Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 19, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

YET MORE ON POSTWAR PLANNING....It's sort of masochistic to continue linking to article after article about the lack of postwar planning in Iraq by the Bush administration, but it truly defies belief. Here's the latest from the New York Times:

On April 15, 2003, Mr. Bush convened his National Security Council and discussed soliciting peacekeeping forces from other countries so the United States could begin to pull out troops. Even though there had been widespread opposition to the invasion, administration officials thought that some governments would put aside their objections once victory was at hand and the Iraqis began to form a new government.

Pentagon officials briefed the president on a plan to enlist four divisions: one made up of NATO troops; another from the Gulf Cooperative Council, an association of Persian Gulf states; one led by Poland; and another by Britain. The thinking was that the United States would leave no more than a division or two in Iraq.

The next day, General Franks flew to Baghdad and instructed his commanders to draw up plans to begin pulling out. At that palace meeting with his commanders, he noted that it was possible for the United States to wear out its welcome and keep too many troops in Iraq too long. A functioning interim Iraqi government was expected within 30 to 60 days, he said. He told his commanders to be prepared to take as much risk going out as they did coming in.

This isn't really new reporting, but it bears repeating anyway. These guys honestly thought the rest of the world would hop on board as soon as we had won the war. They figured they could get an interim government up and running in a month or two. And they never seriously considered the possibility of a sustained insurgency.

It just boggles the mind. It really does.

Kevin Drum 2:07 AM Permalink | Trackbacks

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