Skip to comments.Iraq Using Russian-Made Anti-Tank Missiles(Supplied From Belarus Through Syria?)
Posted on 03/29/2003 9:36:22 PM PST by JudgeAmint
NEAR AS SAMAWAH, Iraq - Coalition soldiers operating in central Iraq have been instructed to search for Russian-made anti-tank missiles that Iraqi soldiers or guerrillas are suspected of using to damage two U.S. M1A1 tanks and a Bradley Fighting Vehicle.
The subject of the search is the Kornet AT-14, an anti-tank missile system the Russians developed that is guided to its target by a laser beam and is capable of penetrating the super-heavy armor made of spent uranium that is used to protect M-1 tanks. It is mounted on a tripod and can be fired from more than 2 miles away.
One U.S. commander here said he had been told that finding one of the systems was "a national priority."
The disabling of the two tanks during fighting Monday near An Najaf was the first combat loss of an M1A1, which Army soldiers had come to think was all but indestructible. The crews escaped unharmed and it was unclear how seriously the three vehicles were damaged, but a Pentagon spokesman in Washington said the missile punched a distinctive hole in the tanks' heavy armor.
Finding a Kornet would have a number of benefits, officers here say. In addition to allowing U.S. officials to examine it for weaknesses, finding the system would prove that Iraq had violated a weapons embargo that the United Nations imposed in 1991. The Kornet was not developed until 1994.
It also could prove an embarrassment to the country that provided the weapons. Official reports on the missile say that in addition to the Russians, it has been deployed with the Syrian army, but an intelligence officer with the 3rd Infantry Division said the missiles also might have come from Ukraine.
Officers here said Iraq might have as many as 500 of the missiles. In 1998, a Russian newspaper reported that 1,000 Kornet missiles had been sold to Syria.
Udays 800,000-Strong Guerrilla-Suicide Army
From DEBKA-Net-Weekly 103 updated by DEBKAfile
Uday Hussein, faithfully obeying his father, immersed himself from April 2002 in creating a vast guerrilla-terrorist army 800,000 strong, according to DEBKA-Net-Weeklys intelligence sources. Its largest component, around 650,000, comes from the ubiquitous Baath party, the Saddam regimes eyes, ears and informers in every corner of Iraqi society, together with members of Saddams Fedayeen (Martyrs) Division of the Special Republican Guards.
These Iraqi elements irregular and military were responsible for plaguing the American columns pushing north to Baghdad and playing havoc with their long supply lines, forcing the allied war command to take stock of the pace of advance on Baghdad.
From Thursday, March 27, allied air forces, while keeping the bombing momentum up in Baghdad, Basra and against concentrations of Republic Guards, began hitting back by pipointing pinpointed Baath centers. In two days, they attacked nine headquarters.
The regimes Baath loyalists were easily recruited. On top of his regular paycheck, each was given a $200 monthly bonus for attending military training three times a week and a further $50 for any relative over 14 brought in. The training included dare-devil driving tactics behind the wheels of pickup trucks, usually Nissens, while firing heavy machineguns or light mortars, planting and detonating explosives, mounting ambushes and taking part in coordinated sorties by groups of armed vehicles.
Their most effective weapon was one unanticipated by US tank troops: a Russian-made Kornet AT-14 ATGM laser wire-guided anti-tank missile capable of penetrating 1100 to 1200 millimeters of steel armor protected by explosive armor at a distance of 3.5 km. This formidable direct-fire weapon is fitted on the fast-moving Nissen trucks driven by the guerrillas. The Kornets drawbacks are that, to keep its sights locked on target, it must remain stationary after firing; moreover, its wire-guided missiles cannot be fired over trees, power lines or water, because the wire will snag and break disabling the guidance system. The Kornet will therefore lose effectiveness as US tanks approach the canals and power lines around Baghdad. However, in the open desert, the Kornet is helping Iraqi forces equalize the advantages of superior American weapons. It is credited with disabling a number of heavy American Abrahm-1 tanks and one Bradley armored troop carrier of the US 3d Division fighting in the central region around Nasiriya.
The missile and instructors for its use, DEBKAfile intelligence sources report, were provided by an old friend of Saddam Hussein, President Aleksander Lukashenko of Belarus. It was sent to over through Iraqs primary smuggling route across Syria. The CIA is investigating reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin may have given the nod to the delivery.
