of hishis most capable forces and remain the best trained, equipped, paid, and led military force in Iraq: they also are the most effective regional fighting force in

the Persian Gulf. Iraq's Regular Army has fared less well and would be likely to have lowduring high-intensity combatIn comparison lo Iraq's other forces, the ground forces have suffered less degradation, in part, because Saddum has sought to preserve their capabilities so they can protect the regime and maintain internal security.

Flagging Troop Readiness and Morale. Unit manning levels largely have remained unchanged since4 NIE, and all ground force units still suffer from manpower shortfalls. Compounding this problem is the apparent unreliability within the ranks,in the Regular Army. Harsh livingmeagerorrupt officer corps, and overall dissatisfaction continue lo result in routine absences withoul leave andThe absences disrupt dailytraining, and security functions.

Strained Combat Materiel Availability and Readiness. For the mosl part, Iraq has been able to retain or improve die levels of combat equipment holdings in its ground forces since4 NIE. although mosl units still remain understrcngth. RGFC units receive priority for quantity and quality ofThey possess aboutercent of authorized tanks and artillery pieces and aboutercent or better of authorized armored infantry lighting vehicles and armored personnel curriers. The six Regular Army heavy divisions, on the other hand, continueess well equipped and ready. Regular Army infantry divisions areplagued by shortages in authorized tanks and artillery systems. Iraqi combat units would be hard pressed to maintain

strength during operations. During the initial phase, maintenance losses alone probably would reduce the number of tanks and other armored vehicles by aroundercent for every KM) km of cross-country movement. The loss rate probably would increase byercent per day for each day ofoperations.

* Inadequate Unit logistics and Support Since5 I'pdate. logistic capabilities and the inventory of support vehicles have degraded. Regular Army maneuver battalions and brigades do not have lirst- or second-line transport assets. liven lhc better equipped RGFC lacks equipment required to sustain deployment and combat operations beyond the first one to three days of operations. RGFC maneuver battalions haveercent of their trucks; their division-level supply units only haveoercent of authorized assets, enough lo support little moreingle brigade per division. Moreover, inhe RGFC was forced to transfer several hundred trucks to most Regular Army corps, underscoring Ihe severity of some shortages plaguing Regular Army units. Vehicle repair capabilities arc also inadequate. [

Mission Capabilities

The capabilities of Iraqi ground forces have slowly but steadily eroded since5 Updale. making them less able lo engage in high-intensity combat operations. The factors most likely to limit Iraq's offensive ground operations are poor morale and motivation, ineffectiveness of Iraqi air defenses against Coalition air strikes, and ihe fragility of ground force support and maintenance systems at all echelons. Iraq's ground forces could stillthose of GCC states, and coulddefend Iraqi territory from an Iranian ground invasion.]

National Movement and Sustainment Infrastructure

Iraqi nutional transport and logistic capabilities have degraded significantly since5 Update. The impact of UN sanctions andwear and tear have combined to reduce Iraq's ability to move men and equipment and to sustain forces in combat operations. The increasingly fragile supply and transportremains vulnerable to interdiction from enemy attack.

Heavy Equipment TransportersETs are Iraq's primary means of moving its heavy divisions. We estimate the totalHETs in Iraq to number. roughlyercent more than4y employing ali of these HETs, Iraqominal simultaneous lift capacity of one heavy division. However, the di.sablingignificant number of HETs engagededeployment of RGFC brigades during ihe summer8 suggests thai ihcsc vehicles could be prone to breakdowns during high tempo operationsesult of poor maintenanceack of spare parts caused by UN embargoes.

Highway Infrastructure. Since5 Updale. substandard materials used for road repair und maintenance have degraded lhc throughput capacity of Iraq's nationalespecially during inclement weather. Some bridges destroyed during Desert Slurm have yet lo be completely repaired or replaced.


Totals for Heavy Equipment Transporters

he Intelligence(IC) estimated tliat Iraq hadperational Heavy Equipment Transportershe IC now estimates that the total number of operational HETs {defined as the trailer portion of the tractor-trailerin Iraq has increased to. The increase in operational HETs primarily residtedfrom an intensive Iraqi repair campaign. We judge that anET trailers are inoperable.

