Iraq Planning Seriously Flawed: Army

At a loss after combat
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 29, 2008 7:39 AM CDT
In this U.S. Air Force file photo released by the Defense Department, U.S. Army soldiers leave Forward Operating Base Marez in Mosul, Iraq to conduct a cordon and knock patrol July 1, 2006.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The planning and execution of the Iraq occupation was seriously flawed, the Army concedes in an unclassified report to be released tomorrow. Built on some 200 interviews, the study is a detailed analysis of the Army's activities, aimed at military experts, reports the New York Times. A central problem identified in the report is the military’s failure to adequately plan for the occupation after major combat.

“I can remember asking, ‘OK, we are in Baghdad, what next?’ No real good answers came forth,” said one commander in the report. Leaders also worked on "wrong assumptions,” such as the belief that Iraq’s own institutions would remain operational after Saddam Hussein’s government fell, noted a top general. And a sudden change in leadership after the regime’s collapse complicated the situation.