Monday, May 22, 2006

Incompetence in Iraq

If you want to get mad, read this.

As chaos swept Iraq after the American invasion in 2003, the Pentagon began its effort to rebuild the Iraqi police with a mere dozen advisers. Overmatched from the start, one was sent to train a 4,000-officer unit to guard power plants and other utilities. A second to advise 500 commanders in Baghdad. Another to organize a border patrol for the entire country. ...

Before the war, the Bush administration dismissed as unnecessary a plan backed by the Justice Department to rebuild the police force by deploying thousands of American civilian trainers. Current and former administration officials said they were relying on a Central Intelligence Agency assessment that said the Iraqi police were well trained. The C.I.A. said its assessment conveyed nothing of the sort.

After Baghdad fell, when a majority of Iraqi police officers abandoned their posts, a second proposal by a Justice Department team calling for 6,600 police trainers was reduced to 1,500, and then never carried out. During the first eight months of the occupation — as crime soared and the insurgency took hold — the United States deployed 50 police advisers in Iraq.

Against the objections of Colin L. Powell, then the secretary of state, the long-range plan was eventually reduced to 500 trainers. One result was a police captain from North Carolina having 40 Americans to train 20,000 Iraqi police across four provinces in southern Iraq.

You mean the Bush administration based policy on a complete fantasy, and executed the plan with extreme incompetence? Man, that's hard to believe....

I've said several times that, no matter what you think of the rightness of going into Iraq, we should all be incensed by the sheer incompetence of the execution. From sending in too few troops (and now too few policemen) to secure the country, to disbanding the Iraqi army, to lowballing cost estimates, to the near-complete lack of planning for the occupation, to the ignoring of the ethnic and religious divisions that had been papered over by Saddam, this administration has screwed up just about everything it undertook in relation to Iraq. The result is that even if we do "win" in Iraq -- however you define that -- the cost will be far, far higher than it needed to be.

Head on over to Donklephant for more discussion of the story.

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Anonymous maxtrue said...

Did you read Cobra II? It is all there. Rumsfeld even had problems agreeing to a last minute military plan to fix an unbelievable omission: no list of wmd sites or the troops needed to secure them. It is quite shocking to read Trainor's account of how America went to war and planned (or didn't plan) to secure the peace.

5/22/2006 7:17 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

I haven't found time to read Cobra II yet, but it's on my reading list. Although I suppose I should wait until I have blood pressure medicine on hand before starting it....

5/23/2006 9:45 AM  

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