Monday, October 18

"To Be Provided" "We're working on it, we really are"

I would be remiss to let this one pass, but it really is astonishing. I have made many assertions about the planning or lack thereof for the war, I just wonder how this story got out, who left the barndoor open. I imagine that lower level heads will roll.
Posted on Sun, Oct. 17, 2004
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War-ready U.S. wasn't didn't plan for Iraq peace


WASHINGTON - In March 2003, days before the start of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, American war planners and intelligence officials met at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina to review the Bush administration's plans to oust Saddam Hussein and implant democracy in Iraq.

Near the end of his presentation, an Army lieutenant colonel who was giving a briefing showed a slide describing the Pentagon's plans for rebuilding Iraq after the war, known in the planners' parlance as Phase 4-C. He was uncomfortable with his material -- and for good reason.

The slide said: "To Be Provided."
Someone must have replace the original slide, the one showing flower tossing Iraqi's, happy go lucky bunny rabbits, and a pipleine of cash with a grinning Cheney with a bag at the output.
A review of the administration's Iraq policy and decisions has found that it invaded Iraq without a comprehensive plan in place to secure and rebuild the country. The administration also failed to provide some 100,000 additional U.S. troops that American military commanders originally wanted to help restore order and reconstruct a country shattered by war, a brutal dictatorship and economic sanctions.

In fact, some senior Pentagon officials had thought they could bring most American soldiers home from Iraq by September 2003. Instead, more than a year later, 138,000 U.S. troops are still fighting terrorists who slip easily across Iraq's long borders, diehards from the old regime, and Iraqis angered by their country's widespread crime and unemployment and America's sometimes heavy boots.
Post war planning in la-la land, faith based execution of a capitalistic paradise (screw 72 virgins, I want my 72 billions). Home by September? Has the White House become a Crack House? The problem is, had sanity been involved in the process, we may have used the very small window of opportunity to create the security required to rebuild the infrustructure and make large gains in the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people. The minute Garner was tossed aside and Bremer's combat boots hit the ground, all bets were off, the insurgency guarenteed.
"We didn't go in with a plan. We went in with a theory," said a veteran State Department officer who was directly involved in Iraq policy.
However, the review found that the president and many of his advisers ignored repeated warnings that rebuilding Iraq would be harder than ousting Saddam and tossed out years of planning about how to rebuild Iraq, in part because they thought pro-American Iraqi exiles and Iraqi "patriots" would quickly pick up the pieces. The CIA predicted up until the war's opening days that the Iraqi army would turn against Saddam, which never happened.
That is why worse case scenarios must be studied and provisions made to account for them, this is what any legitimate comprehensive planning would include. We planned for a best case scenario loaded with flawed assumptions and now we are paying a heavy price. There is much more and I would suggest that you read the whole thing, but I will leave you with words of wisdom ignored to our maximum peril.
"The possibility of the United States winning the war and losing the peace in Iraq is real and serious," warned an Army War College report that was completed in February 2003, a month before the invasion.

Without an "overwhelming" effort to prepare for the U.S. occupation of Iraq, the report warned: "The United States may find itself in a radically different world over the next few years, a world in which the threat of Saddam Hussein seems like a pale shadow of new problems of America's own making."
Guess where we are now?