The Baath party hacks were transformed into guerrilla fighters by an estimated 700 Iraqi military intelligence officers who in the 1990s underwent long training stints in guerrilla and terror tactics in Chechnya with al Qaeda experts.
Uday is rumored to have made secret trips to Iran, Lebanon, Bosnia and Macedonia to bring 300 al Qaeda instructors over to Iraq. He also made a study of the deadliest terrorist practices incepted by al Qaeda and Taliban in Afghanistan and by Palestinian terrorists in their confrontation with Israel.
The pickup-terror tactic he picked up from Afghanistan, where Al Qaeda and Taliban plied dozens and sometimes hundreds of fast vehicles armed with light and heavy weapons as an instrument of repression against Afghan tribes and warlords. Fear of the white devils suddenly darting out at them kept tribal chiefs intimidated and obedient. Uday found them ideal for bedeviling US troops and their long supply lines in the open Iraqi desert as they came up from Kuwait and Qatar. At the end of 2002, he sent agents to Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia to buy 7,500 pickups with four-wheel drives, ostensibly for farms newly established to make the desert bloom.
Painting them in the drab colors of the desert, Iraqi mechanics fitted the vehicles with heavy machine guns, handing them to local Baath militia cells with orders to strike at US columns, waylay supply convoys and vehicles lost in the desert and terrorize US military camps bedded down for the night.
DEBKA-Net-Weeklys intelligence sources add that, after borrowing al Qaedas raiding tactics, Uday took a leaf out of Yasser Arafats suicide terror strategy. They report that while US intelligence officers were taking notes of the large-scale battles Israel conducted in Palestinian towns from April to September 2002 especially in Nablus and Jenin, Iraqi intelligence agents studied Palestinian combat tactics and sent in their reports to Uday by couriers passing through Jordan or Syria.
The Americans made a study of Israeli combat in the densely populated areas of Arab cities; Udays informants focused on the Palestinians failure to keep Israeli troops out of their Casbahs and the refugee camps of Nablus and Jenin, despite their honeycombs of narrow alleyways and interconnecting underground tunnels. He concluded that Israeli intelligence had been forewarned which of the alleys and buildings were booby-trapped and had kept Israel troops out of harms way. To be on the safe side, IDF soldiers initiated the method of passing from house to house by breaking through internal walls instead of exposing themselves to attack on the outside.
Saddams son also concluded that the Palestinians had not prepared a large enough force of suicide bombers to stop the Israelis from seizing their cities. Only in Jenin, in the battle fought on April 7, 2002, did a group of Palestinian and Hizballah suicide fighters blow themselves up and inflict heavy Israeli casualties.
After making a thorough study of these techniques, Uday ordered the 100,000 troops of Saddams Fedayeen commandos to set up small suicide units of 3-5 men in every Iraqi city including Baghdad and Tikrit. These men were ordered to greet US forces entering their towns by blowing themselves up in sequence and also picking off allied troops at vulnerably points.
Saturday, March 29, the first suicide bomber went into action, killing four US soldiers of the 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division by blowing up a taxi at a checkpoint on the Baghdad Highway 9 north of Najef.
Like the Palestinians, the Iraqis regard suicide terror as a legitimate military tactic for which military units are specifically trained, notably Saddams Fedayeen Division. The first Iraqi human bomb was a serviceman, NCO Al Jaafar al-Noamani, who was awarded two posthumous medals by Saddam Hussein. Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan went on TV to announce that blessed martyrdom was to be routine military policy.
US policymakers should urgently re-examine their assumptions about the 'progress' of Russia and China 'towards democracy'. They should take account of Sino-Russian strategy and should recognise that the long-term strategic, political and economic threat comes from a Sino-Russian axis and associated participants like North Korea, Iran, Iraq and Syria. The Russian and Chinese leaders are still committed to their objective of world domination and believe that, disguised as 'democrats', in accordance with Leninist teaching, they will be able to achieve it..."
