The New York Times on February 8, 2008, reporting that the US Army “Buried" a study on faulty Iraq planning, recalled my own brief experience with Army Intelligence in the 1960s.
The recent RAND Corporation report, commissioned by the Army as a vehicle for learning how to plan future operations better, was apparently too rich in learning opportunities for the Army brass, as the RAND report strongly criticized nearly every facet of the Bush war machine. In fact, the Army now wants to put a lid on the report (that our tax dollars purchased) and have RAND rewrite it, with a due date in, say, 2025.
Imagine, also, that the Army actually needed to hire the RAND Corporation to learn these choice morsels of wisdom:
1. President Bush and Condi Rice failed to resolve significant pre-invasion differences among rival agencies;
2. Donald Rumsfeld was inappropriately assigned to oversee postwar Iraq despite the Army’s lack of capacity for civilian reconstruction planning and execution;
3. Former Army General Colin L. Powell’s State Department produced a voluminous study on the future of Iraq that was of “uneven” [read “terrible”] quality and “did not constitute an actionable plan…;”
4. Gen. Tommy Franks, whose Central Command oversaw the military operation in Iraq, had a “fundamental misunderstanding” of what the military needed to secure postwar Iraq;
5. The Pentagon’s military planners assumed that the reconstruction requirements would be minimal;
6. There was never an attempt to develop a single plan that integrated humanitarian assistance, reconstruction, governance, infrastructure development and postwar security;
7. The Bush Administration did not provide strategic policy guidance for postwar Iraq until shortly before major combat operations commenced;
8. That problem was compounded by General Franks, saying he took a narrow view of the military’s responsibilities after Saddam Hussein was ousted and assumed that American civilian agencies would do much to rebuild the country;
9. The Army’s poor planning had the inadvertent effect of strengthening the insurgency.
Could there be even one literate adult, in the United States or abroad, who hasn’t already reached these conclusions after a cursory reading of the “news” stream from ABC, CBS, Fox, CNN, or MSNBC?
Recall, as well, the New York Times story regarding Army Intelligence activities from October 13, 2006:
Internal military [Intelligence] documents released Thursday provide new details about the Defense Department's collection of information on demonstrations nationwide last year by students, Quakers and others opposed to the Iraq war……