Sunday, October 17, 2004

"To Be Provided"

I'm repeating a post from last night because it deserves more attention.

From K-R:

Planning for after the war in Iraq non-existent


Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON - In March 2003, days before the start of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, American war planners and intelligence officials met at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina to review the Bush administration's plans to oust Saddam Hussein and implant democracy in Iraq.

Near the end of his presentation, an Army lieutenant colonel who was giving a briefing showed a slide describing the Pentagon's plans for rebuilding Iraq after the war, known in the planners' parlance as Phase 4-C. He was uncomfortable with his material - and for good reason.

The slide said: "To Be Provided."

A Knight Ridder review of the administration's Iraq policy and decisions has found that it invaded Iraq without a comprehensive plan in place to secure and rebuild the country. The administration also failed to provide some 100,000 additional U.S. troops that American military commanders originally wanted to help restore order and reconstruct a country shattered by war, a brutal dictatorship and economic sanctions.

Making Bush both a "liar" and a "miserable failure."

But, in any case, I really am puzzled. I know that the intersection between Rumsfeld's desires and the Neocons' more generally involved, among other things, proving they could fight and win a war on the cheap. But, that's an excuse for crappy planning. It isn't an excuse for no planning. Even if they believed in rosy scenarios they should have had backup plans.

But, I'm sure Bush believes that American soldiers are greeted with rose petals everywhere they go...

Apparently the looting began early:

Within 48 hours of their arrival in Baghdad in April, some of Chalabi's men, including members of his personal bodyguard force, began taking cars, bank accounts and real estate, said a senior military officer who received reports of the events. It became evident almost as quickly that Chalabi and other exiles had a larger political following in the Pentagon than they did in Iraq. Intelligence officials now charge that Chalabi or some of his senior aides were paid agents of Iran's intelligence service, and that Chalabi or his security chief provided classified U.S. military information to Iran. Chalabi has denied the allegation.