This will stir debate
The planners did a good job of identifying many of the problems we face today, and so far (I haven't read all the enclosures yet) I haven't seen where they identified any solutions (the recommendation was normally further interagency planning). Two quick take aways for me, is that the Clinton Administration was looking hard at Iraq, so it was perceived as a threat, but they couldn't figure out how to do it, nor could the Bush senior administration, thus the wise call not to go to Baghdad. The current administration decided to address the threat, but without having a feasible plan, and in my opinion with a very unrealistic end state of establishing a stable democracy in Iraq.
Our military tactics during phase III were adequate, though I think we assumed more risk than we needed to (we didn't have a lot of room for Murphy), but since we won the conventional engagement that will probably never be seriously discussed. The administration had a plan for phase IV, but they had no contingenies if their shallow plan failed (shallow because it based on some pretty lame assumptions), which created a void that various insurgent groups and others were able to exploit and thus get a foot hold. Perhaps I'm bias, but I sensed we could have won this war rather quickly if we were more realistic. The Iraqi people I talked to were expecting the invasion for years, and they wondered what took us so long. They wanted us to replace Saddam and then leave. Replacing a government doesn't necessarily mean changing the system of government, there is a big gap between the two. I think they would have accepted our man (at least for a couple of years, which would have allowed us to get out and focus on other problems), whoever that might have been if we didn't disband the military, etc. If they could turn on their lights, have drinking water, safely send their kids to school, go to work etc., there would have been little steam for an insurgency.
Last edited by Bill Moore; 11-05-2006 at 03:52 PM.