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  • 2002: Iraq in 2007 = 5000 troops

    A Prewar Slide Show Cast Iraq in Rosy Hues

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 — When Gen. Tommy R. Franks and his top officers gathered in August 2002 to review an invasion plan for Iraq, it reflected a decidedly upbeat vision of what the country would look like four years after Saddam Hussein was ousted from power.

    A broadly representative Iraqi government would be in place. The Iraqi Army would be working to keep the peace. And the United States would have as few as 5,000 troops in the country.

    Military slides obtained by the National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act outline the command’s PowerPoint projection of the stable, pro-American and democratic Iraq that was to be.

    The general optimism and some details of General Franks’s planning session have been disclosed in the copious postwar literature. But the slides from the once classified briefing provide a firsthand look at how far the violent reality of Iraq today has deviated from assumptions that once laid the basis for an exercise in pre-emptive war.

    The archive, an independent research institute at George Washington University, has posted the slides on its Web site, www.nsarchive.org.

    August 2002 was an important time for developing the strategy. President Bush had yet to go to the United Nations to declare Saddam Hussein’s supposed weapons programs a menace to international security, but the war planning was well under way. The tumultuous upheaval that would follow the toppling of the Hussein government was known antiseptically in planning sessions as “Phase IV.” As is clear from the slides, it was the least defined part of the strategy.

    General Franks had told his officers that it was his supposition that the State Department would have the primary responsibility for rebuilding Iraq’s political institutions.

    “D.O.S. will promote creation of a broad-based, credible provisional government — prior to D-Day,” noted a slide on “key planning assumptions.” That was military jargon for the notion that the Department of State would assemble a viable Iraqi governing coalition before the invasion even began.

    “It was a way of forcing the discussion, to get clarity of how we and State were going to deal with the governance issue,” Col. John Agoglia, a Central Command planner at the time, said in an interview.

    As it turned out, it was months before the command’s planners began to receive some of the clarification they were hoping for. The Bush administration put aside the idea of establishing a prewar provisional government for fear it would marginalize Iraqi leaders who had not gone into exile. Colonel Agoglia said he did not begin to get a sense of what the postwar arrangements would be until Jay Garner, a retired three-star general, was tapped by the Bush administration in January 2003 to serve as the first civilian administrator in postwar Iraq.

    Another assumption spelled out in the PowerPoint presentation was that “co-opted” Iraqi Army units would heed the American appeals to stay in their garrisons and later help United States to secure the country.

    Based on this and other hopeful suppositions, the command’s planners projected what the American occupation of Iraq might look like. After the main fighting was over, there was to be a two- to three-month “stabilization” phase, then an 18- to 24-month “recovery” phase.

    That was to be followed by a 12- to 18-month “transition” phase. At the end of this stage — 32 to 45 months after the invasion began — it was projected that the United States would have only 5,000 troops in Iraq.

    Now, those projections seem startlingly unrealistic given the current troop buildup, in which the United States currently has about 132,000 troops in Iraq and is adding about 20,000 more. But the projections, former military planners say, were intended to send the message to civilian policy makers that the invasion of Iraq would be a multiyear proposition, not an easy in-and-out war.

    As it turned out, the assumptions on Iraqi and American forces were quickly overturned, partly as a result of new American policy decisions. Instead of staying in garrisons, many of the Iraqi soldiers fled after the war began. Senior American commanders hoped to quickly recall the Iraqi troops to duty anyway, but that option vanished in May 2003 when L. Paul Bremer III, Mr. Garner’s successor, issued an edict formally disbanding the Iraqi Army.

    The message that the United States should gird itself for a substantial multiyear occupation seemed to be superseded when General Franks issued new guidance to his commanders a week after the fall of Baghdad on April 9 that they should be prepared to reduce the American troops in Iraq to a little more than a division by September 2003 — some 30,000 troops.

    A series of ad hoc decisions and strategy changes followed as the insurgency grew and security deteriorated. A new military plan is now being put into effect, which the White House asserts may yet salvage a positive outcome. Almost four years after the invasion, however, the “stable democratic Iraqi government” the United States once hoped for seems to exist only in the command’s old planning slides.

    WWW.LIFEAFTERTHEOILCRASH.NET

    WWW.LIFEAFTERTHEOILCRASH.NET WWW.LIFEAFTERTHEOILCRASH.NET

  • #2
    Washington D.C., February 14, 2007 - The U.S. Central Command's war plan for invading Iraq postulated in August 2002 that the U.S. would have only 5,000 troops left in Iraq as of December 2006, according to the Command's PowerPoint briefing slides, which were obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and are posted on the Web today by the National Security Archive (www.nsarchive.org).

