When war planning goes (seriously) awry. The New York Times:
When Gen. Tommy R. Franks and his top officers gathered in August 2002 to review an invasion plan for Iraq, it reflected a decidedly upbeat vision of what the country would look like four years after Saddam Hussein was ousted from power.
A broadly representative Iraqi government would be in place. The Iraqi Army would be working to keep the peace. And the United States would have as few as 5,000 troops in the country.
Military slides obtained by the National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act outline the commandâ€™s PowerPoint projection of the stable, pro-American and democratic Iraq that was to be.
The general optimism and some details of General Franksâ€™s planning session have been disclosed in the copious postwar literature. But the slides from the once classified briefing provide a firsthand look at how far the violent reality of Iraq today has deviated from assumptions that once laid the basis for an exercise in pre-emptive war.
More details and the full context of this are available at the National Security Archive’s website.
Right now the U.S. is in an often-angry debate over the war. History will eventually reach many verdicts — too early now since the war is not over and the war’s impact on Iraq’s final post-Sadaam evolution is not totally clear. But it’s now evident that assumptions underlying some of the planning was incredibly poor due to either faulty assumptions from the get-go or some people not doing their homework….or a combination of both.