US Central Commandn contrast, estimates that the Iraqi militaryotential inventory of

operational HETs.

Tlte Intelligence Community and CENTCOM agree tliatETs in question would be sufficient to transport the equivalent of slightly moreeavy brigade. This total, however, would not be sufficient to change the assessments readied in the threat scenarios.

Saddam's Attack Options

systems on some ot (he cars arc reportedly inadequate, and open-source reporting indicates Iraq's automated signaling system is degraded. These problems limit the number of cars per train and reduce the safe speeds at which trains can operate. We calculate that if Iraq's rail system were fully refurbished and operated unimpeded atefficiency,ne-time surge, it couldomplete RGFC heavy division in six to seven days.1-

Limited Attacks

Baghdad retains forces and capabilities to launch limited division-sized or smaller attacks into Kuwait. Using III Corps and/or Republican Guard elements, Baghdad could conduct raids to damage or destroy selected facilities west and north of Kuwaitinclude locations used by Coalition militaryseize and hold selected areas or facilities adjacent to the border.

Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction and Ballistic Missile Capabilities!

judge that Saddam continues to believe that Iraq needs Weapons of Mass(WMD) mid long-range missiles to:ounter Israeli and Iranian capabilities in these areas;eter military attacks,those by Coalition forces; andchieve regional preeminence. Since the publication of, Saddam's belief is likely to have been reinforced by advances in WMD and missile capabilitiesndia, and other countries. Iraq retains the personnel, documentation, and some of the critical equipment necessary to continue and advance its WMD and deliv-

ery programs.

Iraq's Ballistic Missile Capabilities We assess that, in addition to the United Nations-autlior'ized Al SamoudSRBM andKBM development programs, Iraq currentlymall covert force of extended-range SCUD-type ballistica few mobile missile launchers,mall specialized cache of proscribedequipment. Most of the missiles are likely to bem range Al Hussein variant, but Iraq also mayew ofm range At Abbas

f'fhese may be equipped with chemical or

biological warheads and could be made ready

for launch perhapsatter oflwurs to

Chemical Warfare Capabilities Baghdad has the infrastructure necessary to support limited Cltemical Warfare (CW) agent production. We assess that, since the departure of UNSCOM inspectors inraq could have erected and begun operating small, CW facilities for production of blister or nerve agents. In addition, Iraq continues tomall stockpile of CW agent munitions and production equipment. We estimate that Iraq's stockpile ofcliemical agent in bulk storage and jilted munitions is betweenetric tons. We believe anons of CW agents could be produced using unaccounted-forchemicals, which Iraq cannotmanufacture. The location, nature, and condition of these remaining stockpiles are unknown, but if stabilized properly, these agents could lie used for weapons.


on the duration, distance, and speed of the raids, Iraqi forces could inflictdamage on selected oil and water facilities in northern Kuwait. Iraq's forces, however, would not be able to hold Kuwaiti territory in the faceetennined Western military response.


Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction and Ballistic Missile Capabilities ^continued)

Mustanl agent is tlie most likely component of the stockpile. Iraq also produced and stockpiled tabun, sarin, GF, and VX. Iraq also retains several thousand unaccounted-for chemical-filled munitions, possiblyew dozen Al Husayn missile

Biological Warfare Capabilities We judge that Iraq continues tomall stockpile of Biological Warfare (BW) agents, munitions, and productionIraq admitted toiters of anthrax spores and0 liters of hotulinum toxin, and may have produced as much as three times the amounts declared.laimed unilateral destruction of these materials has not been verified by UNSCOM. Anthraxong shelf life and would prob-ably still be effective. With theofUNSCOM inspections, we assess that Iraq will exploit opportunities to produce BW agents and furtlter develop agent

Nuclear Weapons Capability

Operation Desert Storm, IAEA/UNSCOM inspections, counterprocurementand im/Htrt sanctions effectivelyalt touclear weapons program. All known fissile material has been either removed from the country or placed under IAEA control, and all identified nuclear facilities have been destroyed. In the absence of UN sanctions and effective monitoring, Iraq would need five lo seven years and significant foreign assistance toufficient infrastructure to produce fissile material. Iraq coulduclear weapon in five to eight years, wilh foreign assistance. However, if Baghdad can acquire sufficient weapons-grade highly enriclied uraniumoreign source, the lime it will take Baghdad toominal nuclear devicereatly reduced. If Iraq obtains fissile material and overcomeswar technical hurdles}

Rapid Buildup, Major Offensives

lack key divisional and corps logistic und lire support, including engineer,medical, and artillery assets required to support combat operations beyond three days. In contrast, including these additional assets before the attack, while increasing the invading forces' combat effectiveness, wouldlengthen deployment timelines and result in increased warning for the West.

