Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq

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  • #76
Gokul43201
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pcorbett said:
And, in fact, your claim is apparantly based entirely on reading Ricks' citing one Maj. Isaiah Wilson, Army historian and planning officer while ignoring Ricks' citing one Capt. Chris Karns and Gen. Tommy Franks--two persons intimately involved in USCENTCOM's end of the JOPES pipeline. So tell me, is your definition of "fact" based principally on reporting only those second hand judgements that support your assertion?
Corbett, have you read what Gen. Bernard Trainor had to say about the planning, in Cobra II? That too supports the assertion that the military was unusually unprepared for the follow up to the capture of Baghdad.
 
  • #77
Skyhunter
Corbett, look at the testimony before the Senate armed forces committee last week. They still don't know what is going on or what to do about it. We are in deep **** over there and the civilian branch of the military is incompetent.
 
  • #78
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This video link to the Rose /Ricks interview still works and is free compliments of H/P. It is about 50 minutes long, but contains a wealth of information about the Iraq invasion plans, or lack thereof.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4926293608118312619&q=Thomas+Ricks [Broken]

Rumsfeld in this weeks Senate hearings kept insisting that the war in Iraq is a continuation of the war on terrorism. Odd, there were no terrorist in Iraq when we invaded. Crying terrorism at every available chance is the only way the Bush administration can keep any sense of ligitimacy regarding iraq.
 
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  • #79
I'm not sure it's of interest, but leaked memos between the commander of UK forces and Tony Blair at the end of the war itself showed me more than any news coverage that the US had badly underemphasised post war planning in the conflict. They were less diplomatic than me they also forsaw grave problems if the incompetence wasn't resolved. To say the least this has been coming since the end of the so called military phase. Just reading Hillary Clintons bash of Rumsfield in The Times, anyone got a more meaty story about this.

Cornflakes and politics, what better way to start your day?

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2089-2300646,00.html"



The Sunday Times - World

The Sunday Times August 06, 2006

Rebels 'smell blood' in lawless Baghdad
Sarah Baxter, Washington
Americans lose faith in war
IT IS rare that Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, is lost for words. Yet last week he was subjected to a tirade of criticism for his conduct of the war in Iraq from Senator Hillary Clinton, the Democrat favourite for president in 2008.

“Yes we hear a lot of happy talk and rosy scenarios, but because of the administration’s strategic incompetence and record of blunders and, frankly, the record of incompetence in executing, you are presiding over a failed policy,” Clinton charged at a hearing of the Senate armed services committee. “Given your track record . . . why should we believe your assurances now?”

Rumsfeld, who had not wanted to appear before the committee at all, reeled. “My goodness,” he said, before embarking on an explanation of “the unfortunate and tragic thing that’s taking place”.

The defence secretary could not bring himself to say the phrase, civil war, but his top commanders did it for him. Their assessment was almost as blunt as that of William Patey, Britain’s envoy to Iraq, who warned in a parting letter to London that the country was in a “low intensity civil war” with diminishing prospects of achieving a stable democracy.
 
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  • #80
pcorbett
Gokul43201 said:
Corbett, have you read what Gen. Bernard Trainor had to say about the planning, in Cobra II? That too supports the assertion that the military was unusually unprepared for the follow up to the capture of Baghdad.
So now we have a dispute between officers. The question is which side do you fall on, if any? The only thing we can say for certain at any general level is that not everybody was happy with the planning process leading up to war. Trainor's verifiable criticisms center on the shift in objectives after May 2003, when the United States made the decision that the lack of a political follow on to Hussein's regime meant Coalition forces could not immediately transfer power to a native Iraqi government and end the occupation. We cannot say whether the planning was inadequate--there's been no exhaustive review of the cycle to determine what irregularities occurred and how, if they even did, contribute to mistakes in execution or failures to anticipate contingencies. Moreover, we have even less information to evaluate the contingency planning process from May 2003 onward--that's what really counts here. Right now, we have a handful of Army and Marine retired general officers chopped to USCENTCOM mostly after the invasion with retired and active officers who were at MacDill or in Washington polishing off the OPLAN in a political environment where the American public's support for operations has waned considerably.
 
