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Documents in the News: NDU study calls Iraq war “a major debacle”

The McClatchy Newspapers have reported on a new National Defense University report on the Iraq war.

  • Pentagon institute calls Iraq war ‘a major debacle’ with outcome ‘in doubt’, Jonathan S. Landay and John Walcott, McClatchy Newspapers, April 17, 2008. “The war in Iraq has become “a major debacle” and the outcome “is in doubt” despite improvements in security from the buildup in U.S. forces, according to a highly critical study published Thursday by the Pentagon’s premier military educational institute.”
  • Choosing War: The Decision to Invade Iraq and Its Aftermath, by Joseph J. Collins, Institute for National Strategic Studies, Occasional Paper 5, National Defense University Press, Washington, D.C. April 2008. “Measured in blood and treasure, the war in Iraq has achieved the status of a major war and a major debacle.”

Dr. Joseph J. Collins has been Professor of National Security Strategy at the National War College since 2004. Prior to this assignment, he served for 3 years as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Stability Operations. From 1998 to 2001, Dr. Collins was a Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where he researched economic sanctions, national security policy, and homeland security. In 1998, after nearly 28 years of military service, Dr. Collins retired from the U.S. Army as a colonel. His many publications include books and articles on war in Afghanistan, Operation Desert Storm, military culture, defense transformation, homeland defense, and the way ahead in Iraq. Dr. Collins holds a bachelor’s degree from Fordham University and two master’s degrees and a doctorate in political science from Columbia University. In 2004, he was awarded the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, its highest civilian award.

NDU Press publications are sold by the U.S. Government Printing Office. National Defense University Web site: http://www.ndu.edu.

See also: The Army Monograph that Predicted Just About Everything that’s Happened in Iraq.

Iraqi Perspectives Report now available online

Last month we posted a story about the Iraqi Perspectives Report being available only by mail from the U. S. Joint Forces Command. Lo and behold, today I received a CDROM in the mail with the 5 volumes of the report in PDFs. I just uploaded the whole thing to the Internet Archive. Catalog away!!

Iraqi Perspectives Report Saddam And Terrorism: Emerging Insights From Captured Iraqi Documents. January 2007. IDA Paper P-4287. 5 volumes.

Iraqi Perspectives Project Report Put Online by FAS not DoD

The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) now has online all five volumes of the Iraqi Perspectives Project report, which the Department of Defense (DoD) refused to put online.

Pentagon will mail you a copy of Iraq study that finds no smoking gun

ABC News is reporting that the Pentagon canceled plans to post a new comprehensive military study of Saddam Hussein’s links to terrorism on the website of the Joint Forces Command. The story says, “The report will be made available only to those who ask for it, and it will be sent via U.S. mail from Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, Virginia. It won’t be emailed to reporters and it won’t be posted online.” The Pentagon also canceled plans to send out a press release announcing the report’s release.

The report was prepared by Kevin M. Woods and James Lacey “under the Iraqi Perspectives sub task of the Joint Advanced Warfighting Program (JAWP) task order for the Director, Joint Center for Operational Analyses and Lessons Learned, United States Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM)” and the Institute For Defense Analyses. It is based on the analysis of some 600,000 official Iraqi documents seized by US forces after the invasion and on thousands of hours of interrogations of former top officials in Saddam’s government in U.S. custody.

The executive summary of the report says

This study found no “smoking gun” (i.e., direct connection) between Saddam’s Iraq and al Qaeda. Saddam’s interest in, and support for, non-state actors was spread across a variety of revolutionary, liberation, nationalist, and Islamic terrorist organizations.

The ABC report says that when asked why the report would not be posted online and could not be emailed a Pentagon official said initial press reports on the study made it “too politically sensitive.”

ABC has posted a copy of an executive summary of the document here:

ABC also has a copy of a longer version of what is apparently the same report here:

The Army Monograph that Predicted Just About Everything that’s Happened in Iraq

“In October 2002, the U.S. Army War College’s Strategic Studies Institute, in coordination with the Office of the Army Deputy Chief of Staff/G-3, initiated a study to analyze how American and coalition forces can best address the requirements that will necessarily follow operational victory in a war with Iraq.” Thus says the foreward of the monograph that is available from the Strategic Studies Institute of the the U.S. Army War College.

There is an excerpt and a bit more about the authors at:

From the foreward of the monograph:

In October 2002, the U.S. Army War College’s Strategic Studies Institute, in coordination with the Office of the Army Deputy Chief of Staff/G-3, initiated a study to analyze how American and coalition forces can best address the requirements that will necessarily follow operational victory in a war with Iraq. The objectives of the project were to determine and analyze probable missions for military forces in a post-Saddam Iraq; examine associated challenges; and formulate strategic recommendations for transferring responsibilities to coalition partners or civilian organizations, mitigating local animosity, and facilitating overall mission accomplishment in the war against terrorism.

The Strategic Studies Institute organized an interdisciplinary team under the leadership of Dr. Conrad C. Crane and Dr. W. Andrew Terrill. The team’s initial findings were vetted at a joint and interagency workshop conducted in December. The final report of the project consists of three parts: a discussion of historical insights from 20th century postwar occupations and post-conflict operations; an analysis of the unique challenges Iraq will present for an occupying power; and a mission matrix that lists 135 specific tasks that must be performed to build and sustain a state. The matrix arrays those tasks across four phases of occupation and designates whether coalition military forces or civilian agencies should perform them.

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