Saddam Hussein – in American custodyThat is the news the world was waiting for: US forces arrested Saddam Hussein. Congratulations for this achievement!
Saddam’s seizure might be a strategic turnaround. So far, the desired co-operation between the coalition and the Iraqi population has been hampered by the anxiety of a potential return of the old regime under Saddam Hussein. If that were the case any collaborator would have faced capital punishment. Now, things are different.
There might be some increase of attacks by furious supporters of Saddam Hussein. There might be Iraqi attempts to catch hostages in order to free Saddam Hussein. But ultimately, Saddam’s capture will shift the strategic balance in the coalition’s favour.
Saddam Hussein alive and in American custody will cause new problems. What to do with him? Which court will be in charge? Will it be an Iraqi court or an American-led one?
Without any doubt, an Iraqi court would be the preferred solution. But is it feasible?
On the other hand, an Iraqi resistance without its leader Saddam Hussein will be weaker. There might be more information out of the population concerning Saddam’s supporters and their whereabouts.
In sum, the seizure of Saddam Hussein is a great success for the coalition. It should exploit the new situation in a very prudent, cautious way.