WHERE’S WALDO SADDAM? Newsweek‘s Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball want to know. They’re worried:

THE “SADDAM GOES UNDERGROUND” scenario is doubly troubling to U.S. officials, sources say. Not only does it raise the prospect of a protracted guerillalike conflict that could sap the patience of the American public, it holds open the possibility that Saddam will soon become like Osama bin Laden—a spectral figure who U.S. forces simply can’t find. “There is some concern about a guerilla war,” says one official familiar with administration discussions on the issue. According to this source, such a development is considered possible only if the Iraqi leader continues to have “a population sympathetic to him.”
Already, there are aspects of the U.S. targeting of Saddam that have begun to resemble the seemingly futile hunt for bin Laden. U.S. officials openly admit that they don̢۪t know precisely where the Iraqi leader is. They are also unable to say with certainty whether he survived the aerial bombardment of one of his underground bunkers the night the war began.

This is patently ridiculous. Does anyone really think that, if he can’t make people fight while he controls the entire coercive apparatus of the state that he’ll be more effective as a guerilla leader? Please.

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.