Iraq War - A Fiasco? A Lt Colonel's Perspective

The following is from a discussion I was having with my older brother who is a Lt. Colonel in the US Air Force. I often find myself on the other end of debates about the Iraq War with him. But, I thought since he is in the military that his insights and arguments might be of interest to the folks on the forum. We were discussing the problems with failing to plan for “Phase IV” in warfare which I believe is the phase after blatant military hostilities. He was frustrated with the second guessing in retrospect that’s being done by the media/Americans/others about what should have been done - i.e., should we have had more troops?

[quote]“Barkdull, David Lt Col USTRANSCOM J2” wrote:
Bodo, perhaps I read you wrong but part of the impression I get from some of your discussion is that some of the situation was due to poor planning. The point of writing about the planning process wasn

Nice post, Thanks!!

With all due respect to your brother I don’t see how he answered your question about the lack of planning for post-invasion Iraq? I see lots of irrelevant analogies and blatant evasions.

Look, almost no media outlet has presented itself as anti-soldier or anti-military throughout this whole campaign. To say otherwise is to be overly sensitive and frankly to be disrespectful and contemptuous to the what the media is entitled to do in a free society.

The criticism of post-invasion planning has been levelled at the civilian leaders: the Pentagon and the president. They have been levelled by, among others, the Army War College, the Secretary of State (Powell), senior Republicans, respected conservative journalists, generals, Francis Fukayama, and so on.

The military can be as professional as they want, but when Rumsfeld allows anarchy to rule, when Brener disbands the army essentially putting thouands out of work, when not enough troops are sent in to provide security so that reconstruction projects can be completed, then they are going to have problems they may not be able to handle. Look almost everyone agrees now that post-war planning was non-existent (it’s a matter of record if you care to read the documents), the government did not have serious plans for dealing with an insurgency, and furthermore underestimated the scope and capacity of that insurgency for well over a year. Actually, I should correct that. Accordign to Powell and the State Department, there were studies and plans for all these things. But Rumsfeld threw them out in essence. He wanted to go in on the cheap. This was a case of ideology trumping experience.

The military has been asked to operate under the leadership of a group of incompetents. There is only so much they can do no matter how skilled and professional.

No problem with dissing my brother’s explanation. I don’t agree with him either. I just thought it might be interesting to get others thoughts on what he had to say. Thanks for the input.