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April 1, 1986
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 Director ur t Central Lrq i ' Intelligence Is Iraq Losing the War? APPROVED FOR RELEASE^DATE: 14-Jul-2008 (b)(1) (b)(3) S \ IL 34/36.2-86 April 1986 copy      Y 4 1 THIS ESTIMATE IS ISSUED BY THE DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE, THE NATIONAL FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE BOARD CONCURS. The following intelligence organizations participated in the preparation of the Estimate: The Control Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Notional Security Agency, and the intelligence organizations of the Department of State, and the Treasury. Also Participating: The Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Deportment of the Army The Director of Naval Intelligence, Department of the Navy The Assistant Chief of Staff, Intelligence, Deportment of the Air Force The Director of Intelligence, Headquarters, Marine Corps NATIONAL SECURITY INFORMATION Unauthorized Disclosure Subject to Criminal Sanctions 04 0 -      ~                                                             cCT`IYCT SNIE 34/36.2-86 IS IRAQ LOSING THE WAR? htF3mieiliou .nailabl, .1? ..f S %wil 1411i w.n circ! in tin' lir+?IM1Ualin11 u1 16i. E.linialr. a6icli ..a? .gtitmt, d I, ,I \aliun.J Fun?ian Ii,i.I i? g* u... 11~?ttl ml 01.11 dah. I'age SCOPE NO'TI:......................................................................................   v KEY J I)GMENTS ..............................................................................        1 DISCUSSION ........................................................................................  5 The Sixth Year of War .....................................................................          3 Different Strategic Objectives ..........................................................       5 Iraq ............................................................................................... 5 .............................................................................    6 Iran .................... War on the Home Front ..................................................................             6 Iraq ................................................................................................ 6 Outlook .......................................................................................... f; Iran ................................................................................................. 9 Regional Implications ....................................................................... 10 Prospects for Expansion of the War ..........................................                10 Impact on the Gulf .................................................................  .      10 The Soviets: Interests and Options .................................................           11 The Soviet \'iee? ............................................................................ 11 Change in the Iraqi Leadership ..................................................            12 Implications ....................................................................................... 12 '1'Iti. paper exaunirtcs the prospect> of an Iraqi deft-at in the Gulf war. 'f'he )inter aclclrc:+.+e?s trends in (III- -ar and is unit limited to a spe" rifle tiutc frattte. While the paper focusc., on Iraq. Iranian rusulvi and rulncrability to attack are considered to tsautce? the Iikclilunul and ingtlications of a signifirttti shift in Iraq's war policies. Saudi Arabia Unclassified ran ?Mosl.he Solgmu Gu. Gsnkreh?. !?rJr?h"y Nhirk rn~o. r,.~ar p r016 ,-. i .. vi_~~ StClfe?, *TENMM, ?StglK s not Sh1th S A continual failure by liaghd:al to e.ploit it!' M-Mij. Military advantages over Iran will nivan that Iraq will suffer additional military setbacks and probably lose the war over the lone term. Iraq's strategy- to outlast Iranian resolve to bring clown the 13a'thist regime-will not work unless Baghdad s--bstautiully raises the costs to Iran. Only a change to a much more aggressive posture dt'signcd to preempt Iranian offensives and cripple Iran's economy would turn the war around: - Despite Iraq's advantage in weaponry, its objective is only to end, and not rein. the war-that is, to emerge with the 131 th re- gime and Iraqi territory intact. The regime translates this objective into a reactive. ineffective use of its Military forces that has largely yielded the initiative to Iran. - Although both Iraq and Iran are vulnerable to political unrest caused by war weariness and economic problems, in the short term Iraq's internal situation is more vulnerable because of declining civilian morale and more acute manpower shortages. Moreover. the narrow base of Saddam's regime makes him more susceptible to challenge and possible removal with little warn- ing. Iran's vital economic and military facilities remain highly vulnera- ble to Iraqi air attack, and a sustained and effective Iraqi campaign against these targets could severely limit Iran's ability to fight the war and ultimately force the regime to reconsider its policies-short of making peace. Baghdad's failure to launch a concerted air campaign emanates from a deeply ingrained aversion to broadening the scope of the war. Baghdad could well o on resisting meaningful change on this issue until it is too lat Iran's recent military successes have caused further decline in the morale of Iraq's war-weary population-Iraqis are depressed over heavy casualties from a seemingly unending conflict they fear they are not winning. At the moment. Iraqi troops still have the will to resist Ira- nian attacks and Baghdad faces little organized dissidence outside of Kurdistan, but further Iranian successes will heighten discontent over the war, embolden opponents of the regime. and snake security more difficult,l successors unacceptable as negotiating partner Utt the basis of yer) Iincited e?videttce?. me belir t grnotMittt: nu?r Sauk uttt's conduct of tht- ".It. i' ah?e:ul) nut inc aniunr: both utilitat?) :uul civiliauis and inerease. the rlianecs is-' assts inatitiii or. Ie.., likviv. it coup. \1'ouftl-lit. Coup pir,tttrs currently are rc.