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ICG Risk Blog - [ Civil war within the pentagon, Part 2 ]

Civil war within the pentagon, Part 2


Marine General Anthony Zinni, CENTCOM commander preceding Tommy Franks, said that the two extra divisions in his war games were for "the security situation. Revenge killings, crime, chaos-this was all foreseeable."

A more recent, but prewar Army War College analysis, Reconstructing Iraq: Insights, Challenges, and Missions for Military Forces in a Post-Conflict Scenario supported this view. Its report contained:

  • A review of 20th century occupations, large and small, to identify common conditions that US/UK occupiers would likely face in Iraq
  • An assessment of specific problems rising from Baathist rule and Iraqi ethnic and regional tensions
  • A Mission Matrix of tasks would have to be done in Phase IV and who was to do what. "The matrix was intended to lay out a phased shift of responsibilities, over months or years, from a mainly U.S. occupation force to international organizations and, finally, to sovereign Iraqis."

The report seconded the idea to come in heavy and draw down fast:

Long-term gratitude is unlikely and suspicion of U.S. motives will increase as the occupation continues. A force initially viewed as liberators can rapidly be relegated to the status of invaders should an unwelcome occupation continue for a prolonged time. Occupation problems may be especially acute if the United States must implement the bulk of the occupation itself rather than turn these duties over to a postwar international force.

One of the report’s preparers noted that "we went in with the minimum force to accomplish the military objectives, which was a straightforward task, never really in question [and] then we immediately found ourselves shorthanded in the aftermath. We sat there and watched people dismantle and run off with the country, basically."

Tasks listed as critical but have since become noticeable failures included "securing the borders so that foreign terrorists would not slip in (as they in fact did), locating and destroying WMD supplies, protecting religious sites, performing police and security functions."

Part 5

Gordon Housworth

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