Ralph Peters has some thoughts on the impact of Saddam’s capture:

THERE are three essential rules for men to live by: Never write checks to your mistress on an account you share with your wife; never wear any article of clothing featured in a New York Times fashion supplement; and, if you’re a dictator-on-the-run, never carry 500 pages of key information about your resistance movement around in your suitcase.

The circumstances and images of Saddam’s capture will reverberate for decades, with profound psychological and practical consequences in the Middle East and beyond. But the most immediate and tangible results have come from the documents he carried.

With breathtaking speed, our intelligence professionals in Iraq began scouring those papers for actionable data. They found it. And they continue to find it.

In Baghdad, Samarra and elsewhere, U.S. Army units launched a series of raids that scooped up key coordinators and financiers from the Ba’athist resistance, along with significant numbers of the middle managers and line supervisors of terror.

One raid brought in over 70 enemy operatives, another netted 30. Less visible operations round up more of the sponsors of terror every day.

This matters. It’s huge. Contrary to Howard Dean’s sour-grapes whining, Saddam’s apprehension certainly has made America safer. Even more obviously, it’s making Iraq a safer place for our troops. The calculus isn’t hard: When you take into custody significant numbers of Ba’athist terrorists – directors, financiers, middlemen, assassins – it keeps GIs alive.

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Paul says:

    It is fun to watch the media report all the good stuff that has been done in the last few days as a result of the capture then follow it up by telling us the capture does not matter and won’t make a difference.

    It really makes you wonder if they listen to themselves.

  2. McGehee says:

    Why should they? Nobody else does. <rimshot>

  3. Hal says:

    So, let me get this straight. America is safer because our troops our safer. But they wouldn’t have been in this danger if we weren’t in Iraq in the first place. Brilliant!

    Still no WMDs nor any means of delivering them. Kay is leaving while he still has some credibility left. Wimpy army of no threat to even the surrounding countries, much less the US. No connections to Al Qaeda beyond a forged memo consisting of a napkin written with crayon.

    Yea, capturing the guy left us in the same position we were in before. Well, without the occupation from hell and with our intelligence credibility still intact. Not to mention all the lives, money, time and resources that could have been spent – say – in Afghanistan or other

    But yea, our troops are safer. Glad the Iraqis are safer. Well, maybe. We’ll see in a couple of months.

  4. Wow. I want some of whatever Hal is smoking.

  5. Paul says:

    LMA- Hal is near suicidal with all the good news of late. Take pity on him.

  6. Hal says:

    Boy, you guys need some new lines. Where’s the creativity?