A war without a plan

Published December 27, 2004 10:38PM (EST)

Critics of Donald Rumsfeld's Department of Defense have long alleged that military planners didn't prepare for the occupation of Iraq, and now a military planner himself is saying the same thing. In an unpublished report, covered by the Washington Post, Maj. Isasiah Wilson III, a military historian who helped devise the Pentagon's Iraq strategy, writes that the Defense Department never had a plan for "Phase IV" -- the period of occupation and reconstruction that would, in theory, have won the peace.

"Reluctance in even defining the situation . . . is perhaps the most telling indicator of a collective cognitive dissidence on part of the U.S. Army to recognize a war of rebellion, a people's war, even when they were fighting it," Wilson writes. "This overly simplistic conception of the 'war' led to a cascading undercutting of the war effort: too few troops, too little coordination with civilian and governmental/non-governmental agencies . . . and too little allotted time to achieve 'success.'"

"Similar criticisms have been made before," the Post Notes, "but until now they have not been stated so authoritatively and publicly by a military insider positioned to be familiar with top-secret planning."

By Jeff Horwitz

MORE FROM Jeff Horwitz

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

War Room