Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Two Iraq Reports Now Available

The Rand Corporation just released a report analyzing the planning and execution of combat and stability operations in Iraq. Conducted for the U.S. Army, the report begins with prewar planning, revealing that while many government agencies and organizations "identified a range of potential postwar challenges and suggested strategies for addressing them" before the invasion of Iraq, two sets of assumptions by officials in the highest levels of government undermined those suggestions: 1. many senior government policymakers were optimistic about "conditions that would emerge after major combat concluded" and overrode counterarguments, and 2. senior military commanders thought that civilians would be responsible for the postwar period. The report also looks at the role of U.S. military forces after initial combat ended on May 1, 2003 through June 2004, and civilian reconstruction efforts. Both the June 30, 2008 press release and the report entitled After Saddam: Postwar Planning and the Occupation of Iraq are available online. (The report is also available in paper.) This report is one of an eight-volume set analyzing combat and stability planning and execution in Iraq. Six of the volumes are classified; a seventh volume, in process, will be unclassified.

The conduct of the war in Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein is the subject of another report just released by the Combat Studies Institute Press at Fort Leavenworth. Entitled The United States Army in Operation Iraqi Freedom, May 2003-January 2005: On Point II: Transition to the New Campaign, the report "examines both the high-level decisions that shaped military operations after May 2003 as well as the effects of those decisions on units and Soldiers who became responsible for conducting those operations." A print copy is also available from the Government Printing Office. A review of the report is available from History News.