-trained by Iraq".' e i4iltent secur'it  serviee?s and the hclie?I that Saddaiii's fall ttould entboldrn Tehran to forge ahead to rntirel eliminate Iht tliist rulr its Baglttlad. If Iraq tlut?s [lilt begin to fight tht' war Inure effec?tivtIy, stem' niilitar) of- iicers may cnueltule that although Iraq that, lie cleft-ated without Saddain, it hill lost- it he stays. Most Iraqis probably ttonld rally in?Itind it nett- leadershii The leaders of it military coup t?rohably would pursue mere aggressive war p ilieies than a civilian regime. but a successor regina'- whether civilian or military-would suffer from infighting and in- creased internal dissidence. Iran probably would tied any non-Shia Meanwhile, declining oil revenues will hanrper l3aghdad's "guns- and-butter" policy of paying for both the %%-;If- and the consumer goods necessary to maintain the civilian economy and morale. Unless Iraq's Persian Gulf allies substantially increase their financial aid. Baghdad will be forced to cut imports by at least 25 percent. tar ,elt? at the expense of industrial and consumer goods and services. For its part, Iran is likely to launch a series of medium or small- scale border attacks in 1966 to weaken Iraq's defenses. If Tehran judges that Iraq's military. political. and economic situation has deteriorated significantly. Iran will launch it large offensive, hoping that a single major blow would shatter Iraq's will to fight and cause the collapse of the regime in Baghdad. Nevertheless. Iran probably will have si 11 ifi cant logistic problems if it attempts to launch a major offensive Iran's initial success at Al Faw has hardened the clerical regime's resolve to continue the war until the Ba'thist regime is toppled. The most likely post-Khomeini government will not be more conciliatory if the military gains more battlefield succcsses Iran's leaders are unlikely to scale back the war effort in the next 12 months unless the war leads to serious popular discontent. In the event that Iraq inflicted crippling damage to the Iranian economy- in as soon as four months. and certain[)- within a year, Iranian leaders would face instability severe enough to force it rethinking of their war policy. In the event Iraq diet maintain a campaign of effective air attacks. Iran would respond by first increasing operations against shipping in the Persian Gulf and, if desperate, attacking Iraqi cities. If Iraqi attacks 9 NOf ORN/NOCONiRAC i begau to we:tketi the Ir: itiait ec?ounnty seriously. the lr:utiatu could very likely iatu-ch terrorist or cuuun:unio attacks 4111 tl,e Aral) C:ulf states. Iran would he reluctant to t-mmil l the ground and air %%:u? jute these countries. It probably would not try to hluekatle or ioterdit?t all shipping through lln? Strait of Ilorntux beeaume of fear about US or Western intervention.= The defeat of Iraq ur they establishinent of it credible Ishuttic? republic in suuthern Iraq would significantly inertast? the thrcat'of instability for countries such as Kuwait and Bahrain. which have large Shia Populations. Shia restiveness in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia would also grow, as would the potential for sabotage against oil facilities. Political and ideological Pressure from Iran probably would cause the Gulf Caopcration Council states to draw closer together and appeal to the West for diplomatic and even military support to discourage Iranian intervention.= The Gulf war has not served Moscow's overall interests in the region-largely giving the United States greater opportunity to play a security role in the Gulf and to improve its ties to Baghdad. Moscow has consistently called for an end to the war, fearing that US strategic interests would continue to gain at Soviet expense. Despite Moscow's support for Baghdad, the Soviets do not want either Iran or Iraq to emerge as clear victor. Moscow has long preferred a relative balance be- tween the two countries as the best way to exert its influence in the re- gion.) If the Soviets believed that a major Iraqi defeat loomed on the horizon, they would be under considerable Pressure to help Baghdad. The credibility of the USSR would be at stake if it were perceived as unwilling to assist a country near its borders with whom it enjoyed longstanding ties. Furthermore. even though the Soviets would be unlikely to engage in direct combat support to Iraq against Iran. lending Baghdad military aid would hold several advantages for Moscow: - It would place the USSR in the Position of major player in the Gulf, rivaling the United States. - The United States would be hard Put to condemn the Soviets since the request would come from a regime that the United States itself has not wished to see collapse. - Moscow might see this as a way to force a dialogue with the United States about joint handling of regional security issues- including the Arab-Israeli problem. We believe it more likely, however, that Moscow would be reluctant to send Soviet ground or air forces into Iraq, even if invited. 3 d 46 The Soviets would have several less risky options for denatilstlatifig their credibility as an wily and as a major arbiter of Gulf politics. The Soviets ce,ultl pursue some combiuution of the following initiatives: - Deliver new weapoll systeltmti. - Supply additional military advisers and intelligence. - Increase tensions along bran's border with the USSR and step up military operations in western Afghanistan. - Enforce an embargo un Soviet-made arms reaching frail from Eastern Europe. - Stop the transit of Iranian inlp4)rts crossing Eastern Europe and the USSR. (s r.v) Short of sizable direct intervention, there is little the United States could do to shore up the Iraqi military position. Iraq remains well armed, and LIS military aid or advisers would only marginally improve Iraq's ability to defend itself against Iran. As long as Iran continues to have access to its non-Western suppliers-Libya, Syria. North Korea, and East European countries-it can maintain