This Just In: Bush Administration Screwed Up Iraq War Planning
It looks like that far left think tank known as the RAND Corporation ruffled a few feathers at the Pentagon:
After 18 months of research, RAND submitted a report in the summer of 2005 called “Rebuilding Iraq.” RAND researchers provided an unclassified version of the report along with a secret one, hoping that its publication would contribute to the public debate on how to prepare for future conflicts.Y'know, dear friends, I paid for that study. So did you. And I, for one, would like to read what I paid for, even if little in it comes as a surprise. Reading between the lines of Michael Gordon's article - yes, that Michael Gordon - it's clear that many people both at RAND and the Pentagon agree.
But the study’s wide-ranging critique of the White House, the Defense Department and other government agencies was a concern for Army generals, and the Army has sought to keep the report under lock and key.
A review of the lengthy report — a draft of which was obtained by The New York Times — shows that it identified problems with nearly every organization that had a role in planning the war. That assessment parallels the verdicts of numerous former officials and independent analysts.
The study chided President Bush — and by implication Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who served as national security adviser when the war was planned — as having failed to resolve differences among rival agencies. “Throughout the planning process, tensions between the Defense Department and the State Department were never mediated by the president or his staff,” it said.
The Defense Department led by Donald H. Rumsfeld was given the lead in overseeing the postwar period in Iraq despite its “lack of capacity for civilian reconstruction planning and execution.”
The State Department led by Colin L. Powell produced a voluminous study on the future of Iraq that identified important issues but was of “uneven quality” and “did not constitute an actionable plan.”
Gen. Tommy R. Franks, whose Central Command oversaw the military operation in Iraq, had a “fundamental misunderstanding” of what the military needed to do to secure postwar Iraq, the study said.
The regulations that govern the Army’s relations with the Arroyo Center, the division of RAND that does research for the Army, stipulate that Army officials are to review reports in a timely fashion to ensure that classified information is not released. But the rules also note that the officials are not to “censor” analysis or prevent the dissemination of material critical of the Army.
The report on rebuilding Iraq was part of a seven-volume series by RAND on the lessons learned from the war.
Leaking a study like that is what happens when a secretive, incompetent president garners a 30% approval rating. Which, if I may digress, is still frighteningly high. Think about it:
You walk down the street or through your local mall. Approximately every third person you see - one of those drunk college kids in the city for a weekend tear, or that obese forty-year-old outside the Fuddrucker's whose wife sports an "I'm with Stupid" t-shirt - all those folks think George W. Bush is doing just a swell ol' job.