Things Going Well In Iraq, Too?
"Four days after al-Qaida in
Over at Today In Iraq, where the cost of this bloody mess is tallied every day, there is a link up to an excellent, in depth analysis of the complete botch job done by Donald Rumsfeld and his neocon wanker associates in preparing for military intervention in Iraq.
Entitled "Willful Ignorance: How the Pentagon sent the army to Iraq without a counterinsurgency doctrine," this analysis details a complete lack of intelligent planning combined with a woefully inadequate understanding of the nature of the enemy. No thought was given to any contingency except overwhelming success. Americans have to understand that our national treasure, our international influence and the lives of our military have been sacrificed by men and women who did not have a clue as to what they were doing.
"How is it that the U.S. Army is bereft of a counterinsurgency doctrine and, therefore, struggling to effectively counter Iraqi insurgents? A lot of it has to do with how the Bush administration's military leadership conceives of "modern war."
In Donald Rumsfeld's Pentagon, the theory of modern war is enshrined in documents with titles like Joint Vision 2010 and Joint Vision 2020. These focus primarily on command and control systems heavily defined by technology and used to fight the kind of maneuver warfare that twice dispensed with Iraq's vastly inferior conventional army. "In the ideal world of JV 2020, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) systems like imagery satellites would gather data that troops need to 'see' areas of operations," the veteran army officer and intelligence specialist John Gentry wrote in 2002, illustrating the idealized Rumsfeldian future of battlespace. "Communications networks would instantly transmit information and orders to troops, who would promptly convert them into effective action. Precision munitions would rain on targets. Victory would be assured."
Gentry described this vision as a "fairy tale," and to a large extent events have echoed his view. The success of taking out the Ba'athist army and regime had less to do with technology and more to do with the sorry skill set of Saddam's army."
The Rumsfeld Pentagon, under George Bush's command, is doing virtually everything wrong regarding the Iraqi insurgency. Just as Bush's incompetent cronies at the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA couldn't adapt to the real world demands of a hurricane, Bush's military leadership is incapable of adapting to the circumstances on the ground in Iraq.
"According to a November 2004 Army War College report, in generic terms, the nature of insurgency is mutating, with the more centralized Maoist "people's war" receding into history and being replaced with "twenty-first-century insurgencies" that "become increasingly networked, with no centralized command and no common strategy, only a unifying objective."
Yet what makes the report so striking is its implicit criticism of the current Pentagon leadership. Almost all of its recommendations for defining how the army thinks about the likely staple of current and future warfare--the need for more and better training and education of American troops, more civil affairs and engineering units, better relationships between the army and non-military government agencies, as well as simply an actual acknowledgment of the importance of counterinsurgency doctrine--are far removed from the type of "transformation" pursued by the Rumsfeld Pentagon. Moreover, another of the report's central contentions--that the U.S. military should not exacerbate or legitimize liberation insurgencies by deploying increasing numbers of troops to those conflict zones--stands at odds with a current bipartisan orthodoxy that simply sees increasing enlistments and deployments (without any commensurate doctrinal reform) and new weapons systems as the cure-all. But as Sun-Tzu famously observed, all warfare is based on deception--which, apparently, includes self-deception as well."
Self-deception is even more dangerous when the deceived is incapable of admitting to the deception. Americans and Iraqi continue to die for no reason. Bush's war in Iraq is the most pervasive abuse of Presidential power in American history. It is a war of pride and arrogance.