    The PowerPoint slides, prepared by CentCom planners for Gen. Tommy Franks under code name POLO STEP, for briefings during 2002 for President Bush, the NSC, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, the JCS, and Franks' commanders, refer to the "Phase IV" post-hostilities period as "UNKNOWN" and "months" in duration, but assume that U.S. forces would be almost completely "re-deployed" out of Iraq within 45 months of the invasion (i.e. December 2006).

    "Completely unrealistic assumptions about a post-Saddam Iraq permeate these war plans," said National Security Archive Executive Director Thomas Blanton. "First, they assumed that a provisional government would be in place by 'D-Day', then that the Iraqis would stay in their garrisons and be reliable partners, and finally that the post-hostilities phase would be a matter of mere 'months'. All of these were delusions."

    The PowerPoint slides reflect the continuous debate over the size of the invasion force that took place within the Bush administration. In late November 2001, President Bush asked Rumsfeld about the status of plans for war with Iraq. He asked for an updated approach, but did not want to attract attention. Rumsfeld ordered Gen. Franks to prepare a commander's estimate of improvements needed, and Franks convened a planning group that adopted the codeword POLO STEP.

    POLO STEP was a coded compartment created during the Clinton administration to encompass covert Iraq and counter-terrorism plans and activities. In the mid-1990s, the compartment specifically included the targeting of Osama bin Laden. Following the September 11 attacks, CentCom, among other military and national security components, used the designation to cover planning for the war in Iraq. (Note 1)

    In mid-2002, military analyst William Arkin obtained a leaked copy of a briefing on the Iraq plans and revealed the existence of POLO STEP in an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times (June 23, 2002, p. M1). According to Arkin, the revelation unleashed the fury of Gen. Franks and Secretary Rumsfeld who immediately ordered a probe of the leak that lasted until the end of 2003 and subjected more than 1,000 military and contractor personnel to sometimes repeated questioning. (Note 2)

    The slides in this Web posting are a compilation reflecting various iterations in war planning. The U.S. government maintains plans for conflict with a multitude of possible adversaries. The contingency operating plan for Iraq--OPLAN 1003-98--had last been fully reviewed in 1996 and was updated in 1998. It envisioned an invasion force of more than 380,000 troops. Former CentCom commander Gen. Anthony Zinni (who saw gaps in the plan--particularly in regard to the post-war order) organized a war game--Desert Crossing--in 1999 to examine additional contingencies.

    Under pressure from Secretary Rumsfeld for a leaner force (according to accounts in books by Michael Gordon/Bernard Trainor, Thomas Ricks, and Bob Woodward), Zinni's successor, Gen. Franks, reduced the number to 275,000 in the commander's estimate he gave to President Bush on December 28, 2001. During the course of 2002 alternative versions of the plan were developed reflecting various assumptions about levels of allied support--"robust", "reduced", or "unilateral"--and about the amount of lead time available between the order to invade and the deployment of forces. Under the Generated Start option Bush would have provided CentCom with 30 days notice for war, and 60 days to deploy. Following Rumsfeld's mandate to reduce deployment time to prepare for any contingency, Franks developed the alternative Running Start option: conflict would begin with escalating Red, White, and Blue air strikes followed by ground war as troops were deployed. By mid-August 2002 a Hybrid concept had been developed--the U.S. military would quickly mobilize forces in the region, initiate an air strike campaign, then launch a ground invasion.

    One account written after the war points out a basic problem with the concept of scaled-down ground forces - a "contradiction" between ends and means (Michael R. Gordon & Gen. Bernard Trainor, Cobra II, pp. 503-504):

    "Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Tommy Franks spent most of their time and energy on the least demanding task - defeating Saddam's weakened conventional forces - and the least amount on the most demanding - rehabilitation of and security for the new Iraq. The result was a surprising contradiction. The United States did not have nearly enough troops to secure the hundreds of suspected WMD sites that had supposedly been identified in Iraq or to secure the nation's long, porous borders. Had the Iraqis possessed WMD and terrorist groups been prevalent in Iraq as the Bush administration so loudly asserted, U.S. forces might well have failed to prevent the WMD from being spirited out of the country and falling into the hands of the dark forces the administration had declared war against."

    In the end, Secretary of State Colin Powell and British Prime Minister Tony Blair persuaded President Bush that the U.S. needed to go to the U.N. to try to legitimize the invasion. Diplomatic efforts over the next few months allowed more time for war preparations and the final option embraced by Rumsfeld - Lt. Gen. David McKiernan's Cobra II - was closer to Generated Start, the original plan, than the various iterations that were subsequently developed and are reflected in the declassified PowerPoint slides.

