Monday, June 30, 2008

 

After the Iraq Cock-up Cock-UP, What About the Iran Danger?










At last there is evidencethat the incredulity with which we observed events in Iraq during the post-invasion period reflected the genuinely unbelievable cock-ups occurring on the ground. A 696 page report produced by the US army, based on 200 interviews with senior participants spills the beans we all along suspected:

'The transition to a new campaign was not well thought out, planned for and prepared for before it began," says the history, On Point II: Transition to the New Campaign, published by an internal army thinktank called the contemporary operations study team. "The assumptions about the nature of the post-Saddam Iraq on which the transition was planned proved to be largely incorrect."

Senior army commanders were surprised when told troop numbers were going to be cut drastically back once the invasion was over. The report concludes:

"The department of defence] did commit resources to the planning of post-invasion operations," it says. "In retrospect, however, the overall effort appears to have been disjointed and, at times, poorly coordinated, perhaps reflecting the department's ambivalence towards nation-building."

First in line for the brickbats is-no surprise here- Donald Rumsfeld. It seems intelligence was poor from the CIA and training for dealing with civilians was not underttaken until the invasion was under way. "We had the wrong assumptions" said the officer in charge of training, William Wallace, "and therefore we had the wrong plan to put into play."

Rumsfeld and his pawn, General Franks, have to shoulder at least a measure of the blame but real resonsibility must lie with the president for completely losing control of the whole operation. This is what makes signs that Bush plans an attack on Iran so worrying. We learn that he has authorised £200m for a covert war inside Iran involving assassinations and abductions. If this careless, insensitive foolhardy man fulfills the suspicion that he intends not to leave office until he has 'disarmed' Tehran of its nuclear weapons, the prospects for the Middle East and the world will be bleak indeed.

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