Concentrating on the Enemy: The Transformation Under-fire of Former Regime Militias into Post-Conflict Guerrillas   [open pdf - 512KB]

"By evaluating the critical capabilities, requirements, and vulnerabilities of the Saddam Fedayeen along the SoSA political, military, economic, social, infrastructure and information construct, and contrasting this framework with Iran and Basij militia, operational planners can potentially identify successful and unsuccessful patterns and methods to prevent the Basij from transitioning into a guerrilla force. As larger force embedded throughout Iranian society, the Basij present a much more complex problem than the Saddam Fedayeen. It was preparing for guerrilla warfare and inculcated successful strategies into its training that were employed in the guerrilla war in Iraq, including suicide attacks. The primary difference between the Saddam Fedayeen and the Iranian Basij was the ideological commitment of the members of the organization. The Saddam Fedayeen, a secular force that was personally and viciously attached to Saddam Hussein, fell apart over time after the death of Saddam's sons and the capture of Saddam Hussein. The members of the Saddam Fedayeen turned their loyalties towards Islamic guerilla organizations that were more successful because of their cultural affinity with the Iraqi, specifically Sunni, people. The ideology of the Basij was religious and therefore presented a much stronger link to the Islamic Revolutionary Government of Iran than the Saddam Fedayeen's loyalty to an individual."

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