Iraqi Military Capabilities3
APPROVED FOP RELEASE DATE: 1
1 imppobilhu i
Iraqi Military Capabilities3 [
This Estimate was approved for publication by the National Foreign Intelligence Board under the authority of the Director of Central Intelligence.
This National Intelligence Estimate was prepared under the auspices of Maj. Gen. John R. Landry, USAational Intelligence Officer for GeneralForces, and Ben Bonk, NIO for Near East and South Asia. Inquiries may be directed to Maj. Gen. Landry I
This Estimate was uiaircu uy iuhjcii nuss, HcrbOnnrll. and MAI lony Mauser,USA (DIA;,
Iraqi Military Capabilities3
The Intelligence Community has reviewed its judgments in the National Intelligence. Iraqi Military Capabilities9 I [of4 and the Update Memorandum to that NIE published inhis assessment:
Examines (he 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. Q
our4 NIE and the5 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 long as these restrictions remained in place.
Iraq's militaryotent force by regional standards and would continue to be resilient andresourceful in its.ability toforces and capabilities.
No Agency was willing to rule out Saddam's attempting another high-risk military confrontation, and the Military Intelligence Community believed that Iraq had at least some chance of quicklyuUidivision attack that could successfully penetrate Saudi Arabia and damage oil facilities in the Al Jubayl-Dliahran area.
Toward the Future
Iraqi Military Order of Battle,
Iraqi Military Capabilities3 [
Iraq's miliary capabilities have deteriorated significantlyesult of UN sanctions and damage inflicted by Coalition and US military operations lis military forces are even less well prepared for major combat operations than we judged in the National Intelligence. entitled IraqiCapabilities Through 4 and in an Update Memorandum published in_
believe Saddam's attack options have narrowed since45 estimates. Iraq's forces and transportation infrastructures arc weaker and at greater risk from Coalition air strike,that have been manifested in Coalition attacks such asx Consequently. Sad dam's probable preferred attack optionlarge-scale,oivision Republican Guard Forces Command (RGI-C) led attack to seize Kuwait and preempt or prevent Coalition reinforcement by extending operations into Saudino longer as feasible. |
If, however. Saddam senses that he is increasingly being "cornered,"alter his risk calculations. Saddam might conclude that an invasionhowever risky, was the only hope of averting disaster. Byor actuallyajor military attack against Kuwait,accompanied by threats to use weapons of mass destructionmight believe he could bargain for full sanctions relief inan Iraqi pullback or an agreement to stand down his forces.
An end to the No-Fly and No-Drive Zones would significantly reduce the Community's ability to provide warning of an attack against Kuwait.[
assess degradation has occurred at different rates to Iraq's variouscapabilities.
Air Force: Dramatic Erosion
The ability of the Iraqi Air Force to protect national airspace and to conduct effective offensive operations has, been substantialeducedhe combat proficiency of most pilots is low and continues to decline. The impact of UN sanctions is the major cause of the Air Ibrcc's decline. I I
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: Slill Sunk
Baghdad's Navy remains incapable of defending Iraq from naval or naval-based threats posed by either Coalition or Iranian forces, but it potentially could sink or severelyhip with its residual Seersucker forceQ
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: flagging troop readiness and morale; strained combat materiel availability; inadequate unit logistics and support; and weakened transportation networks and sustainmcnt
Kuwait: Attack Options
Most of the attack options available to Saddamemain viable today.
Using III Corps forces. Iraq could conduct raids to damage or destroy selected facilities west and riorih of Kuwait Bay. Because III Corps units are garrisoned close to the border and deploy for counierinsurgencythey 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. I"
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 Anny allack composed ol four lo five heavy divisions, of which two or three would be Republican Guard armored divisions.