its military effort at current levels indefinitely. Under these conditions, a further tightening of the Western arms embargo on Iran will have little effect. (s N1) The Sixth Year of War 1. The. irate-Iraq war has dragged on for more than half a decade with neither sick able to end the conflict. iluth countries have been weakened by sear expenses and property losses estimated at a quarter trillion dollars and over a million casualties. Although Iraqi and Iranian military fortunes have waxed and waned, Iran's initial military success at Al haw raises questions about Baghdad's slaying power and whether Iraq may be losing the w?a~ Different Strategic Objectives Iraq 2. Iraq's obiective since 1982 has been to end the war with the Ba'th regime and Iraqi territory intact. The government and populace are extremely sensitive to casualties, and the regime must weigh the human costs of each step it takes. Similarly, Sadclam Husayn believes that any efforts to improve the effectiveness of his military must also guard against the emergence of any political rivals who could exploit the country's war weariness to seize power. These factors have heavily influenced Iraq's war strategy, which is to: - Defend Iraq against Iranian attacks, making clear Iraq's readiness to negotiate the war's end. Iraq hopes this strategy will wear down Iranian will over time, prevent a popular outcry in Iraq, and ensure continued international support. - Husband its resources for a long war. Use superi- or firepower and technology to inflict unaccept- able casualties on Iran while minimizing Iraq's losses. - Maintain economic pressure on Iran. - Maintain popular support for the war effort by shielding the populace from the costs of the war. Provide heavily subsidized consumer goods and getter      pensation to casualties or their stir- vivor 3. The Iraqi leadership perceives its strategy as being a reasonable one given the military situation, domestic, and foreign policy concerns. Iraq has consia- teniltr allotted its defensive strategy to become a reactive one, however, forfeiting the tntttaUce to the Iranians. Iraqi execution of tht? wear is cluiracterized by interference by politicians in military matters, misuse of inudern wetgwurs, unaggressice? coininaad- ers, and reltletative to preempt Iranian of lensive prei)- aratiosis or conduct their own offensives. Additionally. stx)radic, unagssressive, and limited air attacks on oil facilities,' shipping, and civilian targets have inflicted little serious damage to Iran's economyF__1 Table I Estimated Manpower and Equipment. February 1956 Irate lrau Al! annurtct srhieh s 9.UU11 ~:lMlit _ Millie, =air :bU _ Op'ralinnat clnnbat 4110. 41J uircratl SOU (5; I',.  i.uel ruder  i 'Y lslxl.etie? 11Itl1.1551. arnl~+ yi41.tltKt 1.550,1515 4. Although the replacement of incompetent com- manders and more aggressive tactics in the ground and air campaigns would improve Iraqi military effective- ness. the Bu thist regime's mistakes in pursuing its war goals will not be easily reversed. Key officials are keenly aware that their own miscalculations of Iran's resolve and military effectiveness have loci to their current situation. This fact, combined with the mis- takes presented above, stifles initiative, traumatizes decisionmakers. and leads to a hesitant and risk-averse approach to war fighting. Ironically, the more the threat from Iran increases, the more sensitive the regime must be to the political reliability of its commanders and simply holding on to po)w?er.l~ ' The,?mrnmrits remains nmeert.rin al^,a1 (ln prvci',? teasuu. for 1Tau s hevlanry to 10.3,05 a uniaii d air eaflrl,.Iiell against Ir.fll. i'nsfhli? e'pLwatf''ns range from a dee0i iueroiewd liar of eapand- fug the mat lies Ihtbt of presinns dis.utrn is 0i.e.dcui.+tions5 to fear of the etu+ilic Gauss ttuencrb of such it umu?. melt as aircraft Moues or relalialian. slant anal5 t  stet that none of thew adlwlualell e%plaim r        Iraqi restraint 3,t the Lire of siguifieaut r?terses in !h,? tlnil 5 ~SEGRC'~- it 5. Iraq's tunluns;etl ht?situnc?s :dxiut Mounting a srutaint?d and effective air C olt prior against Iranian t?er,ttutnit' targets raises serious tloubts that it ever will do so.  (I'm  a wore cturgllete discussion of Ir.in's vulnerability, see annex.) It probably Will t'ontines' with Incremental. though not nt'ct'ssarily effective. air attacks in the Persian Gulf and Iran. In our judy:mertt. the Iraqi Air Force has the capability of inflicting damage on the Iranian t'cunntny that would Iitntit Iran's ability to fight the w.Ir and ultimately force the regime to reconsider Its ix,licies-short of making Ixam.~~ 6. The shuck of the defeat at Al haw and the loss of an Iraqi city-albeit unoccupied-has provided the strongest stimulus to date for the Saddans regime to alter Its policies and use all air campaign to raise the costs of the war for Iran. Iraq has. in fact, increased the frequency of attacks launched, but this incrennen- tal shift has been Ineffective. If the Iraqis stiffer further setbacks, they may continue to Increase the tempo of the air war. The effects of these attacks on Iran's population and economy. however, could occur as much as six months downstream. if Iraq waits until its strategic situation is unraveling, Iranian resolve will have inerea~-~- a~ economic campaign slay well come too late. l 7. Significant casualties in 1986 would very likely undermine Iraqi military capabilities even though Iraq's equipment outnumbers Iran's by between two and eight to one in tanks, artillery, and aircraft. Recent losses have already weakened elite Iraqi units that Baghdad has often depended on in crisis. Further casualties increase Iraq's dependence on new, inespr- rieneed recruits and reservists. Although 177.000 Iraqi males reach draft age each year, poor civilian morale is likely to increase draft dodging and desertions, further reducing Iraqi military mantowerF_~ 8. Unlike Baghdad, Iran's objective has been to trio tine war. Khomeini's objectives-the removal of Sad- dam Husayn and the Ba'thlst regime and the establish- ment of a fundamentalist