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  • #81
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pcorbett said:
So now we have a dispute between officers. The question is which side do you fall on, if any? The only thing we can say for certain at any general level is that not everybody was happy with the planning process leading up to war. Trainor's verifiable criticisms center on the shift in objectives after May 2003, when the United States made the decision that the lack of a political follow on to Hussein's regime meant Coalition forces could not immediately transfer power to a native Iraqi government and end the occupation. We cannot say whether the planning was inadequate--there's been no exhaustive review of the cycle to determine what irregularities occurred and how, if they even did, contribute to mistakes in execution or failures to anticipate contingencies. Moreover, we have even less information to evaluate the contingency planning process from May 2003 onward--that's what really counts here. Right now, we have a handful of Army and Marine retired general officers chopped to USCENTCOM mostly after the invasion with retired and active officers who were at MacDill or in Washington polishing off the OPLAN in a political environment where the American public's support for operations has waned considerably.
The General of the COIN academy I provided is not retired, he is in Iraq.
 
  • #82
Gokul43201
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pcorbett said:
So now we have a dispute between officers. The question is which side do you fall on, if any?
i. The side that needs to keep saying positive things about the planning in order to hold its job is already at a huge credibility deficit from that alone. Tommy Franks was the person in charge of figuring out the number of troops required for OIF. He was the one that came up with a number of over 200,000 and passed this number on to higher ups (at the time). When that number was rejected by Rummy (in essence), Franks said nothing to anyone; Shinseki didn't.

ii. There's tons of anecdotal evidence from the other side. I wish I'd stored up names and incidents as I heard them on the radio, but I haven't.

iii. We are not talking about opinions here, but facts relating to the planning. You must either believe that X is lying when he recalls/relates incidents that support the assertion here or you must believe that such incidents do not support the assertion (X is poor at logic).
 
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  • #83
pcorbett
cyrusabdollahi said:
The General of the COIN academy I provided is not retired, he is in Iraq.
Yes, and we've already established he says nothing which supports your case.

Gokul43201 said:
i. The side that needs to keep saying positive things about the planning in order to hold its job is already at a huge credibility deficit from that alone. Tommy Franks was the person in charge of figuring out the number of troops required for OIF. He was the one that came up with a number of over 200,000 and passed this number on to higher ups (at the time). When that number was rejected by Rummy (in essence), Franks said nothing to anyone; Shinseki didn't.
Explain what you mean by "[General Franks] came up with a number of over 200,000 and passed this number on to the higher ups (at the time)." And explain why "General Franks came up with a number of approximately 150,000 and pass this number on to the higher ups (at the time)" isn't an equally accurate statement.

To put it in other words, General Franks job was to provide the contingency planning for the Iraq OPLAN and, through JOPES, coordinate with OSD. He was the unified commander, responsible for execution and providing guidance to national command authority. There is no evidence to date that the only two people senior to him--the Secretary of Defense and the President--overruled his ultimate determination of the necessary amount of force and force flow necessary to carry out the mission, nor is there any evidence that he disagreed with plans laid down on the eve of war.

ii. There's tons of anecdotal evidence from the other side. I wish I'd stored up names and incidents as I heard them on the radio, but I haven't.
Anecdotal evidence is anecdotal, and no evidence at all. It's surreptitious speculation dubiously linking an insufficient scatter of dots into whatever conspiracy you want to fashion.

iii. We are not talking about opinions here, but facts relating to the planning. You must either believe that X is lying when he recalls/relates incidents that support the assertion here or you must believe that such incidents do not support the assertion (X is poor at logic).
Actually, no. All I need do is separate out what is commentary from fact. I have no doubt that Trainor holds his far more limited judgement than yours as earnestly as you do. I also have no doubt that his judgement is informed by far greater relevant experience--career and first-hand--than yours. I also have no doubt the same holds true for Generals Peter Pace, Richard Myers, Tommy Franks, George Casey and John Abizaid. And I have no doubt that each side holds passion. I have no reason to suspect that anyone on either side has any impure reason for criticizing the other. So I arrive at my own judgement, without appealing to authority, and I find General Abizaid's the more credible point of view on the matter. We have a Sunni insurgency that by most accounts measures roughly twenty thousand fighters--mostly lightly armed. Looking at Iraq's pre-March 2003 Order of Battle, I have to wonder why more of over four hundred thousand shooters in the Iraqi Army haven't signed up. Then I have to recognize that the two major Sunni groups responsible for the majority of insurgent significant actions in Iraq operate akin to the Special Republican Guard and the Fedayeen Saddam. After that, I ask you and other Administration critics, how irresponsible was Paul Bremer for disbanding the Iraqi Army?
 