Tn the absence of an adequate Western
iespouse. Iraq remains able to overrun Kuwait under cither of these attack
In45 estimates, ihe Intelligence Community judged that Saddam's preferred attack option wouldajor operation of someo IS divisions, ledhree-division RGFC Corps. This option would aim to sci/A* Kuwait and rapidly extend combat operations deep into Saudi Arabia to preempt or prevent Coalition ground force reinforcement. Its size wouldengthy buildup, I-
Although Saddam probably prefers an option of this sort-hoping to 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, we believe that an Iraqi attack into Kuwait,arge-scale attack that extended into Saudi Arabia, is highly unlikely today. I I
What If Saddam's Risk CalculusIigh-Ri.sk Desperation Attack
In the unlikely event that Saddam decided to attack Kuwait, he probably wouldapid buildup of RGFC-Regular Army units, 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.| |
Views of Outside Experts
To taproader range of views andwe supplemented our analysis byetiredJosepha warfighter. Gen. William Hartzog. USA_
Ambassador Wilson served in BaghdadH1 as the Deputy Chief of .Mission. He was the last American official to meet with Saddam liusayn prior to the launching of Desert Storm-f^
Ambassador Wilson agreed with tlie NIE key judgment that the impart of sanctions had degraded Iraq's military capabilities and had narrowed Saddam's attack options. He noted that this was an assessment the Embassy similarly reached prioresert 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 ofin Iraq's war with Iran. He doubted thai the Iraqi military could be inventive innew operations,hismilitary institutions and leader-sliip tend to plod
In contrast to the judgment in the NIE. Ambassador Wilson gave greater emphasis to miscalculation by Scuidam. rather than desperation, as tlie dynamic that wouldan attack to seize Kuwait. Wilson described Saddamcluiracler as an eclectic mix of narcissism, derangement thuggery, and unrepentant ambition.
Saddam would act upon any perceivedof weakness among his enemies, and for thisluis to be confronted with blunt force. In his view, this was why Desert Fox had proven SO successful. He felt that Saddam was -reviewing the Balkan crisis for opportunities to drive wedges between UN SecurityFrance. Russia, andtlie United States. | [
Wilson concluded that Saddam equates his own fate with that of the Iraqi nation.defines victory as merely his ownThus, as Saddam enwrges from each confirmation with the Coalition, he sees himself asnd havingenewed opportunity to pursue his regional ambitions. M
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.
Views of Outside Experts J ^continued)
Hartzog served as Commanding General, Training and Doctrine Commandnd wasfor Southern Command during Operation Just Cause in Panama- Q
(ieneral 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 to other regional ground forces. He cautioned that increased corruption in the officer corps might not necessarily be an accurate indicator of declining morale and leadership. He thought that the Iraqis might simply view this civ an acceptable method for officers to compensate for other hardships.
Hartzog tlumght that tlie operating style ofs regime was similar to that of strongmen lie had dealt with in Latin America. Hartzog's observation was that dictators over time purge individuals of nwderation and competence ftom their inner circle. Eventually theleadership consistshiefoterie of sycophants and blood relations. Hatzog doubled that the security forces of such regimes would fight to the etui for the tyrant, and he fell
that these forces would "flee like ratsinking ship" if the regime were confronted directlyommitted enemy. Q
We asked Hartzog about the judgment tlmt 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 felt that dictators such aswould only think the end was near when tangibly and directly threatened; forif Cotdition paratroopers were deployed on the palace groiaxds. In Hartzog's view, such dictatorsigh threshold forbecause of their delusions ofand invincibilityuld retain the belief that they could outwit their enemies through evasive maneuvers within theborders even as the country wasto massive attack. I
Iraqi Military Capabilities |
Iraq's Current Military Capabilities
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 mosl pronounced, reflectedontinuous decline of operational aircraft, sortie generation rates, and pilotAir defense capabilities have suffered more recently, primarily from destruction byair forces. Sinceaval forces have been more active; however.forces remain incapable of defending againstnaval or naval-based operations. Ground forces have fared comparatively better than other services, hut even they are less wellfor major combat operations than4
Despite these difficulties, Iraq's armedcapable of defeating internal
we continue to
r. witnoill significant and timely opposition from Westernraq could overwhelm Kuwait, because of the small size of Kuwait's military 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 Iran's ground forces. Finally, we judge that 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 bc 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 troops, 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 uf Saddam's intelligence officers over their operations.
