8 September posting to the Foreign Policy Research Institute web page - Succeeding in Phase IV: British Perspectives on the U.S. Effort To Stabilize and Reconstruct Iraq by Andrew Garfield. Here is the executive summary:

In early 2005 a British-American research team sponsored by FPRI commenced a study of British and U.S. approaches to stabilization and reconstruction (S&R) operations as demonstrated in Iraq. Their complete findings will be presented at a briefing to be held on September 19 in Washington, DC. At that time, two monograph-length reports will be released, one offering British perspectives, the other American perspectives (“Changing Tires on the Fly: The Marines and Postconflict Stability Ops,” by Frank G. Hoffman). This essay summarizes the first report.

FPRI hopes that these studies will help U.S. military and civilian planners to refine a set of best practices and develop a set of principles or considerations, which can form the basis of a coherent and integrated national level framework for S&R operations. FPRI acknowledges the research contributions of King’s College in London and the Terrorism Research Center in northern Virginia, and the financial support provided by the Smith Richardson Foundation.

The 2:00-3:30 pm Tuesday, Sept. 19 briefing will be held at the Phoenix Park Hotel, 520 N. Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC. It is open to the public but reservations are required. It will also be video webcast. To reserve to attend the briefing or for information on viewing the briefing online, email lux@fpri.org.

By invading Iraq, the U.S. and its Coalition partners have undertaken probably the most challenging nation-building exercise since the end of World War II. The Coalition has set itself the task of fundamentally transforming Iraqi society, restoring stability to a war- and sanctions-ravaged country and reconstructing Iraq’s political order. This monumental task has been further complicated by a succession of well-documented strategic errors, tactical blunders, and operational shortcomings. The list would surely include: the commitment of too few troops, often with the wrong equipment and training for counterinsurgency warfare; hasty turnover of responsibility to unready Iraqis in the search for an early exit; and failure to seal the borders as part of a larger strategy to gain regional support for the project. Further aggravating the situation is the predictable emergence of a tenacious, resilient, and complex insurgency. This enemy continues to demonstrate its ability to challenge the most powerful conventional military in the world. So far, the U.S. military has achieved only tactical parity with this adversary.

The U.S. government and military are now learning from their experience in Iraq, but the danger remains that not all of the right lessons will be learned, especially by a military that retains a strong conventional-warfare bias. The perspectives of observers who can objectively highlight strengths and weaknesses might be useful in this regard. We interviewed British officials and officers, U.S. military officers, and both British and American subject-matter experts for this study. British interviewees freely acknowledged U.S. preeminence in conventional warfare, but also felt that the greatest strength of the British military—unconventional warfare against asymmetric adversaries—was the greatest weakness of the U.S. military. This is troubling, because the U.S. will not always be able to rely on allies for support in long asymmetric conflicts.