View Full Version : postwar Iraq strategy a mess, Blair was told

03-14-2006, 07:02 AM
postwar Iraq strategy a mess, Blair was told

Ewen MacAskill, diplomatic editor
Tuesday March 14, 2006
The Guardian

Tony Blair, the Prime Minister

Senior British diplomatic and military staff gave Tony Blair explicit warnings three years ago that the US was disastrously mishandling the occupation of Iraq, according to leaked memos.
John Sawers, Mr Blair's envoy in Baghdad in the aftermath of the invasion, sent a series of confidential memos to Downing Street in May and June 2003 cataloguing US failures. With unusual frankness, he described the US postwar administration, led by the retired general Jay Garner, as "an unbelievable mess" and said "Garner and his top team of 60-year-old retired generals" were "well-meaning but out of their depth".

That assessment is reinforced by Major General Albert Whitley, the most senior British officer with the US land forces. Gen Whitley, in another memo later that summer, expressed alarm that the US-British coalition was in danger of losing the peace. "We may have been seduced into something we might be inclined to regret. Is strategic failure a possibility? The answer has to be 'yes'," he concluded.

The memos were obtained by Michael Gordon, author, along with General Bernard Trainor, of Cobra II: the Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq, published to coincide with the third anniversary of the invasion.

The British memos identified a series of US failures that contained the seeds of the present insurgency and anarchy.

The mistakes include:

A lack of interest by the US commander, General Tommy Franks, in the post-invasion phase.

The presence in the capital of the US Third Infantry Division, which took a heavyhanded approach to security.

Squandering the initial sympathy of Iraqis.

Bechtel, the main US civilian contractor, moving too slowly to reconnect basic services, such as electricity and water.

Failure to deal with health hazards, such as 40% of Baghdad's sewage pouring into the Tigris and rubbish piling up in the streets.

Sacking of many of Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath party, even though many of them held relatively junior posts.

Mr Sawers, in a memo titled Iraq: What's Going Wrong, written on May 11, four days after he had arrived in Baghdad, is uncompromising about the US administration in Baghdad. He wrote: "No leadership, no strategy, no coordination, no structure and inaccessible to ordinary Iraqis."

He said the US needed to take action in Baghdad urgently. "The clock is ticking." Both Mr Sawers, who is now political director at the Foreign Office, and Gen Whitley see as one of the biggest errors a decision by Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, and General Tommy Franks, the overall US commander, to cut troops after the invasion.

Today they found 70 bodies in the street in Bahgdad.The country is on the verge of civil war.
Was this all because GW didnt want to introduce the draft? If you are in a war and you need troops, you call them up. Everyone is expected to do their duty- rich and poor, right?.
He seems to have no qualms about the poor/average American getting killed or injured, so the question is;
It is such a mess in Iraq because GW is protecting the sons of his 'base'?

Q ...........now he is waving his sword at the evil empire of Iran!............ I think he's lost it.

03-14-2006, 12:52 PM
"Q ...........now he is waving his sword at the evil empire of Iran!............ I think he's lost it."

Question crossed my mind today. Who other than Bush is in charge of hitting a red button and doing a nuke, say if we get into the Iran deal and this idiot REALLY has lost it?

Surely we won't see this lopsided power house and these clueless clowns, allow the bomb???sid

Gayle in MD
03-14-2006, 03:23 PM
I saw the authors of Cobra II interviewed several times during the last week. Also, there is another book out now, wish I could remember the name of it right now, written by a special forces Marine, who tells the story of how he had bin Laden cornered in Tora Bora, was even listening to his voice on the cell phone, had a special forces man there with him, talking to bin Laden, in Arabic, and asked for more boots on the ground, and armament, and didn't get it.

There's no doubt, the administration totally failed to listen to the warnings from the experts regarding the aftermath of the occupation, and that many many more people have died because of it. All of these authors aren't lying. Many of them are now retired. the ones I have heard interviewed, are obviously dedicated, and frustrated that the administration stood between them, and what they saw as the completion of their mission. Rumsfeld should have never been in charge, should have been replaced long ago, just like Chertoff should be replaced, well, Bush should be replaced, first!

Gayle in Md.
Gayle in Md.