U.S. Eyes Israeli Software as Training Tool for Forces in Iraq

JERUSALEM - For US soldiers wondering what they should and should not do in their role as occupiers of Iraq, help may be on the way from the Israel Defense Forces.

The Israeli military has developed a software program to teach junior commanders 11 "codes of conduct'' when operating among civilians - fight only those fighting you, respect the dignity of the local population, don't pillage, and so forth...

The American interest in the software - which a US Embassy spokesman in Tel Aviv confirmed but would not elaborate on - is a rare public acknowledgment that the US is even contemplating Israeli assistance. While analysts speculate that Israel may be providing intelligence or other kinds of military support, officials refuse to comment on the matter. "It's a closed door," says one Israeli Foreign Ministry spokeswoman.

Israel has occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip for more than 36 years, experience that might benefit US troops in Iraq, where their presence is increasingly seen as occupation rather than liberation. The problem is that overt help from Israel, despite the potential benefits of Israeli expertise, might complicate America's role in a Middle East already upset about the war in Iraq and the dismal state of Israeli-Palestinian relations...


Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.