Army-Only Attacks

To limit Western warning. Iraq couldajor offensive employing Regular Army units already garrisoned in the south. Iraq could organize an offensive using only III and IV Corps units in about two lo three days. We judge this option lo be very unlikely because of Ibe weakened readiness, morale, and reliability of Regular Army units. Saddam and hisleaders undoubtedly share this assessment.

Assessment of Rapid Buildup Attacks

With little unambiguous warning and the absenceignificant and timely Western military response, Iraq remains able to overrun Kuwait with the combinations of forces we described for the rapid buildup attack scenario.


Iraq couldombined RGFC-III Corps Regular Army attack composed of four to five heavy divisions, of which at least two would be Republican Guard armored divisions. Using HETs and rail. Iraq, in the four division attack, could position the attack force ofrigade groups in assembly areas opposite Kuwait in some four lo five days if the flow of forces were unimpeded. In expediting the operation to reduce Western warning, Ihe invading force

However, ihe warning times presented in (his scenario are worst case from the USOur calculations assumed lhat Iraq's deployment timelines were unimpeded by pre-invasion Coalition strikes or delays in the flow of Iraqi forces south. Maintenance difficulties, transportation bottlenecks, weather, other intangibles, as well as insurgent and possible Coalition strikes probably would disrupt Iraq's plans and slow movement and attack times.

Iraqi capabilities demonstrated during4 move toward Kuwait, theattackn Irbil. and8 RGFC rotation suggest that Iraq would have difficulty achieving the unimpeded timelines calculated in this scenario.!-

Attackeliberateisappearing Option

In45 estimates, the Intelligence Community judged (hat Saddam's preferred attack option wouldajor operation using someoivisions, ledhtec division RGFC Corps. This option would aim touwait and rapidly extend combat operations deep into Saudi Arabia. Its size woulda lengthy buildup.)-

We now judge lhat such an option is no longer as feasible under prevailing circumstances.

to Western air strikes.

The combination of movement restrictions imposed by ihe Coalition, the greater lime required to assemble the assault echelons for (his option, and the presence of substantial Coalition air capabilities in the region make it difficult for the Iraqis lo execute this option.

IJmitations in Iraqi military capabilities. Iraq's military forces arc weaker than at (be time of5 Update, and Iraq has not developed an operational or technological counter to defeat the capabilities of Coalition forces.

Iraq '$ deteriorating transportationThe military supply and transport system is increasingly unable to handle large-scale, sustained operations. Although Iraq can surge ils supply and transport system for initial operations, its roads, rails, and transport equipment would begin to degrade almost

immediately. The cumulative elTect ofand shortages would become more pronounced the longer an operation continued,not to place his personal survival at risk. Second, he probably believeseinvasion of Kuwait wouldoalition response that could destroy his regime. P


Using this line of analysis, wc assessed5 that if Saddam were to attempt lo seize Kuwait, he would choose an option most likely to deter oroalition ground force buildup in the region. Only in that way could heore lethal reprise of Desert Storm. This option wouldarge-scale attack, of aboutoivisions, Io seize Kuwait and rapidly extend operations deep into Saudiaiming to seize reception ports and lo hold Saudi oil fields hostage.!-

Saddam's Calculus in Choosing an Attack Option I

As discussed in the previous section oftimate, we believe an attack of thatis no longer as feasible under prevailing conditions: Saddam prohably believes this loo.