"WtMCTnre defined as "June US ami Coalition unit*heater aagncaKd by US aad CoaHuoa forces that cowH rapidly deploy to the repeat^]
Iraq's Forces and Equipment Inventories as Compared to Other Regional Powers"
i i iii
" Artillery,.MRLS '
'Thin include* only ]Wisonncl oo active duly and nitiipmrni asscswd lo he unrrauonal bGrouiul IbfON peivonnel only,
MnchidOk wune command vehicle* (Iml weir nol included4 Iraqi louilvtvonnamuncc vehicles that wen- not included4 Iraqinbem.
between units islimited io discourage coup plotting. This approach reduces effeclive 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 loward elite security andGuard unitsimilar impact, especially in the Regular Army.
Family hardships 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.P
Nevertheless, in comparison to other potential regional foes, Saddam's military 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-establishedase 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 theyimplentcnt excellent operational secti-rity and denial and deception plans.| j
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 IZAF 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.
has had difficulty keeping Us bestflying. Since4raq has essentially grounded its licet 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. Byight activity increased, hut flight activity remains far below4 level.
number of aircraft sorties has declined, largely because of maintenance problems and shortages of spare parts.he IZAF averaged someorties per day, compared to arounde believe the Iraqi Air Force would be hard pressed to 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 than at any time since they resumed flyingilots are nowean level of onlyoours annually, compared toooursnly someoercent of IZAF sorties have been dedicated to combat training, and much of that lacks realism. Iraqi pilots have difficulty finding and striking ground targets during training. Wc judge the Iraqi Air Force has little or no nighttime or adverse weather 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 than
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 Defense
Iraq's Air Defense Forces are significantly less capable today thanear ago, primarily because of losses inflicted by Coalition forces in Operation Desert Foxnd subsequent strikes. Sanctions also havewith 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 two SA-6toercent from eachbeen 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 to pull back surviving equipment.
Losses ofReconstitution 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 the donor batteries nonoperational.
Damage from Defensive Efforts. Constant redeployment of SAM equipment not designed for mobile operations degrades readiness. | |
In the face of these losses and difficulties, the military has displayed considerable ingenuity and resourcefulness. Iraqi units have: modified tactics to reduce vulnerability; employed denial
and deception techniques with some success; decentralized operations to reduce time required for target identification; and modified equipment to improve electronic countcr-coun-lermeasurcs.
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 than5 of protectingforces and high- value installations from Coalition air strikes. Airrces 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 the impact of sanctions and Coalition strikes.^
Iraq's Navy was devastated during the Gulf war, and Baghdad has been able to do very Utile to reconstitute its capabilities since then.4raqi naval activity was limited lo small craft 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 craft 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 iwo lo Tour launchers left, and the majority of the remaining missiles are judged marginally operational at best.
Iraq lacks over-lhe-horizon targeting capabil-ilies lo ensure accurate, maximum range altacks by itsystem.
Shorter range engagements, out to aroundom. can be conducted with greater effectiveness.
With 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 boat* to lay mines or conductmining with drifting mines. Wc do not know the size of Iraq's mine inventory.^
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 wilh its residual Seersucker force. The Iraqi naval threat beyond its territorial waters is limited to potential harassment mining in the extreme northern GulfQ
Iraqi Ground Forces
Iraq has four fewer divisions today than it didaddam's six RGFCbackbone of hishis most capable forces and remain lhe 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 bc likely to have lowduring high-intensity combatIn comparison lo Iraq's other forces, the ground forces have suffered less degradation, in part, because Saddam has sought to preserve their capabilities so ihcy 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 uniLs still suffer from manpower shortfalls. Compounding this problem is the apparent unreliability within Ihe ranks,in the Regular Army. Harsh livingmeagerorrupt officer corps, and overall dissatisfaction continue to result in routine absences without leave andThe absences disrupt daily administra-the. training, and security functions.