pro-Iranian regime in Iraq- have not changed during the conflict. To achieve these' objectives, Iran lass waged a war of attrition against Iraq to weaken civilian support for (lie regime in Baghdad and demoralize, weaken. and eventually cause the collapse of the Iraqi armed forces.) it. Iran will eoutimm to retain the solitary iedti:,tice? !,} ntaairnizinv. ih military  : d%alita:t's  rar?cialh in rnanta?wer :uul reliiious En'n'ui. It ust?c it. basil unini? walls  trained ttilnnti'e'rst and Itrvuhttionar) (;card troops to uvertt fn?hn Iraqi dt?It?n '  and Ictrve Iraq III mount c'ostly' ccimiter,ritat?ks. Iranian, eoitmuaaders have do nuuistrated acs rrssive mess and itnaeauutiun o0 the battlefield Its, huurvhiug surprise attacks on peak dc?ft?nses, in bad weather, or in purr Ierraill, which m?ututlizc?s Iraqi's rneclianized ford's. Iron's tactic' of seizing moulltainolu or swampy territory force's li;itdi' dad's armor-heayylorets either to cunce?de' tht? area or try to recapture it and stiffer heavy Iusws= 10. 'Nevertheless, we ix?lit?ve that equip+nt?nt short- ages, supply problems, and intersert?ice' rivalries will continue to hinder Iranian military capabilities. Lack of armor, artillery, and aircraft will limit the tempo. duration. and extent of Iranian attacks. The US- backed arms embargo has reduced or cut off most of the large arms sales to Iran Front Western countries. although Tehran has received military supplIts front the block market. Third World manufacturers. the Soviet Bloc, North Korea. Libya, and China. We believe that such purchases probably will not be large enough or arrive in Iran in time to influence battles significantly in the next year. Friction between the regular armed services and the Revolutionary Guard will     continue to undermine Iranian operations. 11. Declining oil prices and the failing value of the dollar alone probably will not place unmmtiageable economic pressure on the war efforts of either Iran or Iraq over the next several months. l'he lots- cost of Iran's "labor-Intensive" war strategy and Arab finan- cial aid to Baghdad probably will prevent critical shortages of military supplies in either country. Over the longer term. however, Iran will find it difficult if not impossible to afford large quantities of weapons and munitions, even if it can find supplier= 12. With a pool of over 460.000 Iranian males reaching draft age each year. Tehran will be able to fight indefinitely at current or even higher levels and still not suffer manpower shortages. Moreover. Iran probably can mobilize hundreds of thousands of vol- unteers and reservists for major battlcsi     I War on the Home Front Iraq 13. Iran's crossing of the Shatt al Arab waterway- an important defensive and psychological harrier- and seizure of Al Faw port  taco caused further -      ~ ffAWT;nny; , 2 ?!     i "!'fslon~! c                            E `Hatisr\                                                      / /. RI' L r~                                            J  !/ Naremd+ ~ ,                                 -. r' fC ;/ is    .'~!- .  ' Al BaPsh ,l !/ -     dandir-s- ; J Khnr~+mlhrr KhO1 tSYfl ; ' / ran \ a mm Q"r--.. 7 i 4.          nbe Rl i?? BGbiyan --;-                                     ..KUWAIT    ' ! Iraqi territory captured by Iran since March 19B4 - Persian Gulf cl lint, in IIn' morale of lr.tu's %%.i -wears IN'ttillation. 't'he Ir.tctis are iucre;tsinttls depressed over  lu?avs casualties and the pnlilects of still more lenses in a conflict they hear they are not winning Iraq has suffered about 400.000 casualties in the five-and-a- half-year-old war-the equivalent of over Whi in a population the size of the United States or I t ix?rcent of Irani moles of military agc0 Table 2 l:stintated Zasetallics, September 1990-Fehruar) 1950 Mlitt.irs L114dalxl witil{tl.tt   $'.3.41X1         I01.101 Ci%Ihtlu                                 10              'S T. i,,i p nxdarton                i:i:31K1--      1 illtlel " 14. At the moment, Iraqi troops still have the will to resist Iranian attacks. If Iran achieves a series of military successes, however, Iraqi morale and determi- nation to fight will deteriorate. Saddam and the ruling Bath Party are not popular, but the majority of Iraqis-even the Shias, who comprise 35 percent of the population and 70 to 80 percent of Iraq's fighting forces-appear to prefer secular Ba'thist rule to Iran's brand of Islamic fundamentalism. The Ba thists have vigorously courted Iraq's Shias by employing an astute. but expensive, combination of carrots and sticks. D(-- spite vast improvements in the standard of living of Shias under Saddam and efforts to integrate them into society, most Shias are lukewarm toward the regime. As the death toll mounts, the apparent enthusiasm they once felt for Saddam has switched to resentment over   starting the costly war and his inability to end it 15. Declining oil revenues will hamper Baghdad's efforts to shore up sagging spirits. Until recently. the regime has effectively shielded consumers from war- related deprivations. Baghdad has instituted price controls and price subsidization of basic necessities. free or heavily subsidized public services. anti gifts to officers and families of the war dead. These measures have been reduced gradually over the blast three years. and falling oil prices, combined with the decline in the value of the dollar, will force still more austerity- measuresl Iii.  1)r111ite? the reci?Itt UIK?Itillt. of the oil pilx'-int, tee Saudi Arabia. ae estxct Iraqi oil eelxtrts to getter,tte tint) alxntl $ti.5 hiilian this ye.tr, kavitn: a shortfall of $ s billion at current import rate,. Even it. as appears likely. Iraq cyan p erstiade foreign creditors to roil over satme? $1.5 billion in debt payno?tits due this ear anti (;uhf allies pretvide aid of al         nllion. Iraq must stare irnporls by 2.$ ;x?reeul. 