Tuesday, January 04, 2005


Army Historian

Army Historian Cites Lack of Postwar Plan
By Thomas E. Ricks, Washington Post Staff Writer

"There was no Phase IV plan" for occupying Iraq after the combat phase, writes Maj. Isaiah Wilson III, who served as an official historian of the campaign and later as a war planner in Iraq. While a variety of government offices had considered the possible situations that would follow a U.S. victory, Wilson writes, no one produced an actual document laying out a strategy to consolidate the victory after major combat operations ended.

"While there may have been 'plans' at the national level, and even within various agencies within the war zone, none of these 'plans' operationalized the problem beyond regime collapse" -- that is, laid out how U.S. forces would be moved and structured, Wilson writes in an essay that has been delivered at several academic conferences but not published. "There was no adequate operational plan for stability operations and support operations."

Similar criticisms have been made before, but until now they have not been stated so authoritatively and publicly by a military insider positioned to be familiar with top-secret planning. During the period in question, from April to June 2003, Wilson was a researcher for the Army's Operation Iraqi Freedom Study Group. Then, from July 2003 to March 2004, he was the chief war planner for the 101st Airborne Division, which was stationed in northern Iraq.

A copy of Wilson's study as presented at Cornell University in October was obtained by The Washington Post.

As a result of the failure to produce a plan, Wilson asserts, the U.S. military lost the dominant position in Iraq in the summer of 2003 and has been scrambling to recover ever since. "In the two to three months of ambiguous transition, U.S. forces slowly lost the momentum and the initiative . . . gained over an off-balanced enemy," he writes. "The United States, its Army and its coalition of the willing have been playing catch-up ever since."

It was only in November 2003, seven months after the fall of Baghdad, that U.S. occupation authorities produced a formal "Phase IV" plan for stability operations, Wilson reports. Phase I covers preparation for combat, followed by initial operations, Phase II, and combat, Phase III. Post-combat operations are called Phase IV.

Army commanders still misunderstand the strategic problem they face and therefore are still pursuing a flawed approach, writes Wilson, who is scheduled to teach at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point next year. "Plainly stated, the 'western coalition' failed, and continues to fail, to see Operation Iraqi Freedom in its fullness," he asserts.

"Reluctance in even defining the situation . . . is perhaps the most telling indicator of a collective cognitive dissidence on part of the U.S. Army to recognize a war of rebellion, a people's war, even when they were fighting it," he comments.

Because of this failure, Wilson concludes, the U.S. military remains "perhaps in peril of losing the 'war,' even after supposedly winning it."
Overall, he grades the U.S. military performance in Iraq as "mediocre."

Air Force Capt. Chris Karns, a spokesman for the U.S. Central Command, which as the U.S. military headquarters for the Middle East oversaw planning for the war in Iraq, said, "A formal Phase IV plan did exist." He said he could not explain how Wilson came to a different conclusion.

Army Gen. Tommy R. Franks, who as chief of the Central Command led the war planning in 2002 and 2003, states in his recent memoir, "American Soldier," that throughout the planning for the invasion of Iraq, Phase IV stability operations were discussed. Occupation problems "commanded hours and days of discussion and debate among CENTCOM planners and Washington officials," he adds. At another point, he states, "I was confident in the Phase IV plan."

Hmmm.. no comments on the election then???
Giuliana Sgrena was freed today by Italian intelligence. No blitz was necessary, no guns, no force.


While Sgrena was going to the Bagdad Airport with three agents of Italian Intelligence, America soldiers fired to the car. One of the agents protected Sgrena with his body. He was killed by American fire. Sgrena and the other two agents had been injured. Agents had no weapons. An happy ending was transformed to a tragedy.

In Italy we still do not understand if USA sent to Iraq a "professional" army. Hard to think to those guys as professionals. :( We have many soldiers there, but we are there to help, not to fire on anybody is moving, allies included.
Reading your blog and I figured you'd be interested in advancing your life a bit, call us at 1-206-339-5106. No tests, books or exams, easiest way to get a Bachelors, Masters, MBA, Doctorate or Ph.D in almost any field.

Totally confidential, open 24 hours a day.

Hope to hear from you soon!
I wanted to get your view of this offensive web site I just visited. Your comments are always valuable. http://thoughthead.blogspot.com.
I do honestly believe there was a Phase IV plan, but it had absolutely nothing to do with establishing any kind of order (for the people) in Iraq, it was strickly to establish control of key resources for companies with no-bid contracts with the defence department, companies who will make a great deal of money now and in years to come (i.e. post-bush2 regime) from their uninhibited (by international law) access to these resources. Very powerful companies indeed.
What's especially disturbing is that when Bush took office, Centcom was working on plans for how the US would handle the fall of Saddam, because under Clinton, they had feared that Saddam's regime would collapse without our intervention. Bush, who seems to have planned to invade Iraq from the moment he took office, rather than asking Centcom to parlay what they had been working on into a new plan for how to deal with a post-Saddam Iraq caused by a US invasion, ended the Centcom project on the country and had the documents destroyed.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?