“You pay attention to the day after,” Gen. Tommy Franks said as the Iraq war was about to start, “I’ll pay attention to the day of.”Sure, fighting a war is always hard work, but it was obvious the US would win this one--the conventional war, that is. The hard part was always going to be the aftermath. And since war is politics by other means (didn't Franks read Clausewitz somewhere along the way?), you need to think about how force is going to produce outcomes that you desire, not just blowing things up.
What a great combination of leadership!?
- Bush, the least thoughtful/critical President we have had since ..... Harding/Coolidge/Hoover (even Reagan asked questions).
- Cheney, who focused on steamrolling everyone to prove he was wrong in 1991 when he agreed that taking Baghdad would just be the start of a very difficult occupation.
- Rice, who completely blew her role as coordinator, not only by not bringing in contrasting views just to keep the folks honest, but also by allowing Bremer to run the occupation with no oversight and no clear guidance from the interagency.
- Rumsfeld, who wanted to prove to the army that it was unnecessary and had the arrogance to think that any criticism was needless opposition rather than perhaps constructive insights to make an occupation work better.
- Franks--a yes men to the folks above him, a tyrant to those below him, so he would not/could not think about the aftermath and plan for it. The irony is: this is what the military is very, very good at--planning. But he didn't bother.