judge lhat Saddam's fundamental gmds remain unchanged si/we our last Estimate. He seeks- aboveof his regime, and the restoration of Iraq's territorialIn the longer term, Saddam still wants to dmninale the region including rettiking Kuwait. To achieve these goals, Saddam's mostnear-term objective continues to be the ending of UN sanctions, the arms embargo, and other international restrictions. F

Reading Saddam's intentions is difficult. He can be impulsive and deceplive; critical factors important in shaping his behavior are largely hidden from us. But there are two fundamental guideposts that drive our calculus of his actions. First, we judge that Saddam would be

Desperate Behavior

If, however. Saddam senses lhat he isbeinge could alter his risk calculations. Saddam might conclude that an invasion of Kuwait, however risky, was the only hope of averting disaster. His intent would be to refocus world attention on Iraq. By threatening or actuallyajor military opera-lion in the region, most likely accompanied by threats to use WMD. he could hargain for full sanctions relief in exchangeullback of mobilized forces or. in the even! of an invasion of Kuwait, an Iraqi withdrawal,

Saddam might gamble that US political and popular will would break if he threatened to inflict substantial casualties on US forces. He might further conclude that Kuwait's GCC neighbors would be reluctant lo allow US forces to operate from their territories under such conditions.


A deliberate, major Iraqi attack into Kuwait is unlikely. Under prevailing circumstances, we judge an Iraqi attack into Kuwait is less likely today thanT

If Saddam decided to invade Kuwait underconditions, he would take thishe saw externally supportedas an impending likelihood;would be willing to accept significantprevent the collapse of his regime. Hisattack option wouldapidArmy attack using four toto seize Kuwait as hostage fornegotiations. WMD threats wouldhis negotiating stance. Ifthe Coalition response direcdyto destroy his regime, he would beuse

supervision, the regime has not been able to divert these revenues because they remain under UN control. P

In response to continuing economic and trade restrictions, Saddam, in parceling out limited resources, will continue to give priority to his ground forcesof their role inthe regime and maintaining internal order. We believe that demands on ground forces to conduct these missions are likely to increase with the continuation of sanctions andagainst Iraq.)-

military capabilities willlow and steady decline as long as both economic sanctions and the arms embargo are maintained. Smuggling and outer efforts to skirt the embargo will be inadequate to stem this trend. I-

c judged that Iraq would not be able to improve its military capabilities unless the ban on Iraqi imports and exports was modified or lifted, particularly the ban on oil exports. We also judged that there would be no significant modernization or force expansion as long as the arms embargo held. Our view remains unchanged. Although Iraq7 has been able to sell limited amounts of oil under UN

As in4 NIE, we judge that once the conventional arms embargo is lifted or rendered ineffective.Saddam orull-scale rearmament effort that emphasizes fielding the mostcapable systems obtainable whileix of older and upgraded equipment. Ground forces and air defense forces will receive the highest priority; acquisitions are likely to includend BMPs,, and theystem. Moreover, tbe modernization of Iranian capabilities will provide the impetus for redoubled Iraqi force modernization effortsost-sanctions environment.

An end lo the No-Fly and No-Drive Zones would significantly reduce the Community's ability to provide warning and wouldenhance the ability of Saddamike-minded successor to threaten hisFuture improvemenis to Iraq's military

capabilities need not be extensive to increase the threat lo Kuwait. Iraq's forces will continue to outnumber those of Kuwait, particularly because Iraq willarge mililary force structure to defend iis borders from potential Iranian threats.

Nalional Securily


Information available as of In April 1W9 was used In the preparation of this Nalional Intelligence KOlmale.

The following intelligence organizations participated in the preparation of this Estimate:

The Central Intelligence Agency

The Defense Intelligence Agency

The National Security Agency

The Bureau of Intelligence and Research.

Department of State

The Ofhec of Intelligence Support.

Department of the Treasury

The Director of Intelligence.

Department of Energy

also participating:

The Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence.

Department of the Army

The Inrceior of Naval Intelligence.

Department of the Navy

The Assistant Chief of Staff. Intelligence.

Dc|Mirtmcnl of the Air Force

The Director of Intelligence.

Headquarters. Marine Corps

This Estimate was approved for publication by the Nalional Foreign Intelligence Board under Ihe authority of Ihe Director of Ceniral Intelligence.

Original document.

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