« Council of War | Main | Friedman and Brooks- Inhabitants of a Flat Earth »

04 September 2007

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Cold War Zoomie

A retired colonel told me "the first law of nature is self preservation."

Bremer sure didn't wait long to act on that maxim, sending those letters to the NYT.

And typical government guys - saving every letter. Sometimes CYA is a beautiful thing.

frank durkee

This is realy for another post. However TPMDaily has two articles that seem to confirm an Administration bn attach blitz in the media for an attack on iran to begin this week as directed out of cheney's office. One source is George Packer in the New Yorker and the other from another publication. Packer's prime source claims to have a two source verification of instuctions given by the VP's Office to AEI. Clearly some serious probing of bothe the Iraq report and these repoorts should be pushed on the mainstream media. Perhaps it is too late as some of us felt in early September '02. But just perhaps the atmosphere has changed enough for a counter attack to have some effect. Perhaps not.

Binh

No wonder Bush kept Gonzales around. Birds of a feather...:

"The policy was to keep the [Iraqi] army intact; didn't happen," Bush told biographer Robert Draper in excerpts published in Sunday's
New York Times.

Draper pressed Bush to explain why, if he wanted to maintain the army, his chief administrator for Iraq, L. Paul Bremer III, issued an order in May 2003 disbanding the 400,000-strong army without pay.

"Yeah, I can't remember; I'm sure I said, 'This is the policy, what happened?'"

http://fairuse.100webcustomers.com/fairenough/latimesB79.html

John Howley

As I am presently deep into Ricks' Fiasco, I will remind us what we already know:

(1) Disbanding the defeated government army during an occupation is contrary to all modern historical experience.

(2) This decision, more than any other, contributed to the insurgency we are still fighting (I.e., a majority of U.S. combat deaths in Iraq stem from this decision).

(3) Where did this idea come from if not Chalabi? Why was this decision made if it was contrary to all military and diplomatic advice?

kim

this is the first thing bremer's done right in 4 years.

might be deserving of another medal.

mlaw230

Colonel: I have read these books too and although Bush is certainly responsible, there is an odd vacuum as to where this idea came from.

In Woodward's book it seems to have come to Iraq within Bremer's luggage. Nevertheless, there is every indication that it was dictated to Bremer, from whom is anyones guess.

Regardless of the answer to that question, it only illustrates that there is no structure whatever to the decision making process. This is an entire Administration conducted in passive voice.

bh

The whole "controversy" about who "abolished" the Iraqi Army is silly. The Iraqi Army was never abolished, it simply reconstituted itself as the many different units now fighting the US occupation.

The Cheney/Bremer mistake was thinking that making the army illegal meant it would disappear. It just kept fighting in a new form.

FMJ

The decision came from the American Enterprise Institute. In late-2002, early-2003, AEI hosted a series of conferences on post-war Iraq. The transcripts are still up on its website. Here's a link to the plan for the Iraqi army:
http://www.aei.org/events/filter.all,eventID.58/transcript.asp

A quote from Michael Eisenstadt who moderated the event:
"Now, with regard to de-Saddamizing the security and armed forces, basically there are three components to this: Scrap, Purge, and Professionalize them. If you look at the total number of security forces, there are more than a dozen. Most of these, if not all of them, will have to be scrapped. And when you look at the total number of people in these forces, we're talking about probably between 100- and 200,000 people. Now, not all of them--some of them will be probably tried for crimes against humanity, or war crimes, but I think the majority of them will probably be sent home--sent to pasture, so to speak."

confusedponderer

FMJ,
it seems as if for the neo-cons the Iraq war was an off-the-shelf war, where they simply put together ideas 'from the private sector', that is, the ideologically pure part, and made them government policy without consulting any serving pro, and put them together like modules.

That would also explain the lack of clarity what the war was all about. Probably everyone they consulted who though Iraq was a splendid idea, did so for his own reasons, which later manifested themselves.

  1. We need to reconstruct and don't want to use the army? np, let's hand out some reconstruction contracts.
  2. We have a security problem and insufficient forces? np, let's hire some private security contractors.
  3. We don't get any ideas we like from the experts working for the government? np, let's go to the AEI or some other think tank. There'll also be group hugs.
  4. We don't have a real post war plan? np, we do have Ahmed Chalabi, and don't need to plan because we will be greeted with rose petals.
  5. .... and so forth.

The overarching theme is the lack of coherent planning.

Cujo359

Who abolished the Iraqi Army? You might as well ask who fired all those U.S. Attorneys.

Nobody does anything in this administration. Stuff just happens. You guys really need to understand that or you'll drive yourselves crazy.

Steve

Bush is either lying or genuinely doesn't know what the policy was.

Unfortunately, we've reached the state of affairs in this country where the likelihood that Bush actually didn't know the policy is certainly possible.

And to me, that possibility is certainly more frightening than the alternative that he's just flat out lying.

Will

bh understands MacArthur

"The Cheney/Bremer mistake was thinking that making the army illegal meant it would disappear. It just kept fighting in a new form."

"Old soldiers never die, they just fade away."

meletius

I think it very likely that the historians will never be able to piece this invasion and occupation together into a complete and coherent narrative.

We already know of hundreds of violations of the Presidential Records Act with the previously reported Rove/RNC email "loss" alone. Think Cheney's "office" even thinks the Records Act is constitutional?

Exactly who ordered the Iraqi Army disbanded, perhaps the greatest and most blatant mistake of the "campaign", will never be known.

Cloned Poster

Exactly who ordered the Iraqi Army disbanded, perhaps the greatest and most blatant mistake of the "campaign", will never be known.

Posted by: meletius | 05 September 2007 at 05:01 PM

meletius, who "carries the can?" is a better premise to start from!

DH

There are two contradictory statements in the article:

"Gen. Peter Pace, then the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations in February 2004 that the decision to disband the Iraqi Army was made without the input of the joint chiefs. “We were not asked for a recommendation or for advice,” he said."

"[Bremer] said he received detailed comments back from the joint chiefs, leaving no doubt in his mind that they understood the plan."

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/04/washington/04bremer.html?_r=2&th&emc=th&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

August 2020

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
            1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31          
Blog powered by Typepad