    Lt. Gen. McKiernan later told Washington Post reporter Thomas Ricks (Fiasco, p. 75):

    "It's quite frustrating the way this works, but the way we do things nowadays is combatant commanders brief their products in PowerPoint up in Washington to OSD and Secretary of Defense... In lieu of an order, or a frag [fragmentary] order, or plan, you get a set of PowerPoint slides... [T]hat is frustrating, because nobody wants to plan against PowerPoint slides."
    Retired Army Col. Andrew Bacevich told Ricks (Fiasco, pp. 75-76) that PowerPoint war planning was the ultimate insult:

    "Here may be the clearest manifestation of OSD's [Office of Secretary of Defense] contempt for the accumulated wisdom of the military profession and of the assumption among forward thinkers that technology -- above all information technology -- has rendered obsolete the conventions traditionally governing the preparation and conduct of war. To imagine that PowerPoint slides can substitute for such means is really the height of recklessness."

    National Security Archive senior analyst Joyce Battle asked the U.S. Army under the FOIA in 2004 for documents related to the 2001-2003 debates over troop levels for the Iraq war. In response, the Army referred the request to Central Command in 2005; and CentCom responded to the FOIA request in January 2007 with the declassified PowerPoint slides. The slides were compiled at CentCom with tabs labeled "A" through "L" (one slide is unlabeled). The Web posting today reproduces the documents as they were released by CentCom, together with additional items prepared by the National Security Archive: a brief chronology of Iraq war planning based on secondary sources, a glossary of military acronyms (essential for translating the otherwise cryptic references on the slides), and an introduction written by Ms. Battle.


    http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB214/index.htm

    WWW.LIFEAFTERTHEOILCRASH.NET

    WWW.LIFEAFTERTHEOILCRASH.NET WWW.LIFEAFTERTHEOILCRASH.NET

    Comment


    • #3
      Freedom is the only way, yeah.

      When will you understand this?

      Comment


      • #4
        Wow, the DOD was wrong on Iraq? This is breaking news.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by StereoType View Post
          Wow, the DOD was wrong on Iraq? This is breaking news.
          You admitting something went wrong with Iraq is imbolding the enemy and undermiinding the troops... why do you hate America?
          the last vet.before everyone got vetted
          Originally posted by MarshallArts
          Who's got you quoted in their sigs? Are they as equally worthy as those that have sigged me? I just can't imagine it.

          Comment


          • #6
            it is breaking news because this information was just declassified

            WWW.LIFEAFTERTHEOILCRASH.NET

            WWW.LIFEAFTERTHEOILCRASH.NET WWW.LIFEAFTERTHEOILCRASH.NET

            Comment


            • #7
              lol... we shoulda just stuck wit afghanistan... or at least waited until we had more countries supporting us before we fucked with iraq... bush will go down as one of the worst presidents of all time.
              www.supremacyracing.com


              I Honda

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by reservoirGod View Post
                You admitting something went wrong with Iraq is imbolding the enemy and undermiinding the troops... why do you hate America?
                Admitting something went wrong with Iraq is the TRUTH. Telling the truth doesn't mean someone hates America.
                Last edited by -Sil-; 02-17-2007, 03:48 PM.
                Clean Since: 12.10.08

                Comment


                • #9
                  ^ he was being sarcastic
                  Originally posted by FunkySuicideGirl
                  Ima sucker when some suck my lip or bite in it
                  Originally posted by Syko Squidge
                  ^
                  fuck off you gay piece of cunt
                  Originally posted by Otto
                  That shit is fuck,

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Silmaril View Post
                    Admitting something went wrong with Iraq is the TRUTH. Telling the truth doesn't mean someone hates America.
                    It's libtards like you that are destroying America, listen to Sean Hannity and ask him for forgivness.
                    the last vet.before everyone got vetted
                    Originally posted by MarshallArts
                    Who's got you quoted in their sigs? Are they as equally worthy as those that have sigged me? I just can't imagine it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      you know how many generations of iraqis are going to hate america......the u.s govt fuckd up so bad that 30 years from now the kids who are alive today will give their life to get revenge.
                      Think, Act, Make & Spend Money Like A True Business Individual A.K.A. A Baller.

                      Business To Bling - The Realest Blog On Creating Wealth

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                      Comment


                      • #12
                        /\ exactly my point... we have to kill them now when they are childern. That's what you unhinged, whacked-out, lefty, commie, abortionist-liberals don't understand.
                        the last vet.before everyone got vetted
                        Originally posted by MarshallArts
                        Who's got you quoted in their sigs? Are they as equally worthy as those that have sigged me? I just can't imagine it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by reservoirGod View Post
                          It's libtards like you that are destroying America, listen to Sean Hannity and ask him for forgivness.
                          3;-)3
                          Last edited by -Sil-; 02-18-2007, 12:39 PM.
                          Clean Since: 12.10.08

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            commie!
                            the last vet.before everyone got vetted
                            Originally posted by MarshallArts
                            Who's got you quoted in their sigs? Are they as equally worthy as those that have sigged me? I just can't imagine it.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by reservoirGod View Post
                              You admitting something went wrong with Iraq is imbolding the enemy and undermiinding the troops... why do you hate America?
                              I'm sorry what was I thinking?

                              Comment

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