Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Plan... and the results.

That there was no Phase IV planning for the occupation of Iraq by Rumsfeld's crowd in the Pentagon is blatantly obvious. However, the fact that most officers involved in the planning for Iraq considered Phase IV occupation planning essential, and tried to do it but were threatened with career action by Rumsfeld himself has been somewhat hidden... until this came to light: (Thanks to Canadian Cynic)

Months before the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld forbade military strategists from developing plans for securing a post-war Iraq, the retiring commander of the Army Transportation Corps said Thursday.
And, the General elaborates.

In fact, said Brig. Gen. Mark Scheid, Rumsfeld said "he would fire the next person" who talked about the need for a post-war plan.

Rumsfeld did replace Gen. Eric Shinseki, the Army chief of staff in 2003, after Shinseki told Congress that hundreds of thousands of troops would be needed to secure post-war Iraq. (Emphasis mine)
Heavy stuff, and coming from a seasoned combat veteran like Rumsfeld... well, you just don't argue.

As if timed to demonstrate what can go wrong when you don't have a plan, this appears: (Thanks to reader Cat for the link)

Iraq's biggest province has suffered a total breakdown in law and order in which al-Qaida has emerged as the dominant political force, according to descriptions of a classified US military intelligence review reported today.

The report, by the US marine corps colonel Peter Devlin, focuses on the vast, arid region of Anbar in the west, which contains the insurgent-held towns of Fallujah, Ramadi and Haditha.

The Washington Post quoted military officers who had seen the report as saying the area was "beyond repair".

"We haven't been defeated militarily, but we have been defeated politically - and that's where wars are won and lost," was one army officer's summary of the review quoted by the newspaper.
And, the best Rumsfeld can come up with is sniping at the media for not reporting the good stories and wildly erronious analogies about the lead up to World War II. (He forgets to mention that not only did the US appease Hitler in 1939, they stayed out of the fighting entirely and continued to trade with Nazi Germany while Britain was being bombed.)

Funny thing about planning. In most militaries it's actually taught at a very junior level. In the US Army, for example, it is taught on the Basic Non-Commissioned Officer Course. And, I'll just bet you that in every NCO academy in the USA, as for almost every other NCO academy in every English speaking military, there is a sign pasted up somewhere in that institution which says: PPPPPP.

Take any order of words you like from that popular poster but it's obvious, Rumsfeld must have missed that day.

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