Security organization of Saddam Hussein

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Saddam Hussein, given that he rose to office through such methods, was concerned with the threat of coups and assassination attempts, and built a complex security organization to protect him. Parts of the security organization also dealt with extremely sensitive matters such as weapons of mass destruction; they were the key to the concealment and bluffing operations with United Nations inspectors such as UNSCOM.

Essentially, there were five rings of protection, ranging from personal bodyguards to large formations capable of putting down military coups. The innermost rings were headed by persons of family or clan loyalty, but, even so, the organizations were split and cross-checked one another.

Some analogies can be drawn between the way Iraqi security organizations, originally with a limited function, became omnipresent in the society, and the way the Nazi Schutzstaffel (SS), originally Adolf Hitler's "security squadron", became a "state-within-a-state." Iraq had no key security leader equivalent to Heinrich Himmler, but the Nazis also did not have a tribal society with tribal loyalties.

The Nazis still intermixed Party and State organizations to avoid having too much power in one place, just as the Soviet Union would mix Party, Army, and Organs of State Security. Moscow, for example, had division-sized formations from the Army (106th Guards Airborne Division), KGB (Dzerzhinsky Guards) and Party/Interior Ministry (Taman Guards).