Strained Combat Materiel Availability and Readiness. For the mosl part, Iraq has been able to retain or improve tlie 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 abouiercent of authorized tanks and artillery pieces and aboutercent or heller 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 duringuring the initial phase, maintenance losses alone probably would reduce the number of tanks and other armored vehicles by aroundercent form of cross-country movement. The loss rate probably would increase byercent per day for each day ofoperations.
Inadequate Unit logistics and Support Since5 Update, logistic capabilities and the inventory of support vehicles have degraded. Regular Army maneuver battalions and brigades do not have first- or second-line transport assets. liven the 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 (heir trucks; their division-level supply units only haveoercent of authorized assets, enough to support little moreingle brigade per division. Moreover, inhe RGFC was forced to transfer several hundred trucks to most Regular Army corps, underscoring the severity of some shortages plaguing Regular Army units. Vehicle repair capabilities arc also inadequate j
The capabilities of Iraqi ground forces have slowly but steadily eroded since5 Update, making them less able to 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 the 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. H
National Movement und Sustainmcnt Infrastructure
Iraqi national 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.
Equipment Transporters (HETs).
HETs are Iraq's primary means of moving its heavy divisions. We estimate the totalI IKTs in Iraq to number. roughlyercent more than4y employing all of these HETs, Iraqominal simultaneous lift capacity of one heavy division. However, the disablingignificant number of HETs engagededeployment of RGFC brigades during the summer8 suggests that these vehicles could bc prone to breakdowns during high-tempo operationsesult of poor maintenanceack of spare parts caused by UN embargoes.
Highway Infrastructure. Since5 Update, substandard materials used for road repair and maintenance have degraded the throughput capacity of Iraq's nationalespecially during inclement weather. Some bridges destroyed during Desert Storm have yet to be completely repaired or replaced.
Rail System. Iraq's railroads suffer from inadequate maintenance of both rolling slock and rails.l
Totals for Heavy Equipment Transporters^
4he Intelligence(IC) estimated tluit Iraq hadperational Heavy Equipment Transportershe IC now estimates that the total number of operational HETs (defined as the trailer portion of the tractor-trailerin Iraa has increased to. The increase in operational HETs primarily residtedfrom an intensive Iraqi repair campaign. We judge thatET trailers are inoperable.
US Central Commandn contrast, estimates that the Iraqi militaryotential inventory of
Tlie 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 reached in the threat scenarios. | [
Saddam's Attack Options
systems on some ot (tie 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. [ |
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) and long-range missiles to: I) counter Israeli anti Iranian capabilities in these areas;eter military attacks,those by Coalition forces; andchieve regional preeminence. Since th-of4 NIE.ave been reinforced bynd missile capabilitiesndia, and other countries. Iraq retains the personnel, documentation, and some of the critical equipment necessary to continue and advance its WMD andprograms.^
Iraq's Ballistic Missile Capabilities We assess that, in addition to the United Nations-autliorizedAl SamoudSRBM andRBM development programs, Iraq currentlymall, covert force of extended-range SCUD'type ballistica few mobile missile launchers,t/udl specialized cache of proscribedequipment. Most of the missiles are likely to bem range Al Hussein variant, but Iraq also nmyew ofm range At Abbas
litest1 nuiy 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 Clutmical 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 ofctiemical agent in bulk storage and filled munitions is betweenetric tons. We believe anons of CW agents could be produced using unaccounted-for precur-sor chemicals, which Iraq cannotmanufacture. The location, nature, and condition of these remaining stockpiles are unknown, bia if stabilized properly, these agents could be used for
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 faceetermined Western military response.