by J. R. Nyquist
Except for the arrest of a leading al Qaeda official, the pre-war news has not been happy. Turkey turned its back on America at the eleventh hour, blocking U.S. troop deployments and throwing Washingtons military calculations into confusion. The French recently talked of vetoing a UN resolution on the use of military force against Iraq. Even the Pope, a man who lived under communism in Poland, has declared that a war against totalitarian Iraq would be immoral. On March 5 the Pope sent an emissary to warn President Bush that, God is not on your side if you invade Iraq. The Pope believes that a war against Iraq would be a defeat for humanity. Meanwhile, the Whittier Daily News is reporting that anti-war protestors trashed a 9/11 memorial last Saturday. Anti-war ruffians burned and ripped up flags, flowers and patriotic signs along Whittier Blvd. The deep rot of political correctness was not only apparent on the side of the vandals but also on the side of the local authorities. The Whittier Daily News reported that, although officers witnessed the vandalism Saturday afternoon, police did not arrest three people seen damaging the display because [according to police Capt. John Rees] they were exercising the same freedom of speech that the people who put up the flags were. These stories show that the West is paralyzed and divided. A larger power is on the march. This power supports Saddam and lifts him up. In recent days America has received two warnings about this power two warnings that, predictably, will go unheeded.
Leading Russian dissidents have written an open letter to President Bush, published by www.FrontPageMagazine.com. The authors are Vladimir Bukovsky and Elena Bonner two voices of conscience. Bukovsky is a man whose passion for truth and freedom led him to suffer twelve years in Soviet prisons, labor camps and psychiatric hospitals. Elena Bonner was married to the late human rights activist and Nobel laureate Andrei Sakharov.
Bukovsky and Bonner are worried about Americas alliance with Russia. In the struggle against Iraq and terrorism the American side has become too trusting. It has accepted the words of KGB officers who pretend to be democrats. Bukovsky and Bonner ask why is it necessary to fight for such a noble cause in alliance with regimes essentially no different from that of Saddam Hussein?
The case in point, is, of course, Russia, they explain. Contrary to popular belief in the West, it is not on the way to democracy and market economy. As Bukovsky and Bonner point out, in Russias last presidential election the voters had a choice between a Communist leader and a KGB colonel. And the KGB colonel won. According to Bukovsky and Bonner, the power was handed back to them, once again, and they were very quick to reestablish their authority throughout the country, as well as to reinstate the old symbols of the Soviet Union the national anthem and the Red flag in the Army.
Bukovsky and Bonner also have something to say about Russian organized crime. It is not [mere] corruption anymore, it is a system where the KGB (now called FSB) is running most of the organised crime, protection racket, drug trafficking, arms sales and contract killings.
A few of us in the West, thanks to the work of Joseph Douglass, know about the KGBs use of organized crime. What was apparent to a lone specialist fifteen years ago is now obvious to the Russians themselves. The truth is, Russian organized crime is linked with terrorism. It is the soup in which the terror organizations are nurtured. Failing to realize the connections between Russia, organized crime and terrorism, the West is bungling its way toward certain defeat. Bukovsky and Bonner were scandalized when British Prime Minister Tony Blair welcomed Russia into the anti-terrorist coalition because Russia has such a vast experience in fighting terrorism.
The two dissidents never thought theyd hear such absurdity from the lips of a Western politician. They remind us that, Russia, in its former incarnation as the Soviet Union practically invented modern political terrorism, elevating it to the level of state policy. Furthermore, as Bukovsky and Bonner point out, Russia has been arming Saddam for decades, providing him, among other things, with facilities for biological warfare.
Allying with Russia is a mistake because Russia is actually working against the United States. The case of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea illustrates the point. North Korean Gen. Roh Chunsok recently stated during a reception in Pyongyang that his government welcomes Moscows assistance. Gen. Roh added that North Koreas defense ministry has reached new levels of cooperation with Moscow. Our contacts are actively developing in the spirit of agreements reached at meetings between Supreme Commanders-in-Chief of our countries Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-Il in Vladivostok and Moscow in 2001 and 2002, Gen. Roh explained.
Some readers of this column are unhappy that Russia is mentioned so often. But any global analysis that leaves out a big player like Russia is no analysis at all. The wishful thinking of those who cling to false promises cannot stand up to strategic realities, however long the falsification of reality is insisted upon.
The warning of Bukovsky and Bonner goes to the heart of this problem. The two Russian dissidents ask a basic question that the West doesnt want to hear: [Is] it not true that your new partners such as Russia secretly sell military equipment (including nuclear technology) to the Axis of Evil countries even now? Will the United States ever learn this lesson, or will it continue forever to build up new enemies while fighting present ones?