17. Barring a sharp increase in financial aid froth the (;tiff states, the burden Will fall largely eon irmxtrts of industrial and consumer gexxls and services. Minis- tries reportedly are preparing to lay tiff workers, and shiirta es of i,ntxtrt;utt consumer gixxis have already aplx?ared. Further cuts in benefits for military officers also stern likely. Iraqi efforts to pursue more restrie- tive fiscal and monetary  policies will not prevent inflation front increasing. 18. Iraq :s security services-widely regarded as among the most brutal and effective in the Arah world-have largely eliminated most organized dissi? clenee outside, of Kurdistan and intimidated potential dissidents. The task of the services will be more cliffivult in the coming year. There have been more reports of open civilian and military criticism of Saddant's leadership. This development could embold- en dissidents, but the very effe?etivellss of the police state will tend to mask indications of impending troubl~ 19.:\t presetrt,  awa and  other Shia  dissident groups are divided and weak. The arrest of Dawn and other Shia activists. the execution of prominent lead- ers. and the expulsion of over 60.0110 Shias of Iranian descent appear to       ed Shia rebels to operate largely outside Iraq O. Kurdish guerrillas seeking greater autonomy pose a growing, but still manageable. threat. Some 5.000 rebels control much of the mountainous border areas north of Mosul. Irbil. Kirkuk. and As Sulayman- iyah from which they stage attacks against govern- nyent, military. and economic targets. The Kurds- who receive limited military support from Syria. Libya. and Iran-are likely to step up their operations in the spring and summer and will continue to tic up thousands of Iraqi militiamen. Baghdad. however. probably will not have to divert significant numbers of troops from the front to contain the K!uds.l Outlook I. We believe Iran is likely to launch a series of nwciiunt or small-scale attacks along the border in I9SIi to maintain pre-ure? on frail. Tehran may judge S that op s'raliuns similar to Al Pats Could calls(- the ir,titi Army to (rumble or will help prepare the way lilt a natlur Iranian tltack in late, 1951; or early 19S:. A st?rics of -tnall?seale attacks would tire' attd iiistit?ne Iraqi units, wear out equipment, acid keep the' Iraqis In a etlistant state of :der] and apprehension. 'I'e'hrm would Ix)rtray such npx'rations as it succession of Iranian victories in order to lower Irtgi civili;u] mo- rale, foment popular unrest, and weaken support for the Baghdad regime. If, however, Iran fails to keep up military pressure tilt Iraq. Baghdad will reinforce its defense's, rebuild its forces, aml 1     better position to resist Iranian attacks in 19%, 7lel 22. If Tehran judges that the Iraqi military anti political situation has deteriorated in 19.if, it will most likely try to launch a large-scale offensive in tote's that it major blow will shatter Iraqi th?fenses. Iran would p-obably see a combination of coup attempts or plots, civilian unrest, ixrr combat Ik'rfornsancr by many Iraqi units, and large-scale desertions as evi- deuce that an offensive would very likely succeed. The attack probably would attempt to isolate and capture Al Basrah or the Iraqi cities of Mandali or Khanagin. If Iran can overcome significant logistic difficulties, the Iraqis might not be able to redeploy units quickly enough to stop Iranian advances, and Iraqi defenses in the south could collapse. Because of the potential magnitude of this loss and probable continuing Iranian attacks, remaining Iraqi forces probably t sorely tested to stop further Iranian advances 23. Such major Iraqi military defeats might spur efforts by disgruntled Iraqis to ass,issinate Saddain. He has escaped over a dozen such attempts since the Ba'thist coup in 1968. If Saddam Is assassinated or dies a natural death, the Revolutionary Command Coun- cil-Iraq's highest ruling body-would appoint his successor. No successor would enjoy a strong power base, and a collegial type of leadership would emerge that would give greater influence to the military. The new government would test Iran's willingness to end the fighting following Saddans rem- of Teh- ran's principal negotiating demands. 24. Saddam's death would trigger maneuvering for power by various military and civilian Ba thists, em- bolden opposition to the Ba'thists, and probably re- duce the effectiveness of the security apparatus. Most Iraqis, however, probably would rally behind the neu- leadership, and it Is possible that a collective leader. ship, more open to alternative views, might even fight the war more effectively.= 25. In any event, the risk of a military coup will continue to increase unless Baghdad's scar fortunes reverse or Iran shows signs it might be willing to end tht- user. The-re art. more intltratiou? of e.rutnbliott ott?r niismitmgtetaetit illtit( %t.tt iii the utilit,trs anti autnnt: sitilians. Officer, and tnMrps arc uptel liver pxrlitie'al intt?rfercutr in ntilitars tI' ision makiutr coin Iraq's inability- to brim: Tehran to the bargaining table despite iiaglulad'' sapx?riurit in till lit;it$ J~ioeftilt.-lit. ~ Sn far, the dissitellVtnntuim unurganirc 26. A coup) is uotikcly in the meet fete mmttIls- uhx?nt a major military setfsic?k-lit'eausc of Satldams effective' securit apparatus and his apiaintinont of loyalists to key positions in tile- military. Moreover. we believe military officers would In- reluctant to risk switching leaders in wartime. Instead, the military probably will pressSaddan; for policy and operational changes to Improve Iraq's war making ability. If Saddan) dies not comply, will Iraq expx'ricttces mare reverse's. elements within Iraq's military are increas- ingly likely to conclude- that. although the war may not he winnable without         the lu?Im, they are certain to lose if lie stays. 27. The leaders of a military ctitq)-almost certainly Bii thists-would rule collegially and would follow poli- cies similar to those of civilian successors to Saddam. Military rulers, however, probably would pursue more aggressive war lwiicies than a civilian regime Successor regimes, whether civilian or military, would suffer front infighting and increased internal dissidence. For its part. Iran would not find Ba'thist milit?    