The occupation of iraq winning the war losing the phenomenal--ref a relevant to everywhere elseDocument Transcript
The Occupation of Iraq: Winning the War, Losing the Peace by Dr. Ali A. Allawi Excellent History Of The Iraq WarInvolved for over thirty years in the politics of Iraq, Ali A. Allawi was a long-time opposition leader against the Baathist regime. In the post-Saddamyears he has held important government positions and participated incrucial national decisions and events. In this book, the former Minister ofDefense and Finance draws on his unique personal experience, extensiverelationships with members of the main political groups and parties in Iraq,and deep understanding of the history and society of his country to answerthe baffling questions that persist about its current crises. What really ledthe United States to invade Iraq, and why have events failed to unfold asplanned?The Occupation of Iraq examines what the United States did and didn’tknow at the time of the invasion, the reasons for the confused and
contradictory policies that were enacted, and the emergence of the Iraqipolitical class during the difficult transition process. The book tracks thegrowth of the insurgency and illuminates the complex relationships amongSunnis, Shias, and Kurds. Bringing the discussion forward to thereconfiguration of political forces in 2006, Allawi provides in these pagesthe clearest view to date of the modern history of Iraq and the invasion thatchanged its cour se in unpredicted ways.Personal Review: The Occupation of Iraq: Winning the War,Losing the Peace by Dr. Ali A. AllawiThe author has achieved extraordinary synthesis and summation, withgifted straight-forward language.This book is not only a capstone reference, but demonstrates why we needto LISTEN--none of us could learn--in a lifetime--all that this author has inhis head. Thats why multinational engagement is a non-negotiable firststep toward the future.Key notes and quotes:+ Bush Senior should not have left Saddam Hussein off the hook in Gulf I,should have finished off the regime while we had enough troops on theground to make the peace.+ US blew Gulf II from the moment of victory onward. "Incoherent" is aword the author uses frequently in describing virtually every aspect of USoperations in Iraq. The one element that gets high marks from him is theU.S. Agency for International Development (AID) but the fact that the bulkof the "reconstruction" money was mis-managed by the CoalitionProvisional Authority (CPA) makes AIDs excellent a footnote in this sorrytale.+ Book covers 2003-2006; the author was Minister of Defense and thenMinister of Finance during the reconstruction period.+ "Too few Americans actually cared." Fred Smith (parent agency notclear) gets high marks from the author for caring and competence as theCPA-appointed advisor to the Ministry of Defense in the 2004 timeframe.+ Up front the author identifies 33 key Iraqis and 14 key Americans, and Iam struck by the fact that not a single one of the Americans is a uniformedUS military officer on active duty.+ Great map of 74 tribal districts. Very interesting when you rememberthat we were told to ignore the tribal chiefs and imams for the first fouryears, and that Maj Gants paper "One Tribe at a Time" is now respected--just eight years too late.
+ Invasion extraordinary for "complexity of motive and ambiguity ofpurpose." Wow.+ Snapshot of the 1960s through the 1980s focuses on US indifferencefollowed by sideline r ole in Iran-Iraq war [during which some will recall thatwe gave Saddam Hussein bio-chemical weapons that he was quick to useon the Kurds as well as the Iranians]+ Citing Robert Merton, author of Social Theory and Social Structureamong many other works, he lists the five contributing factors tounintended consequences:--- 01 Ignorance of tr5ue conditions pertaining--- 02 Error in inference--- 03 Primacy of immediate interests--- 04 The ideological imperative (or the imperative of basic values)--- 05 Self-fulfilling prophecy (the author says this phrase was coined byMerton).QUOTE: In official Washington, the ignorance of what was going on insideIraq before the war was monumental."QUOTE: The State Department, supposedly a citadel of realist thinking,had little first-hand experience of the country, instead relying on inferenceand analogous reasoning when trying to unravel the possible outcomes inthe postwar period."QUOTE: The invasion and occupation of Iraq comprised an index of errorsof commission and omission. It would be difficult to catalog them. Therewere just too many. ... The range, number, and pernicious effects ofthese errors was astounding.+ HUGE FAILURE OF CULTURAL INTELLIGENCE. None. Zip. Nada.Rein.+ PHENOMENAL accounting of the indigenous open sources ofinformation that were precise, relevant, and IGNORED.+ Chalabi is treated relatively kindly, and given credit for forecasting theinvasion of Kuwait.+ First serious Iraqi opposition in exile conference in 1992+ Fascinating account of the deliberate emergence of Shia consciousnessfrom 1988 [same year that Saudi Arabia started funding Bin Laden andradical Wahhabism world-wide), Shia emergence accelerating in 1992 (USdid not notice)+ Iraqi opposition was ostracized in the Middle East less Kuwait and Iran.
QUOTE: The entire process of planning for a post-war Iraq was mired inineptitude, poor organization and indifference. The Future of Iraq Projectwas a half-hearted and unreal attempt to tackle the issues that wouldconfront the overseers of a country with a devastated economy and adictatorial political culture."QUOTE: The Bush administrations position on Iraq, in the immediateaftermath of the war, was riddled with expedient decision-making,departmental infighting, conflicting strategies, and policy incoherence."+ General Erik Shinseki and Senator Joe Biden get high marks from theauthor for being intelligence and realistic. Garner is considered "well-meaning" but lacking the organization to be effective.BOTTOM LINE: Dick Cheney personally, and bureaucratic infightingbetween State and Defense, combined with the complete and utterignorance of US intelligence about Iraq, destroyed Iraq, whose fragile statewas not understood in the slightest.+ BREMER is considered by the author to have been a second-stringplayer, a hasty compromise, to which I would add, sending him on a one-year tour was criminal, but then that was Dick Cheneys nature.+ This entire book is an indictment of the idiocy, criminality, and lack ofintelligence of the entire US Government but especially the White House,DoD, State, and CIA.+ Discovery of mass graves (tens of thousands) was a vastly under -estimated cause for ethnic anguish and the revival of centuries oldantipathies.+ Bremers first two decisions, the de-Bathification of the government andthe dissolution of the only respected institution in the country, the military-police (vice Gestapo), destroyed whatever hope there might have been ofavoiding a prolonged occupation and the total immolation of the societyand economy.+ Saddam Husseins main focus was on Shia uprising not on US invasion.+ US failed to integrate and listen to Iraqi leaders at all times.+ Core divide: Sovereignty first, elections later (Iraqi view) versus USview of vice versa.+ US crudeness inflamed tribes.+ Marshall Plan was huge and multinational, Iraq "aid" was tiny andunilateral.
+ CPAs three key failures: no price and subsidy reform; no fooddistribution reform; no state-owned enterprises financial reform.+ Saudi considerations of the invasion: fear of insurgents FROM Iraq; Iraqas proxy for Iran; Iraq as oil challenger; revival of Shia.At Phi Beta Iota, the Public Intelligence Blog, I provide a number of quotesthat will not fit here, and a link to my cluster of 33 other reviews on Iraq,one of 98 categories within which I read. For More 5 Star Customer Reviews and Lowest Price:The Occupation of Iraq: Winning the War, Losing the Peace by Dr. Ali A. Allawi 5 Star Customer Reviews and Lowest Price!