But there is more going on than Russias contribution to the Axis of Evil. The politicians in Washington have committed a further blunder that will endanger America two-to-five years down the road. And this brings us to the second warning of recent days. I refer to a March 7 press release from the Center for the National Security Interest (CNSI). This warning, as strong and forthright as it is, will not get the national attention it deserves because of a cultural and intellectual disconnect that afflicts the American psyche. The CNSI statement begins with the following unequivocal words: The Center for the National Security Interest condemns the unanimous passage of the US-Russia Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions by the US Senate on Thursday. Implementation of this treaty will serve to eviscerate the US strategic nuclear arsenal by as much as three-quarters from what it was when the Bush Administration came into office.
The CNSI correctly points out that a threat exists from the Strategic Rocket Forces of the Russian federation, and from an increasing number of opposing nuclear states including the Peoples Republic of China, North Korea and possibly the Islamic Republic of Iran which are increasingly hostile . In this regard, none are so blind as those that will not see. The CNSI warns: This treaty does not require the destruction of Russian missiles or warheads, but merely requires that a certain number of them be redeployed on the last day of the year 2012. These missiles can be redeployed the day after under the terms of the Treaty.
In my book, Origins of the Fourth World War, I wrote a chapter called Treaty Mania. I suggested that this mania might lead to Americas undoing. Over a decade ago I wrote the following words: Seabed treaties, ABM and ICBM, biological, even Moon Treaties and Weather Conventions. Why so many treaties? And why is there so much faith placed in them? Could it be that urging us into so many empty gestures makes the gestures more mechanical, more knee-jerk? Is it a form of conditioning, wherefore, at long last, we sign, amidst heaps of paper, something vital, dangerous and irrevocable?
As the CNSI statement explains, Russia has withdrawn from START II Treaty restraints and has vowed to retain until at least 2016 the bulk of its SS-18 and SS-24 ten-warhead monster missiles, which were banned under that treaty. It has also stated that it will retain other MIRVd missiles such as the SS-19, which were to be reduced under that treaty.
Russia retains its nuclear power, backtracking on previous treaty commitments. Now why would our friends in the Kremlin do such a thing? And why would they be working behind the scenes to build up Iran, China and North Korea? Why do they oppose our war in Iraq? Is it because they agree with the Pope and the French and the anti-war movement (which they had a hand in creating during their previous, Soviet incarnation)?
Think of all the bunkers and underground cities that house the vast military-industrial complex of the Urals. If the 1990s UN inspection regime produced a fiasco in Iraq, the game is even more hopeless in Russia. And yet, U.S. authorities remain hopeful. This hopefulness springs from a cultural/intellectual disconnect. Politicians are the creatures of culture. Now take a close look at the pathologies of American culture. In terms of psychological effects, a culture can be like a prison with bars. Escaping from this prison is impossible for those who wish to retain power. To break with the received wisdom of the day is to enter a wilderness. And in this wilderness there is very little money and no power.
According to the CNSI statement, the nuclear missile reduction treaty ratified last Thursday lacks adequate verification or enforcement measures and so the Russian Federation will have precious little incentive to fully comply with it. It is nothing but a lifeline meant to appease Moscow by allowing them to retain the bulk of [their] heavy nuclear missile arsenal while the US disarms.
A culture of appeasement has grown up in our midst. A cynical disregard of national security for the sake of peace has corrupted our national psyche. According to the CNSI statement, Even the timing of US Senate passage was meant to appease Moscow and dissuade them from making good on their threat to veto the UN resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq. As Bukovsky and Bonner explained, how can U.S. policy work when it is guided by such inconsistencies? On the one hand we eschew appeasement with Iraq, on the other hand we are eager to appease Russia.
According to the CNSI statement, the Russian Federation will likely follow past practices by retaining the vast majority of its own current strategic nuclear stockpile, which already outnumbers the US stockpile by as much as five to one. Indeed, were it not for the Administrations ongoing charm offensive to forge a new alliance with Moscow against terrorism, despite the fact that [Moscow] has a long and extensive history as a supporter of terrorism, this treaty would never have been signed or ratified.
Here is a case of short-term thinking on the American side and long-term thinking on the Russian side. According to the CNSI, Passage of this treaty signals the beginning of the end for the US as a superpower and heralds its replacement by a surging Sino-Russian military alliance, which already greatly outnumbers the US in terms of nuclear and conventional military forces.
