The UnAustralian

Monday, September 08, 2003
Iraqi Resistance

A recent theme in the blogosphere was been to compare Iraqi resistance to the coalition in Iraq to Nazi resistance to the allies after WWII (in particular, an organization called the Werewolves). This always struck me as a bit odd, as having read a couple of books on WWII, post war resistance never featured heavily. A small amount of googling didn’t help much either.

Now, John Quiggin has blogged on this, and inspired me to follow the links.

And sure enough, what do I find? A report from the RAND corporation called America's Role in Nation-Building: From Germany to Iraq. From the chapter on Germany, the following quote jumps out:

U.S. officials anticipated and planned to deal with significant residual German resistance following the surrender of its armed forces. Yet no resistance of consequence emerged then or at any time thereafter, much as in Haiti during Operation Uphold Democracy... The large number of U.S. and allied military forces in West Germany and the establishment of a strong constabulary force preempted most resistance. Indeed, the constabulary force was specifically created to respond to incidents of civil unrest, conduct mounted and dismounted police patrols, interdict smuggling operations, and aid in intelligence gathering. This contrasts starkly with nation-building efforts in such countries as Bosnia, which were marred by organized crime and civil unrest.

And from their overview of US post conflict combat deaths, we get the following list:

Germany, Japan, Bosnia and Kosovo: 0 deaths
Haiti: 4 deaths
Afghanistan: 30 deaths
Somalia: 43 deaths

While it is possible, that the RAND study missed some deaths, these numbers should confirm that post WWII Nazi resistance wasn’t very significant.* Given that even if we combine all of these post conflict combat deaths, we don’t even come close to the Iraqi total.

It seems that comparisions between Nazi resistance, and what is happening in Iraq are inaccurate.

* This statement, is unfortunately untrue. Soviet paranoia over Werewolves lead to many forced confessions and executions of innocent Germans.

| 8:03 PM