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Forgive the inflammatory headline. It reflects the frustration among many of us administration critics that criticism of policies that we find unproductive or hurtful to America are cast by administration officials and right wing radio/television as proof we hate America.
Since the beginning of 2003, scholars at the US Army War College have produced a series of monographs which should be required reading for the President, the Secretary of Defense, and even Paul Bremer. Some of these monographs predicted many of the problems that our administration has since claimed were unforeseeable, and others have pointed out serious shortcomings in our occupation and reconstruction. One other, that I've cited here before â€œBounding the war on Terrorâ€? argues convincingly that Iraq has been an unproductive diversion of resources away from from the fight against al-Qaeda.
I am reproducing the studies' citations with summary, I hope that at least some of you will skim through them, and perhaps download them for your libraries. I should also say that the opinions expressed are those of the writers, and not of the Army War College itself or of the Army. Kudos to the Army War College for fostering the intellectual freedom we need to learn from our mistakes.
The Strategic Studies Institute seems to be having problems implementing Cold Fusion pages, so I have provided non-AWC links for studies that are affected. All the studies should eventually be available through http://www.carlisle.army.mil/ssi/.
How Iraq Compares With Vietnam -- And How It Differs
IRAQ AND VIETNAM: DIFFERENCES, SIMILARITIES, AND INSIGHTS
Jeffrey Record and W. Andrew Terrill
Available at http://www.carlisle.army.mil/teasers/teaser1jun04-SSI.htm â€?>(http://www.carlisle.army.mil/teasers/teaser1jun04-SSI.htm)
U.S.political and military difficulties in Iraq have prompted comparisons to the American war in Vietnam. The authors conclude that the military dimensions of the two conflicts bear little comparison. Among other things,the sheer scale of the Vietnam War in terms of forces committed and losses incurred dwarfs that of the Iraq War. They also conclude, however, that failed U.S. state-building in Vietnam and the impact of declining domestic political support for U.S. war aims in Vietnam are issues pertinent to current U.S. policy in Iraq.
Gaining Shi'ite Cooperation -- or Opposition?
THE UNITED STATES AND IRAQ'S SHI'ITE CLERGY: PARTNERS OR ADVERSARIES?
W. Andrew Terrill
Available at (http://www.carlisle.army.mil/teasers/teaser5jun04-SSI.htm)
The author addresses the critical need to gain the cooperation or at least the passive tolerance of the Shi'ite clerics and community. Such an effort could become more challenging as time goes on, and one of the recurring themes of this monograph is the declining patience of the Shi'ite clergy with the U.S. presence. By describing the attitudes, actions, and beliefs of major Shi'ite clerics, the author underscores a set of worldviews that are profoundly different from those of the U.S. authorities currently in Iraq and Washington. Some key Shi'ite clerics are deeply suspicious of the United States, exemplified by conspiracy theories. These suggest that Saddam's ouster was merely a convenient excuse, allowing the United States to implement its own agenda. Other clerical leaders are more open-minded but not particularly grateful for the U.S. presence, despite their utter hatred for Saddam and his regime.
Bounding the Global War on Terrorism
Available at http://www.fas.org/man/eprint/record.pdf â€?>(http://www.fas.org/man/eprint/record.pdf)
In the wake of the September 11, 2001, al-Qaeda terrorist attacks on the United States, the U.S. Government declared a global war on terrorism (GWOT). The nature and parameters of that war, however, remain frustratingly unclear. The administration has postulated a multiplicity of enemies, including rogue states; weapons of mass destruction (WMD) proliferators; terrorist organizations of global, regional, and national scope; and terrorism itself. It also seems to have confl ated them into a monolithic threat, and in so doing has subordinated strategic clarity to the moral clarity it strives for in foreign policy and may have set the United States on a course of open-ended and gratuitous conflict with states and nonstate entities that pose no serious threat to the United States.
February 2003 [PRE WAR]
Crane, Conrad C. and Terrill, W. A. Reconstructing Iraq: Insights, Challenges, and Missions for Military Forces in a Post-conflict Scenario.
Available at http://www.gulfinvestigations.net/IMG/pdf/reconirq.pdf â€?>(http://www.gulfinvestigations.net/IMG/pdf/reconirq.pdf)
The monograph concludes by developing and describing a phased array of tasks that must be accomplished to create and sustain a viable state. The 135 tasks are organized into 21 categories, and rated as â€œessential,â€? â€œcritical,â€? or â€œimportantâ€? for the commander of coalition military forces. They are then projected across four phases of transitionâ€” Security, Stabilize, Build Institutions, and Handover/ Redeployâ€”to reflect which governmental, nongovernmental, and international organizations will be involved in execution during each phase. To reduce the amount of resentment about the occupation in Iraq and the surrounding region, it is essential that military forces handover responsibilities to civilian agencies as soon as practicable. They, in turn, should relinquish control fairly quickly to the Iraqis, though not until well-defined coalition measures of effectiveness have been achieved for each task.
December 2002 PRE WAR
The Day After : The Army in a Post-Conflict Iraq (4 page issue paper)
By COL Dennis Murphy, LTC Curtis Turner and LTC Bob Hesse
Available at (http://www.gulfinvestigations.net/IMG/pdf/csl_issue_paper_14-02.pdf)
Post conflict Iraq security tasks may include: control of belligerents; territorial security; protection of the populace; protection of key individuals, infrastructure, and institutions; and re form of indigenous security institutions. If one â€œpeels the onionâ€? on each of these security tasks, he will find that each comprises a sub set of security tasks. For example, the control of belligerents task includes: implement and maintain the ceasefire; enforce the peace agreement and support disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration. Territorial security includes border and boundary control, movement, and points of entry. The tasks associated with protection of the populace include non-combatants, maintaining public order and clearance of unexploded ordnance. The protection of key individuals, infrastructure and institutions include private institutions and individuals, critical infrastructure, military infrastructure, and public institutions. The reform of local security institutions includes national armed forces and non-military security forces. Initial studies indicate well over 100 essential services that the Army must provide or support.