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  • #84
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Yes, and we've already established he says nothing which supports your case.
No you have not.

nor is there any evidence that he disagreed with plans laid down on the eve of war.
Did you even bother to read about what I posted on what happens to people who did not agree with what the administration wanted to hear? They were not invited back.

From your posts, I take it you still have not read or watched the transcripts, have you? :rolleyes:

After that, I ask you and other Administration critics, how irresponsible was Paul Bremer for disbanding the Iraqi Army?
I cannot anwser that, and neither can you. Someone like Ricks et al. can, and you know that. So don't ask the question.
 
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  • #85
pcorbett
cyrusabdollahi said:
No you have not.
Um, yes I have. To borrow a favorite phrase of yours, "read the thread."

Did you even bother to read about what I posted on what happens to people who did not agree with what the administration wanted to hear? They were not invited back.
So now you've gone from posting judgements as facts to simply making things up?

From your posts, I take it you still have not read or watched the transcripts, have you? :rolleyes:
I'm amazed you can come to that conclusion, when with each post I've demonstrated far greater familiarity with material than yourself.

I cannot anwser that, and neither can you. Someone like Ricks et al. can, and you know that. So don't ask the question.
Oh, I can answer the question. In fact I'm pretty sure I can do a better job at answering it than Ricks. But I do agree with you that you can't. So I'ma ask away, my friend.
 
  • #86
Gokul43201
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pcorbett said:
Explain what you mean by "[General Franks] came up with a number of over 200,000 and passed this number on to the higher ups (at the time)." And explain why "General Franks came up with a number of approximately 150,000 and pass this number on to the higher ups (at the time)" isn't an equally accurate statement.
I'll have to do some digging for this, so it will take some time. This was from an interview that I heard maybe a year or two ago. The number that Franks came up with was the number quoted by Shinseki during the Sen. Armed Services Cmte (I think that's what it was) hearing. This number was in excess of 200,000 (it may have been closer to 300,000, but my memory is very foggy).

Anecdotal evidence is anecdotal, and no evidence at all. It's surreptitious speculation dubiously linking an insufficient scatter of dots into whatever conspiracy you want to fashion.
Ummm...if I'm asserting that a 300 mile long pipe is broken, all I need to support my assertion is a single sighting of a break. You can show my a thousand spots where the pipe ain't broke, but that amounts to squat. Anecdotal evidence is still evidence - there's situations where's it's completely useless and some where it's not.

If Rummy admitted to you that the postwar planning was completely screwed up, you'd dismiss that as anecdotal evidence?

I have no doubt that Trainor holds his far more limited judgement than yours as earnestly as you do. I also have no doubt that his judgement is informed by far greater relevant experience--career and first-hand--than yours.
Really, you claim to know what my judgement is and what it is based upon? And what if my judgement were nothing more than his is, as communicated by him?
 
  • #87
Astronuc
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The End of Iraq
How American Incompetence Created a War Without End

http://www.simonsays.com/content/book.cfm?tab=3&pid=517687
The United States invaded Iraq with grand ambitions to bring it democracy and thereby transform the Middle East. Instead, Iraq has disintegrated into three constituent components: a pro-western Kurdistan in the north, an Iran-dominated Shiite entity in the south, and a chaotic Sunni Arab region in the center. The country is plagued by insurgency and is in the opening phases of a potentially catastrophic civil war.

George W. Bush broke up Iraq when he ordered its invasion in 2003. The United States not only removed Saddam Hussein, it also smashed and later dissolved the institutions by which Iraq's Sunni Arab minority ruled the country: its army, its security services, and the Baath Party. With these institutions gone and irreplaceable, the basis of an Iraqi state has disappeared.
Also -
http://bowman.typepad.com/cubowman/iraq/index.html [Broken]

From - http://www.tomhull.com/blog/archives/236-Cobra-Poisoning.html
How much manpower that might have actually taken had never been more than a wild guess in previous war plans -- I suspect that Zinni's 380,000 figure was better tuned to dissuading his hot-headed political bosses from doing something stupid than it was a careful estimate of the all the ways invasion of Iraq could go wrong.
:rolleyes: Well, they didn't listen - and they did something stupid.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Some interesting background material.