Only a deluded person, lacking knowledge of Russia and China, could disagree with this factual statement. It seems the war on terror has diverted policymakers from larger strategic questions. And that diversion, having successfully run its course, will find us disarmed or disarming in the face of an emerging geo-strategic challenge unlike anything we have seen before.
America has received two vital warnings about a larger danger that confronts us. Will policymakers turn a blind eye to Russias stratagems or will the administration be jolted to its senses? I fear that America has let slip her advantages of old and lacks the courage to correct past mistakes. Men are easily led into folly by false hopes. Vanity clings to a false victory. Arrogance and self-congratulation with regard our Cold War victory has led an all-too-human government to further miscalculations.
Weight : 60 kg
Range : 5.500 m
Warhead : HEAT-DW, FAE
Penetration : 1200 mm
Guidance : Laser
Platforms : BMP-AT14
This includes GB, France, Germany, Russia, the Chechs and even some of our new NATO buddies. not to mention Pakistan, Syria, North Korea, China and we will likely find more.
On another note, we have lost two tanks and no crew during numerous engagements and 11 days of fighting. There are thousands of Iraqi kills and most of their stuff is scrap.
I do not see much there! here!
Compiled by A.M. de Quesada
Of all the weapons used by the Volkssturm, the Panzerfaust was the most widely used by this organiztion. The Panzerfaust family of weapons was considerably easy to use. Simple usage instructions were often printed onto the warhead (see right pic.). Use of the Panzerfaust 60 was as follows: After detachment of the warhead the detonation charge and firing percussion cap were inserted (see pic.): the Panzerfaust was percussion-ignited like a rifle round. Then the warhead was again mounted to its shaft. After the sighting lever was locked in the "up" - position the gunner could remove the safety plug at the warhead and the weapon was ready to fire; the raised lever then served as the rear sight. The Panzerfaust 100 worked the same way except that the weapon came delivered ready to fire, charge and firing cap were already readied. The Panzerfaust 30 and the Faustpatrone had a slightly different arming system: instead of the lever it had a small cocking device in form ofan arming rod on top of the barrel. After the charge and the cap had been inserted, the arming rod was pushed forward until the firing pin cocks and the firing button protrudes. The weapon is now cocked but still secured. To finish the arming the gunner has to turn a safety switch to the left. The rear of the firing tube of again all Panzerfaust weapons was factory-sealed with a cardboard cap against dirt. This cup did not have to be removed for firing. After the warhead left the tube it armed after a flight of about 5m.
Aiming was done with said sighting device -marked for different ranges- as notch, the bead was a little stump on the projectile. Caution was to be paid to the backblast of the weapon, it created an explosion blast of two to three meters ( 6.5 - 10 ft.) behind the tube. Therefore on many Panzerfausts, especially the early Panzerfaust 30 m, a warning in large red letters printed on the upper rear part of the tube advised to stay clear:
Achtung! Feuerstrahl! ("Beware ! Fire Jet !"; see pic. below of four Panzerfaust 30 in delivery crate).
Sometimes other variations of this warning were stenciled on the upper rear. But the backblast wasn't only dangerous to bystanders: the rear of the firing soldier had to be free of obstacles for at least 3 m (10 ft.), otherwise heavy burns on the back of the firing soldier would result. Officially the rear of the gunner had to be free for 10m for safety reasons and the backblast was reported as lethal to a range of 3m behind the tube. Mostly the fiery backblast, but also the atmospheric pressure and the relative hazardousness of the blast's smoke put heavy restrictions on indoor use; this holds true even more for the Panzerschreck.
Despite the seemingly easy usage and the fact that simple usage instructions were printed onto each weapon, many accidents happened because of wrong handling of often ill-trained personnel, sometimes also because of material defects of the weapons themselves.
Although officially a single-use throw-away weapon, the used tubes of the all the Panzerfaust weapons were usually collected and returned for rearmament at the factory.
We have a big problem with worldwide arms proliferation.
I do not have the answers. I am one of those who is anticipating a big one within 10 years or less.
That may be the only answer unfortunately.
I am just being pragmatic, and not warmongering.
I am glad we got our fair share of German scientists after the war.
In some ways it was our German scientists against theirs.