icrrs any more to its liking than civilian Ba'thists. Iran 28. We do not expect Khomeini to change his conditions for ending the war over the next 12 months. The success at Al Faw has hardened the regime's resolve to continue the sear until the Bre'thist regime is tonnled and an Islamic government is established. 29. An improved Iranian military situation will also reduce the already slim chance that a post-Khomeini government would change Iran's objectives. Even if the war remained stalemated, the likely successor government probably would initially be uncompro- mising on the Issue of Saddam. The principal contend- ers for power after Khomeini's death will try to outbid each other for recognition as the chief protector of his legacy. including, especially. his adamant Opposition to the Iraqi Ba'thists. None of the contenders would want to give opponents an issue to exploit by advocating a softening of Iran's war policy. particularly while the ' Par a nwre. tongm?ht,u<e.e ln?,etnu?ut .4 thn hut,. n?it,r to tilt, \h?mnramtmn it- I IoW-r. of 5            ran + Pro..prrfs Jor Scar Tenn stahdiri;. Pebru.u) Writ --stetrel- NOFORN/NOCONTRACI U. The clerics are likely to chat gt? their abiectivcs only if they perceive that the wear ha% hs e4nltt, a sis:nifietnt c;utx? of Ixg,nlttr discontent severe enough to threaten the restitnc?s survival. and that winding down the scar is the only way to rever.M that trend. We clo not helieve the reitinte will face such a choice over the next year given Ir:ecl's current military tx,lies. A resurgence of war weariness autl ctindintad vetinou- is cletcrioration in Iran during that time inay ribe? the lvvCJ of popular discontent. but, by holding the initia- tive, Iran has the option of scaling back operations rather than abandoning its objectives.= 31. Popular willingness to continue' the ww?:ir is likely to decline significantly If Iraq inflicts significant Iran. ian casualties or cripples the Iranian economy through airstrikes on oil export facilities and economic infra- structure. Most Iranians would at first direct their anger at Iraq, but we do not believe the Iranians have a limitless capacity to endure privation, unemploy- ment, inflation, electricity outages, and shortages of some key imorts. Increasing numbers of Iranians would question the diversion of resources to fight a war that does not directly involve the survival of the state. A decline In popular morale is likely to be avoided only if continued Iranian successes on the ground convince the populace that victory on Iran's terms is still a realistic possibility 32. Iranian leaders would face significant instability if Iraq repulsed major Iranian advances in the ground war and mounted a successful campaign to cripple the Iranian economy. This could be severe enough to force a rethinking of their war policy in as soon as four months and certainly within a year. By instability, we mean repeated antiregime demonstrations, strikes, sabotage, and other Incidents throughout Iran. The Iranians are unlikely, under any circumstances, to declare a formal peace. Their most likely choice would be to wind down the war and eventually accept a de facto truce= 33. The decline in all prices is also imposing pres- sure on the Iranian economy and popular morale. Lowered revenues alone, however, are not likely to lead to regime-threatening instability within the next year. The foreign exchange reserves available to Iran will prevent the effects of even a precipitous decline in revenues from being felt for several months, and several more months are likely to pass before antire- gime activities could reach serious proportions.n Regional Implications Prospects for Expansion of the War 3.1. Telir.n, would restn,uil b, inert-wed Irani air attacks by initially stepping wr military utx ruions in the Persian (;ill(. It would increase attacks on oil tankers frog, the Gull( states, p erhapc we?izirlg soitu? as comgx nation. and ctmfisc;te eargen'., fxnnnl fur Iraq If desix?rate. Iransiutiltl launch air and missile attacks against Iraqi cities. Into prob:+hl? would expand the oat to the Arab Gulf slates only if Irani attacks bt'gall to setiousl weaken the Iranian ecunitny. Tehran then would consider using Iranian-backed terrorists to at- tack oil facilities Ili the Culf states or to foment civil unrest against the local government. Iranian so,n nan? dos or aircraft aright raid offsiu,re oil-loading facilities. We judge that Iran would be' reluctant to expand the ground war to the Gull states or try to close the Strait of llormuz because of the fear of I'S or other Western intervention 3.. Falling oil prices. combined with the widely held perception of its military prowess, has caused Iran to abandon its relatively moderate policy toward the Cull states. Iran will continue to use its leverage to try to force the Arab states in the Gulf to end their support for Iraq and to cut oil production to stabilize prices. Iran has attempted. without much success. to drive a wedge between Iraq and the Gulf states by cultivating good bilateral relations with them and by generally refraining from sponsoring terrorism against them. Although Iran has attempted to coerce the Arabs since the Al Faw campaign with blunt threats of retaliation if its demands are not met, so far the Culf states have held firni0 36. If Iran is not able to secure Saudi cooperation to shore up oil prices. Tehran is likely to make good on its threats to use force. As a first step. Iran probably will try to attack or interdict tankers carrying oil from the neutral zone to he sold on Iraq's behalf. If this tactic fails to gain Saudi compliance and low oil prices begin to seriously hurt Iran's economy, Tehran may step up its pressure by sponsoring terrorism against Gulf state facilities Impact on the Gulf 37.A major Iraqi defeat-including large territorial losses-would probably be followed by the establish- nient of an Islamic republic in southern Iraq. This development would have significant consequences for the stability of those Gulf countries with large Shia 10 Ixepul:etintls-list ahls Kuwait and liahroin. Many Shi- us