“Army Buried Study Faulting Iraq Planning” and protected Bush from Public Scrutiny of Botched War Effort
The Washington Post reports today:
“The Army is accustomed to protecting classified information. But when it comes to the planning for the Iraq war, even an unclassified assessment can acquire the status of a state secret. [¶] That is what happened to a detailed study of the planning for postwar Iraq prepared for the Army by the RAND Corporation, a federally financed center that conducts research for the military. [¶] After 18 months of research, RAND submitted a report in the summer of 2005 called “Rebuilding Iraq.” RAND researchers provided an unclassified version of the report along with a secret one, hoping that its publication would contribute to the public debate on how to prepare for future conflicts.”
There is no mystery as to why the Army (i.e., the Bush Administration) chose to bury the report: it provides many examples of how Operation Iraqi Liberation was mismanaged from even before it began:
Gen. Tommy R. Franks, whose Central Command oversaw the military operation in Iraq, had a “fundamental misunderstanding” of what the military needed to do to secure postwar Iraq, the study said.
“Building public support for any pre-emptive or preventative war is inherently challenging, since by definition, action is being taken before the threat has fully manifested itself,” it said. “Any serious discussion of the costs and challenges of reconstruction might undermine efforts to build that support.”
“There was never an attempt to develop a single national plan that integrated humanitarian assistance, reconstruction, governance, infrastructure development and postwar security,” the study said.
The poor planning had “the inadvertent effort of strengthening the insurgency,” as Iraqis experienced a lack of security and essential services and focused on “negative effects of the U.S. security presence.”
Now, all the Country needs is a red-blooded American citizen inside Rand to release the Study (à la Daniel Ellsberg) so that full accountability can begin. Preferably before the November 2008 elections.