diet coke for breakfast

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Posted by Tanstaafl
Rumsfeld and Iraq:
Few know that in early 2003 - a month or more before the Iraq invasion - President Bush was presented with two plans for post-war Iraq. The first, written by CIA Director George Tenet and Secretary of State Colin Powell, provided for a long occupation of Iraq and the nation-building that the president renounced in his 2000 campaign. The second, a Pentagon plan authored by Rumsfeld's team, provided for the establishment of a provisional government before the invasion and American withdrawal within months of Saddam's overthrow. The president, convinced by Powell that 'if you break it, you own it', chose the Powell-Tenet plan and ordered Rumsfeld to carry it out.

For a long time, I have felt that Rumsfeld was the only competent, high-profile, member of this administration. Yet again, I find another well-informed, well-reasoned argument supporting that fact.

In a discussion I had when we were prepping to invade Iraq, a relative of mine suggested that there were 4 criteria that would be necessary in order to achieve "victory" in Iraq.

1) We would need to be greeted as liberators in the streets as we were in Paris during WWII.

While this this may not have been exactly the case, we certainly had a bit of a honeymoon period before the insurgency took hold, and the images of Iraqi's pulling down Saddam's statue definitely suggested the majority was pleased with their freedom.

2) We needed to find some sort of WMD's.

As I understand it, this was a "slam dunk". In fact, Secretary Powell told the UN that we knew they had them... guess they dropped the ball on that one.

3) We needed to be out in one year.

Based on the quotation above, it sounds to me like Rumsfeld had structured a plan to make this goal a reality, and together Tenet and Powell preferred a long occupation.

4) We had to avoid getting caught in a three-way civil war. (Bosnia and the like should have taught us about pent-up hostilities.)

Again, the Rumsfeld plan would have pulled our troops out of theater before a civil war could erupt. Now, 4 years later, civil war is a reality that we have to deal with. The only good news is that the Kurds have not started fighting. But, we can not kid ourselves, they are almost certainly arming themselves in case they need to enter the fray.


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