chapter  5
43 Pages

American Special Operations Forces, Iraq 1

ByDaniel L. Magruder

This chapter focuses on how Special Operations Forces (SOF) used technology to improve the identification process. It examines the apprehension of high value targets (HVTs) relied on collaboration to a large extent. The chapter discusses the context of special operations during the Iraq War. It argues technology enabled more risk-acceptant behavior on the part of special operators. The chapter reviews the fruitless initial strikes intended to decapitate the Iraqi regime which highlights the perils of relying only on human intelligence. Then, it uses two examples of American hostage rescues to show how informants can be useful when used in conjunction with corroborating evidence. The chapter examines the targeting of Uday and Qusay Hussein on July 21, 2003. It turns to the targeting of their father, Saddam, who was captured on December 13 later that year and the focus away from high profile events to show the identification process was the same at lower levels of operations as well.