http://www.defenddemocracy.org/publications/publications_show.htm?doc_id=202921 [Broken]


http://mediamatters.org/items/200506280010
Wallace failed to challenge Rumsfeld's false claims about troop levels in Iraq, which Hume later echoed, in which one will find:
In fact, substantial evidence suggests that in developing the war plan Rumsfeld rejected the advice of top military commanders who warned that more troops would be necessary to secure postwar Iraq. And even after the end of "major combat operations," Rumsfeld reportedly squelched requests from military commanders -- as well as L. Paul Bremer III, who headed the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority until the transfer of sovereignty to Iraq in June 2004 -- for more troops.
http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/17349.pdf
This option, often called the “Franks Plan”, after Army Gen. Tommy Franks, the
U.S. Central Command commander who first briefed it to the President and White
House Staff calls for a large-scale ground force invasion. Reportedly, this option
would involve 250,000 troops, and would combine an air offensive with up to four
armored, mechanized, and/or Marine divisions.
http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/23191.pdf
http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/25375.pdf

This report seems to get revised often (the following are ostensibly the same).
http://www.opencrs.com/document/RL31701 [Broken]
http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/41127.pdf (RL31701)
http://www.usembassy.it/pdf/other/RL31701.pdf [Broken]

http://www.ips-dc.org/iraq/failedtransition/ [Broken]

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Occupation_forces_in_Iraq (some bad links)
On November 26, 2003, retired U.S. Army General Jay Garner admitted in a radio interview that the U.S. Made Postwar Iraq Mistakes (bad link).
 
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  • #88
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pcorbett said:
Um, yes I have. To borrow a favorite phrase of yours, "read the thread."
I read what you posted, it does not go against what I stated.


So now you've gone from posting judgements as facts to simply making things up?
What judgement. They were not invited back to the table if they dessented. That is a fact.


I'm amazed you can come to that conclusion, when with each post I've demonstrated far greater familiarity with material than yourself.
You think you know everything, apparently.


Oh, I can answer the question. In fact I'm pretty sure I can do a better job at answering it than Ricks. But I do agree with you that you can't. So I'ma ask away, my friend.
Really, do you have 17+ years working with the middle east policy with important players?


You really think you know everything, don't you. I will ask you to leave this thread unless you change your tone.
 
  • #89
pcorbett
Gokul43201 said:
I'll have to do some digging for this, so it will take some time. This was from an interview that I heard maybe a year or two ago. The number that Franks came up with was the number quoted by Shinseki during the Sen. Armed Services Cmte (I think that's what it was) hearing. This number was in excess of 200,000 (it may have been closer to 300,000, but my memory is very foggy).
A few points. General Shinseki did not quote a number in March 2003 Senate Armed Services Committee. He said "several hundred thousand." He also said for specific numbers he'd have to rely on the unified commander's estimate. General Franks JOPES'd a plan calibrated for 200,000 troops. During review this was revised to slightly under that.

Ummm...if I'm asserting that a 300 mile long pipe is broken, all I need to support my assertion is a single sighting of a break. You can show my a thousand spots where the pipe ain't broke, but that amounts to squat. Anecdotal evidence is still evidence - there's situations where's it's completely useless and some where it's not.
If you're asserting that a 300 mile long pipe is broken and provide evidence to the fact, it wouldn't be anecdotal. If your evidence didn't verifiably demonstrate the damage, it would be anecdotal. Anecdotal evidence is no evidence at all. It's utility is a different matter all together, but you can safely say it's going to be useless on me.

If Rummy admitted to you that the postwar planning was completely screwed up, you'd dismiss that as anecdotal evidence?
Hypotheticals are useless on me, too.

Really, you claim to know what my judgement is and what it is based upon? And what if my judgement were nothing more than his is, as communicated by him?
From you: "[Trainor and Gordon] the assertion that the military was unusually unprepared for the follow up to the capture of Baghdad" (emphasis added)."

The view you attribute to Trainor is not at all expressed in the book. In fact, Cobra II's thesis is that the present difficulty is the result of five significant errors that occurred in preparation--it does not argue that a lack of preparation is responsible. Therefore, why shouldn't I consider this you're personal opinion based on--from what I can tell--absolutely no evidence whatsoever?
 