in these countries. Si well as in tilt (ary:e tibia txtpulation of Saudi Arabias Idartern i'rottnce. have long been synlpathetie to the goods of the Irmiatl Islamic rt?gitne? and inspired by the e?x:unple of tilt- Ayatollah Khonn?ini. Moreover. Sunni fun lanu?nt:dists around tilt- Aral) world-while not wishing to import most features of Tehran's Islamic itepublie-will draft further inspiration and etlcouragenient front a defeat of secularist Iraq by Islamic force 35. Another Khomeini-style reginie would invigo? rate Shia CIt'tllents to agitate More oix?uly and force- fully against their Sunni-dominated novernnn?t:ts. Government repression of Shins would increase as security services moved to quell any visible signs of opposition to the government. Sunni-Shia tensions among the populace, never far below the surface. se and probably lead to Ulm-it clashe.s. 7`7 39. Iran would try to use its increased political and military power to gain the lea ding role in OPEC and pressure other members to lower production and raise prices. If Iran acquired leverage on Iraqi oil produc- tion, It would rival Saudi Arabia in ternis of both production capacity and reserves. Riyadh, therefore. might be inlinifililled nto working with Iran to raise oil prices The Soviets: Interests and Options The Soviet View 40. The Gulf war has not served Moscow's overall interests in the region despite boosting Soviet arms sales: -Moscow alienated Iraq early on in the war by placing an arras embargo against Baghdad in an unsuccessful ploy to curry favor with the new Iranian regiote. causing lingering distrust. - The war sparked deep concerns in the Gulf. causing the formation of the Gulf Cooperation Council (CCC), which turned to the United States for strategic assistance against Iran. -The war has complicated Soviet efforts to achieve greater cooperation among Iraq. Syria. and Libya, all of which have longstanding mili- tary ties to Moscow. -The Gulf states' concern over the war and their need for US security guarantees have tended to offset resentment against the United States for its pro-Israeli stance. - (ant tro?u?d closer to time V t?si unrtnalited rt?la- lions flint till. I.ttite?d State.%. and tnlopled a invite tmalr?ratt? Itosition on toast reKitttntl issue". 41. Moscow has consistently e:dlt?d tilt alit c ml to the war, fe.trint: that tilt I'S would vontinue to advance its strategic interests at Snvivt vxI)e ne. Usuablv to Make amty significant inroads in its relations with ieheat,. Moscow has supin,rte?d hart-preeviding over $11 billion worth oil areas to Baghdad since the war hag:m. Its senior officials have continued to pnblicls ^ urge Inith parties to end a war Granny io its described as "iilogieai"-suggesting that it dots not 42. Despite Sinsccnds supix'rt  for  Baghdad. the Soviets du not want either Iran or Iraq to enu?rge as clear victor. \loscuw  has lung preferred a relative balance between the two countries as the best way to exert its influence its the region: - A victorious Iran lint only would uude?nniut? Soviet influence in Baghdad, but also probably would make the Khomeini regime even less suseeptibk? to Soviet inroads or pressure and free up assets that could be used to support the, Afghan mujahadeen. Moreover. the Kremlin would not want to see an anti-Soviet Iranian regime, whose Islamic fundatnt?ntalism might potentially attract followers amnng the USSR's approximately- 45 miflinn Muslims, s rt:ui its influence beyond Iranian borders 43. if the Soviets believed that an Iraqi defeat loomed on the horiron. they would be under consider- able pressure to help Baghdad. Soviet credibility would be at stake if it were perceived as unwilling to assist a country in need of help near the Soviet Union with longstanding ties to the USSR. Furtherm ore. helping Baghdad would hold several advantages for Moscow: - It would place the USSR in the position of major player in the Gulf. rivaling the United States. - The United States would be hard put to condemn the Soviets since time request would cone from a regime that the United States itself has not ,wished to see collapse. - Moscow might see this as a way to force a dialogue with lit(, United States about joint hau- dling of regional security issues-including the Arab-Israeli prohlc'm. 46 In spits' of tlu?.w? urt?unrn+ and intiutrmentt Is act. luau?ver. the Soviets are unlikels it- use 51Iii ict (annual Forces to Ir.rtt 44. In a prc+lunKcd ett?f grill, the Soviets w oul(i have several options designed to deuu+ustrltt Soviet ctc?di? biltts as an ails and as a major arbiter of Gulf iodides. TIie Soviets could pursue wine combination of tlit- following iriitiutivcs: -- Deliver new- wealxrn systelns such as the mort? accurate SS-21 surfaux-to?surface missils' or she longer rllige SS- I-.,. - Supply additional military advisers and intelli- genet?. possibly cvcr+ using the Soviet military advisers in Iraq to participate in tactical planning and operations, if Iraq rnadc the re(piest. - Heighten Iran's concern about direct Soviet mili- tary action by increasing tei ions alms: Iran's 1xirder with the USSR and step np military operations in western Afghanistan. \loscsw could e?.?eit create incidents along the Soviet ixsrder involving sonic exchange of fire. - Enforce an embargo on Soviet-inade arms reach- ing Iran from Eastern Europe and try to impxrst? similar restrictions on Syria, Libya, and possibly even North Korea. This would involve extx?ndi- tore of considerable equities with these states in order to enforce Moscow's will. - Stop the transit of Iranian imports crossing East- ern Europe and the USSR 45. Even less likely- - Moscow could send fighter squadrons to Baghdad and fly air attack missions against Iranian troop concentrations or targets inside Iran. - Moscow could fly combat missions against Iran from airbases iit the USSR. 46. None of these measures-other than utaior Sovi- et participation in air combat against Iran-would prevent Iran from continuing the war. They would, , The Sos iels fate ou hlerable Iaci.lle ilifficnltir.. parusnkrrtt in it rapldls drh?riotatiec situatiuo A s inbohr (our ?ill Nnt deist Ilan Altlumch air Ir.uu+wrt eonld IN, itiikkrit. IS,'  .'s Is uovld Inns Is, obtaitr 1wrlniviuo for nunn?rou. oserflighls from 1'urksl ? r risk (hint oter Irauiau Irtritw$. The Sruat?rs eunld n?rpnn? "(seal darn( In wild ;t Iactihd Air recintmt .41t,ijii r,tlt i and At 11-at ,r nr?r?k It.. mid m enure uirlNrnu? lit isioo, sago- ..toot nits'. W Irate While mush forces rnicld sloe agog an Iraur.m adtanrr. Iles ((gold nail It., IN? gnlt?kl$ retnlnrorl with uum? Ill-.I% 11% aruled lira-(--Urolr.lhh rsquirinc >sveral oaks Is' st?teral ulanth, -4s' enecliu?ls hold b.rsk hutts'tor. tevvrt'Is daltiage tillsot .t: 6upN?