Weapons of Mass Destruction and Ballistic Missile Capabilities^
Mustard agem is the most likely component of the stockpile. Iraq also produced and stockpiled tabun. sarin, UF, and VX, Iraq also retains several thousand unaccounted-for chemical-filled munitions, possiblyew dozen Al Husayn musile warheads. p
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 botulinum toxin, and nuiy 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 wouldstill be effective. With theof UNSCOM inspections, we assess that Iraq will exploit opportunities to produce BW agents and further develop agent pro-duction capabilities.
Nuclear WeaponsDesert Storm,counterprocurementand import sanctions effectively puttouclear weaponsknown fissile material has beenfrom the country or placedcontrol, and all identifiedlutve been destroyed. In theUN sanctions and effectivewould need five to seven yearsforeign assistance to rebuildinfrastructure to produceIraq could produce ain five to eight years, withHowever, if'Baghdad canweapons-gradeoreign source, the limetake Baghdad to produce adevice would be greatly reduced.obtains fissile material(lull war technical
could have a
weapon ready for missile delivery in about one
Rapid Buildup, Major Offensives
Regular 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 the weakened readiness, morale, and reliability of Regular Army units. Saddam and hisleaders undoubtedly share this assessment.
would lack key divisional and corps logistic and fire 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 Wesl.
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 lhe four division attack, could position the attack force ofrigade groups in assembly areas opposite Kuwait in some four to five days if lhe flow of forces were unimpeded. In expediting the operation to reduce Western wanting, Ihe invading force
Assessment of Rapid Buildup Attucks
With little unambiguous warning and the absenceignificant and timely Western military response, Iraq remains able to overrun Kuwait with lhe combinations of forces wc described for lhe rapid buildup attack scenario.
However, the warning times presented in this scenario arc worst case from the USOur calculations assumed lhat Iraq's deployment timelines were unimpeded by pre-irrvasion Coalition strikes or delays in the flow of Iraqi forces south. Maintenance difficulties, transportation boulenecks, 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 unimmvlrd .timelines calculated in this scenario.
In45 estimates, the Intelligence Community judged that Saddam's preferred attack option wouldajor operation using someoivisions, ledhree division RGFC Corps. This option would aim to seize Kuwait and rapidly extend combat operations deep into Saudi Arabia. Its size woulda lengthy buildup.^
We now judge that such an option is no longer as feasible under prevailing circumstances.
lo Western air strikes.
The combination of movement restrictions imposed by the Coalition, the greater time required to assemble the assault echelons for this option, and the presence of substantial Coalition air capabilities in the region make it difficult for the Iraqis to execute this option.
IJmitations in Iraqi military capabilities. Iraq's military forces arc weaker than at the time of5 Update, and Iraq lias not developed an operational or technological counter lo defeat lhe capabilities of Coalition forces.
Iraq 'j deterioratinc transportationThe military supply and transport system is increasingly unable to handle large-scale, sustained operations. Although Iraq can surge its supply and transport system for initial operations, its roads, rails, and transport equipment would begin to degrade almost
Saddam's Calculus in Choosing an Attack Option J-
We judge that Saddam '$ fundamental goals remain unchanged suwe our last Estimate. Heof his regime, ami the restoration of Iraq's territorialIn the longer term, Saddam still wants to dominate the region inclutling retaking Kuwait. To achieve these goals. Saddam's mostnear-term objective continues to bc the ending of UN sanctions, the arms embargo, and other international restrictions.!-
Reading Saddam's intentions is difficult. He can be impulsive and deceptive; critical factors important in shaping his behavior are largely hidden from us. But there are two fundamental guidcposts that drive our calculus of his actions. First, we judge that Saddam would be
careful nol to place his personal survival at risk. Second, he probably believescinvasion of Kuwait wouldoalition response that could destroy his regime.^
Using this line of analysis, we assessedhat if Saddam were to attempt to seize Kuwait, he would choose an option mosl likely to dcler oroalition ground force buildup in the region. Only in that way could heore lethal reprise of Desert Storm. This option wouldarge-scale attack, of about li toivisions, to seize Kuwait and rapidly extend operations deep into Saudiaiming lo seize reception ports and to hold Saudi oil fields hostage.
