Looks Like Washington's Planners Are Going To Lose This One

by James Glaser
June 26, 2003

There was a little bill board at a Marine Corp compound in Vietnam, on which was printed "Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance." I remember it because it was bright red with yellow lettering. It looked clean and fresh, while everything else in that world was dirty and dusty.

That was they way the Marine Corp was run back then. Everything was planned out to the last digit and there were contingency plans for everything the Corp could think of. Times change and it seems as if today our armed forces no longer get to do the planning and submit ideas for foul ups they think might happen.

Today Washington and the Department of Defense will publicly rebuke Generals that suggest needs for the military that they feel don't fit into their plans. Young Americans are killed and many innocent people too, just so those civilians in charge can get their way. Men and women with no experience in warfare are now calling the shots and those with a lifetime of experience are regulated to the job of carrying out orders.

Sure it is interesting to try out your ideas about warfare, but these test runs are expensive in young lives on both sides. We as a nation pay military personel to not only prepare the troops for battle, but to also figure out the best way to use those troops to ensure success.

In our war with Iraq we went on the cheap and used way less troops that the Joint Chiefs of Staff thought would be prudent and we are paying the price for that right now. Sure the smaller more mobile attack worked out just fine. We made our way to Baghdad faster than anyone would have thought. Washington claimed victory and started looking for other foes to fight. Now that smaller force is stuck in Iraq trying to restore order to that country and they don't have enough troops or the right kind of troops.

The people planning this war thought the Iraqi people would fall all over themselves welcoming the American and British forces, The plan was to augment our troops with Iraqi forces willing to work with us and we found that they wouldn't. Washington planned to use Iraqi police to keep control of the cities, but forgot the police were as corrupt as Saddam and hated by the population.

It took only a couple of days after the capture of Baghdad to have the warning of too few troops by our Generals come back and haunt us. We had choices to make, with few troops we couldn't protect everything and decided to save the oil industry, while giving up the civilian infrastructure to looters.

The Iraqi people saw the United States turn on the oil pipeline before we turned on the fresh safe drinking water. Those same Iraqi people saw American combat troops in full battle gear trying to control their cities, but only a few Americans spoke their language.

American forces are undermanned and untrained to do security work and no prior plan was in place to rotate out combat troops for peace keepers. Combat troops are trained to kill and that is what they have been doing and that toll has driven a wedge between American forces and any Iraqi that was happy to see Saddam gone.

Only the inept plans from Washington for post combat Iraq could have made Saddam look good to the people of Iraq, but to some the lawlessness caused by us has done just that.. The Iraqi people that at first smiled at our troops now they just scowl. The death toll of innocent civilians has been reported all over the country and as more children become sick from tainted drinking water and others die from unexploded cluster bombs, the hate of America builds.

Former Iraqi soldiers can see that American troops are spread too thin and opportunities for revenge abound. It has been reported that as many as seventy five attacks on our troops can happen in one day. The people watch as we attack any location we have reports of seeing Saddam and more innocent civilians die and the hate keeps building.

It is too late to pour in more troops, peace keepers or not. The damage has been done and control of our military planning should be returned to those with the expertise to do a good job. We can still claim victory if we leave right now, but if we stay, our post combat failures to control the country will escalate the hate of our troops and we will leave in defeat.

Those people in Washington that planned this war still do not understand that people, even people in Iraq will give their lives to get freedom for their nation.

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