From the NYT:
"When Gen. Tommy R. Franks and his top officers gathered in August 2002 to review an invasion plan for Iraq, it reflected a decidedly upbeat vision of what the country would look like four years after Saddam Hussein was ousted from power.
A broadly representative Iraqi government would be in place. The Iraqi Army would be working to keep the peace. And the United States would have as few as 5,000 troops in the country.
Military slides obtained by the National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act outline the command’s PowerPoint projection of the stable, pro-American and democratic Iraq that was to be"
D-Day, as you might imagine, is the day we invade. How the Department of State was supposed to promote the creation of a broad-based, credible provisional government by then when Rumsfeld kept excluding all their experts from planning meetings is a bit of a mystery.
I also note, for the benefit of those of you who have wondered whether or not we believed that Iraq had WMD, that in this slide that's one of our assumptions.
Moving right along:
Cool! We've finished stabilization within 2-3 months of the end of major hostilities, recovery (which I think includes the reconstruction of the entire country) within the next two years, and by four years after the invasion -- which is to say, a month from now -- we're all done! And look how few troops we have in Iraq:
Only five thousand! As far as these PowerPoint slides are concerned, things are going swimmingly, and there's no need to talk about things like timetables for withdrawal, surges, counterinsurgency strategy. After all, Iraq was stabilized within a few months, and the broad-based, credible provisional government has things well in hand, so why bother?
There are, in these slides, various contingency plans. What will we do if we don't get to fly over various countries? How will we respond to a Predator being shot down, to the Iraqis using WMD against us, to a major attack on the Kurds? It's a pity we didn't plan for other contingencies, like an insurgency or a civil war.
Of all the bizarre and irrational things about the administration's prosecution of the war, the nearly total lack of planning for the occupation is the strangest of all. If I try very hard, I can wrap my mind around the idea that people who were supposed to know what they were doing thought invading Iraq was a good idea. But there is no point of view from which the failure to plan for the occupation makes any sense at all.