As discussed in the previous section of this Fstimatc, we believe an attack of thatis no longer as feasible under prevailing ^condinons; Saddam probably believes this too.
If. however, Saddam senses that he isbeinge could alter his risk calculations. Saddam might conclude that an invasion of Kuwait, however risky, was tlie only hope of averting disaster. His intent would be to re foe us world attention on Iraq. By threatening or actuallyajor militaryin the region, most likely accompanied by threats to use WMD. be could bargain for full sanctions relief in exchangeullback of mobilized forces or, in the event of an invasion of Kuwait, an Iraqi withdrawal.
Saddam might gamble that US political
popular will would break if he threateneddeliberate, major Iraqi attack into Kuwait is
inflict substantial casualties on US forces.Under prevailing circumstances, we
might further conclude that Kuwait'san Iraqi attack into Kuwait is less likely
neighbors would be reluctant to allowthan into operate from their territoriesconditions.| )
If Saddam decided to invade Kuwait underconditions, he would take this decision because he saw externally supported regime destruction as an impending likelihood; thus, he would be willing to accept significant risks to prevent the collapse of his regime. His most likely attack option wouldapid buildup RGFC-Rcgular Army attack using four to five divisions to seize Kuwait as hostage fornegotiations. WMD threats wouldhis negotiating stance. If Saddam believed the Coalition response directlyto destroy his regime, he would be likely to use WMD.]
Looking Toward the Future Q
Iraq's military capabilities willlow and steady decline as long as both economic sanctions and the arms embargo are maintained. Smuggling and other efforts to skirt the embargo will be inadequate to stem this trend.
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
supervision, the regime has not been able to divert these revenues because they remain under UN control.! I
In response lo continuing economic and trade restrictions, Saddam, in parceling ouf limited resources, will continue to give priority to his groundof 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.j |
As in4 NIE, we judge that once the conventional arms embargo is lifted or rendered ineffective.Saddam or afigure -willull-scale rearmament effort thai 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, the modernization of Iranian capabilities will provide the impetus for redoubled Iraqi force modernization effortsost-sanctions environment.!-
Timeline show* unimpeded movement capability. Follow-on supply and lupporl units (Corps and Division GS Artillery. Division Maintenance Baiulion, Division Chemical Defense Company,ill require anays to close at ihe assembly areas. This timeline docs not include Army IIIAAA and RUICnits presumed to be predcploycd in southern Iraq before the invasion buildup begins.
end to 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 improvements to Iraq's military
capabilities need not be extensive to increase the threat to Kuwait. Iraq's forces will continue to outnumber those of Kuwait, particularly because Iraq willarge military force structure to defend its borders from potential Iranian threats. Q
Information available as of IA9 was used In the preparation or this National Intelligence Estimate.
The following intelligence organization* participated in the preparation of this Estimate:
The Central Intelligence Agency
Tlie Defense Intelligence Agency
The National Security Agency
The Bureau of Intelligence and Research.
Departmcni of State
The Other of Intelligence Support.
Department of the Treasury
The Dirccior of Intelligence,
Department of Energy
Tbe Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence,
Department of the Army
The Ihrcctor of Naval Intelligence.
Department of the Navy
The Avnstant Chief of Staff. Intelligence.
Department of the Air Force
The Director of Intelligence.
Headquarters. Marine Corp*
This Estimate was approved for publication by the National Foreign Intelligence Board under Ihe authority of the Dim-tor of Central Intelligence.Original document.
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