L. Paul Bremer III

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This week, the British government released the Chilcot report on British involvement in the Iraq war. As the person who headed up the post-war transition and reconstruction efforts, I agree with much of it.

John Chilcot, who was tasked with producing the report, notes that British prewar planning was "inadequate" and blames many post-conflict difficulties on this lack of preparation.

The same can be said of American planning.

Our planners assumed that after Saddam Hussein's overthrow, we would face the same problems we faced after the first Gulf War in 1991 -- large-scale refugee movements, destroyed oil facilities. This left us unprepared for the different challenges we faced.…  Seguir leyendo »

For the fifth anniversary of President Bush’s declaration of the end of “major combat operations” in Iraq, the Op-Ed page asked nine experts on military affairs to identify a significant challenge facing the American and Iraqi leadership today and to propose one specific step to help overcome that challenge.

1.- Right the Wrong

By Nathaniel Fick, a Marine infantry officer in Iraq and Afghanistan and a fellow at the Center for a New American Security.

With eight months left in office, President Bush has the power to shape his successor’s inheritance in Iraq. And the over-arching imperative right now, as articulated by Gen.…  Seguir leyendo »

To mark this week’s fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, the Op-Ed page asked nine experts on military and foreign affairs to reflect on their attitudes in the spring of 2003 and to comment on the one aspect of the war that most surprised them or that they wished they had considered in the prewar debate.

Where Was The Plan?

Fifteen months before the 9/11 attacks, the bipartisan National Commission on Terrorism, on which I served as chairman, reported to the president and the American people that we faced a new and terrible threat: the nexus between states that supported terrorism and killers who wanted to murder Americans by the thousands and were prepared to die doing it.…  Seguir leyendo »

“The Iraqi Army of the future cannot be an extension of the present army, which has been made into a tool of dictatorship.” — Report by the Department of State’s Future of Iraq Project, May 2002

It has become conventional wisdom that the decision to disband Saddam Hussein’s army was a mistake, was contrary to American prewar planning and was a decision I made on my own. In fact the policy was carefully considered by top civilian and military members of the American government. And it was the right decision.

By the time Baghdad fell on April 9, 2003, the Iraqi Army had simply dissolved.…  Seguir leyendo »