+ u) tnt?. pnisimc relation, ttith Itau uvt?r tilt- lintuvr tarn. itelatiiuls t',itlr taut'( rit.dt tsould IM. straitied, %thile tilt- Arab conmlrios that suppsirt Ir.ttt proll,ihls mould Ile sti5pit?iutl% of Soviet iulentirtrtt. Direct Stniet ntili- tars voliflic?t itith Iran culild I,?eusnM dantt?ruUs to Mox'Rl if it led lit ;t broader Soviet?tainiau trlilitars engagemt?nt. which t'stuld Itt?i0iten the prink'('(, Ill a US-Soviet confrontation user Iran: - Out balance. we believe the Soviets will Ill- unlike' ly to eukattt? in direct cnudrat support ltn Iratl against Iran. but Muuott would need to calculate the imp act of the collapse of a country near its lxtrdt?rs with %%-hi ch it has had I Friendship Treaty silwe 19:2 Change in the Iraqi leadership 47. The effect of Saddam s dvniist? oit Soviet-Iraqi relations would depend upxru the nature of the regime that replaced him. From Moscow's, standpoint. an Iranian-dominated Shia regime or a more Wvslern- oriented leadership would lx- worse ailernatives than Saddaln.? If Saddam were simply replaced by his chief lieutenants-the most likely scenario-chances are they would share his distrust of the Soviets. although they probably would not allow this to dominate Iraqi policy toward the USSR as Saddarn often has. The Kremlin might try to ingratiate itself with the new leaders by offering better credit terns on anus pur- chases. sums of the more advanced weaponry it has been reluctant to provide, and possibly intelligence and security sumxrrt to help them maintain power. The relationship might become less acrimonious in this case but probably would not dif~?"      ly from Ihat which prevails under Saddusnm Implications 4S. In the event of a looming Iranian victory, the Gulf states would seek reassurance from Washington that they could still count on US support in the event of direct Iranian threats. These countries would seek and expect public statements of support for their territorial integrity and security from the United States and from West European countries to reduce the appearance of rushing into the US embrace. They would also try to expand cooperation between the ? \Io?, it's relatnm,ltill+ sadd,nn haw 64-it Iruuldtnl nor the tears ht it. 11)91) trio% einimm, and d+m,?rsan?s a??r ill,- Atab- Isr.lrh (rater- pr,N?,?t. harp Gum+l+tai?1 the (11,1t of Suurl?mah? arm. to (ran or.-Ill Stria. Iah)a..nul 11 a,trr,, #ungN?. the S,nwt a ........?n of Alialv,nli)tau. and the Eritrean telx?llioo +u Etlline+a. NOFORN/NOCONTRACT CC(: and the t'nitrd States and Western I':urettw?, which will provide at least the apix?arance? of strength in numbers. They will urge a enure visible United States in the Persian Gulf. Particularly ship deploy mcntsj 49. Unless Iranian frets attack there the CCC: countries will be reluctant to make public apixais for Washington's military anptxat to avoid provoking Tehran. They probably judge that Iran's hostility to US presence in the Gulf region will he intensified by any major Iranian victory and consequent increase of Iranian influence. They will also fear it dunustic backlash if they draw too close to Washington and would perceive themselves as caught in a delicate balancing act 50. The long-term impact of an Iranian victory on the Gulf would be profound. The CCC countries would Initially pledge their willingness to work with trait to utaintaiu stability in tilt- Gulf,  and. to Ilu? degree Iran ri' tki nls INositiveb the Gull stales nutdtl reduce Ihe'ir visible links  tit  Washirutuu. It Irate thre: teue?d theta. Itoilevrr. the} t nukl see little alter- native to clnwr firs to the United Slates to ftuetitall Iranian pres3ure" Irate 's ix?rft,nnance ill the tear- under x'vcrc t'esnnolnic cointaaiuts-Ira, alri'aal- as- sured    ce as the force to be rrckuuicd w ith in tie Gulf. n 51. Short of sizable direct intervention. there is little the United Stales could do to shore up the Iraqi military ixuitinn. Iran remains well arcneel. and US military aid or adviwrs would Nub nun inally im- prove Iraq's ability to defend itself against [rate. As long as Iran continues to have amens to its none Western suppliers-Libya. Syria, North Korea, and East European countries-it can maintain its military effort at current levels indefinitely. Under thee condi- tions, a further tightening of thc~        -pts einhar- go on Iran will have little e?ffee TOI ET JET 04 cf 23 4.1 i 1. This document was disseminated by the Directorate of Intelligence. This copy is for the information and use of the recipient and of persons under his or hot jurisdiction on a need-to. know basis. Additional essential dissemination may be authorized by the following officials within their respective departments. a. Director, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, for the Department of State b. Director, Defense Intelligence Agency, for the Office of the Secretory of Defense and the organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff c. Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, for the Deportment of the Army all. Director of Naval Intelligence, for the Deportment of the Navy e. Assistant Chief of Staff, Intelligence, for the Deportment of the Air Force f. Director of Intelligence, for Headquarters, Marine Corps g. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intelligence, for the Department of Energy h. Assistant Director, FBI, for the Federal Bureau of Investigation I. 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