Thursday, February 15, 2007

Bush's Reckless War Planning

By this point, it's clear to almost everyone but the neocon die-hard true believers that the Iraq invasion is a disaster, consuming with insatiable hunger American blood, money and credibility. The false premises (democracy is the cure for Islamic terror) and delusional understanding of human nature (all people want freedom) and Middle Eastern culture (Arabs are just like people in Minneapolis, just swarthier) that underpinned the war remain unchallenged in the President's mind, but their dubious validity are increasingly clear even to many former true believers whose eyes have been partially forced open by the bloody carnage (though many still cling to hope that "victory" can ultimately be achieved - and their own credibility salvaged). Still it is useful to see just how the bad ideas that led to the war were translated into the war planning itself. Thanks to the National Security Archive, a think tank at George Washington University, which obtained declassified copies of the U.S. invasion plans, the breath-taking recklessness and monumental misunderstanding of the true situation in Iraq are now all too clear.

The US invasion plan for Iraq envisaged that only 5,000 US troops would remain in Iraq by December 2006, declassified Central Command documents show.

The material also shows that the US military projected a stable, pro-US and democratic Iraq by that time.

The August 2002 material was obtained by the National Security Archive (NSA). Its officials said the plans were based on delusional assumptions.

The US currently has some 132,000 troops in the violence-torn state.

The documents - in the former of PowerPoint slides - were prepared by the now-retired Gen Tommy Franks and other top commanders at the time.

The documents were presented at a briefing in August 2002 - less than a year before the US invasion of Iraq in April 2003.

The commanders predicted that after the fighting was over there would be a two- to three-month "stabilisation" phase, followed by an 18- to 24-month "recovery" stage.

They projected that the US forces would be almost completely "re-deployed" out of Iraq at the end of the "transition" phase - within 45 months of invasion.

"Completely unrealistic assumptions about a post-Saddam Iraq permeate these war plans," NSA executive director Thomas Blanton said in a statement posted on the organisation's website.

Ideas have consequences. Bad ideas lead to bad results. A war based on intellectually vacuous multiculturalist-universalist ideas which say that all people are basically the same, want the same thing and that two millenia of cultural development (or stagnation) can be set aside and radically transformed in three years of military occupation, was doomed to fail from the start. Of course, trying to do it on the cheap with a fraction of the troops strenght needed to maintain security in the occupied nation only made matters worse. But so much easier to villify anyone who questioned the President's Panglossian visions than ask hard questions about the validity of neocon ideology. We are all paying the price, and will continue to do so for years.


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