Sunday, July 20, 2003

This piece from the Los Angeles Times shows how utterly unprepared the US was for winning the peace in Iraq:
The date was Feb. 21. More than 100,000 U.S. and British troops were already poised at Iraq's doorstep. Their battle plan was rehearsed and ready. In fewer than 30 days, the first American tanks would cross the sand berm into Iraq from Kuwait, launching the tip of the spear of what would be a swift and brilliant battlefield victory.

Yet this two-day gathering at the Pentagon's National Defense University was the first time all of these planners had gathered under one roof to address an equally vital matter: how to win the peace in Iraq once the war was over.

"The messiah could not have organized a sufficient relief and reconstruction or humanitarian effort in that short a time," recalled Judith Yaphe, a former CIA analyst who attended the session.

"The military's war planning was light-years ahead of its planning for everything else," added a senior defense official who was present.

Jay Garner, the retired Army lieutenant general who led the meeting and would soon attempt to lead the peace, called it a rock drill: "It's a military term — you know, you turn over all the rocks."