  • #90
pcorbett
cyrusabdollahi said:
I read what you posted, it does not go against what I stated.
Then you haven't read it at all. There are others with your point of view who can respond productively. Good bye.
 
  • #91
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In fact, Cobra II's thesis is that the present difficulty is the result of five significant errors that occurred in preparation--it does not argue that a lack of preparation is responsible.
:rofl: You have got to be joking me. "Significant errors that occurred in preparation." Who are you, Donald Rumsfeld?

That is what you call, not being prepared!.
 
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  • #93
Astronuc
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Insurgent Bombs Directed at G.I.’s Increase in Iraq
By MICHAEL R. GORDON, MARK MAZZETTI and THOM SHANKER
NY Times, August 17, 2006

New assessments by the U.S. military and the intelligence community provide evidence that violence in Iraq is at its highest level yet.
Bush's assessment is that his administration is winning. :rolleyes:
 
  • #94
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Astronuc said:
Bush's assessment is that his administration is winning. :rolleyes:
And since when we are not winning we must make it look as if we are winning.

U.S. military leaders in Baghdad have put out for bid a two-year, $20 million public relations contract that calls for extensive monitoring of U.S. and Middle Eastern media in an effort to promote more positive coverage of news from Iraq.

The contract calls for assembling a database of selected news stories and assessing their tone as part of a program to provide "public relations products" that would improve coverage of the military command's performance, according to a statement of work attached to the proposal.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/30/AR2006083003011_pf.html
 
  • #95
Astronuc
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Pentagon Report: Iraq Is at Risk of Civil War
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5751612
All Things Considered, September 1, 2006 · The Pentagon acknowledges what already has been expressed by U.S. military commanders and others recently: Sectarian violence in Iraq is spreading beyond Baghdad. In its quarterly report, the Pentagon report showed Iraqi deaths have risen by 50 percent over the previous quarter.

Five weeks after the Bush administration brought thousands of new troops to quell rising sectarian violence in Baghdad, Assistant Secretary of Defense Peter Rodman says violence between Sunni and Shiite muslims has increased elsewhere in Iraq.

The report says violence has held steady in Baghdad. But it has increased in the southern city of Basra, where British troops have clashed with the Mahdi Army. It has risen in Diyala Province in central Iraq, as well as in the northern cities of Mosul and Kirkuk.

The report says, "Conditions that could lead to civil war exist in Iraq, specifically in and around Baghdad, and concern about civil war within the Iraqi civilian population has increased in recent months."

Nationwide in Iraq, the average number of weekly attacks tallied by the Pentagon has increased 15 percent over the past few months. Iraqi casualties have risen by 51 percent. That translates to 1,000 additional Iraqis killed each month.
The accurate title should be that the Bush administration finally concedes what they have been denying for months. Delusional thinking in Washington has always been a problem, but the Reagan and Bush administrations have raised it to new and astronomical highs.

Deconstructing Bush's Iraq War Rhetoric [Umm . . . the correct term is Propaganda]
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5749759
Day to Day, September 1, 2006 · President Bush is giving a series of speeches aimed at bolstering support for the continued occupation of Iraq. Recent polls indicate a majority of Americans favor a plan to withdraw troops as sectarian violence there edges closer to open civil war. The president asserts that Iraq is the front line in the so-called "war on terror" and vows to stay the course.

Duke University professor Christopher Gelpi talks with Madeleine Brand about the president's use of terms such as "totalitarian" and "fascist" to describe the terrorist threat.
The U.S. War on Terrorism, and in Iraq
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5744828
All Things Considered, August 31, 2006 · Discussing his efforts to fight terrorism, President Bush says that victory in Iraq is essential. For thoughts on how the United States might win in Iraq, Robert Siegel talks with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former Ambassador James Dobbins and former Special Forces officer Michael Vickers. We also hear from Iraqi citizens about their thoughts on U.S. policy in their country.
Uncertainty Clouds U.S. Troop Levels in Iraq
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5749756
Day to Day, September 1, 2006 · There are currently about 140,000 U.S. military personnel serving in Iraq. Hopes earlier this year were that some might be able to return home soon as Iraqi troops take up security tasks. But now there are doubts of an overall drawdown.
 
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