Unseen War in Iraq
The Unseen War in Iraq
“There is a war outside the wire and we fight it every day on patrol, but the enemy is among us. There is another war, inside the wire, that although fought in silence is no less important to your safety. In some ways it is even more important because a man with his guard down is more vulnerable than a soldier prepared to meet his enemy in battle.” As a Senior Counterintelligence Agent in Iraq, this is what Dr. Richard Saccone warned during staff meetings with combat troops facing bullets every day.
Today’s modern leaner military requires the hiring of thousands of contract workers and local nationals to work on U.S. bases performing services from translation to manual labor, light construction, maintenance and more. Out of the several thousand non-military personnel hired, insurgents are unceasing in their attempts to infiltrate, living and working right next to U.S. soldiers every day. Access and information are highly valuable commodities. Whether they are insurgents, sympathizers or working under threat of harm to themselves or their loved ones, it is difficult to know where true loyalties lie.
Sifting through this human haystack, searching for the proverbial insurgent needle is the job of Counterintelligence (CI). Skilled CI agents work closely with Force Protection soldiers to identify and eliminate infiltrators and spies before they can harm U.S. forces in the sanctuary of their homes. This is the unseen war; the war not captured by the media. Without revealing classified methods that would undermine the CI effort, Dr. Saccone exposes the reader to the Unseen War in Iraq, a war of cloak-and-dagger and intrigue, a war interesting in its methods and critical to overall success. He reflects on his time spent at Abu Ghraib prison, raises thought-provoking questions relating to the difference between torture and coercive techniques, methods to distinguish between the “good guys” and the “bad guys” and provides deep insight into ways the military could improve their counterintelligence strategy.