For Official Use Only Draft Documnet ­ Not For Further Distribution: Hard Lessons: The Iraq Reconstruction Experience

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The draft of a federal report by the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. Annotations are based on the review’s findings. The draft was provided to reporters at The New York Times and ProPublica by two people outside the Inspector General’s office who have read the draft....

The draft of a federal report by the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. Annotations are based on the review’s findings. The draft was provided to reporters at The New York Times and ProPublica by two people outside the Inspector General’s office who have read the draft. Full Story »

Chapter 1
PLANNING BEGINS
I have no idea what CENTCOM was planning, and I have absolutely no idea what the Joint Chiefs of Staff were planning. I do know that political guidance they were getting from Rumsfeld, the NSC, and the White House was, `You got about three months to get this thing up and running.’
General Colin Powell,Secretary of State (2001-2005)

The origins of U.S. reconstruction policy in Iraq are rooted in a series of debates held in the fall of 2001 when plans for deposing Iraq’s dictator, Saddam Hussein were ordered revised.1 From the outset, Secretary Rumsfeld anticipated that power would be rapidly transferred to an interim Iraqi government in the aftermath of an invasion.
Reflecting Rumsfeld’s vision, Pentagon officials conceived of U.S. forces as liberators who would leave Iraq within months of Saddam’s fall. In such a scenario, the United States would not need to administer the functions of Iraq’s government after major combat operations ceased. 2

A different view of regime change evolved at the State Department. Senior officials in Foggy Bottom believed that Iraq, with its history of sectarian violence, could not be so easily reshaped. Invading Iraq and replacing its totalitarian regime would require a mission of enormous scope, carried out over a period of years, engaging everything from Iraq’s judiciary to its electrical grid. Secretary of State Colin Powell pointedly told the President that "when you hit [Iraq], it’s like a crystal glass. It’s going to shatter. There will be no government. There will be civil disorder. You’ll have 25 million Iraqis standing around looking at each other."3

The tense interplay between these competing visions fundamentally shaped the process of pre-war planning in the fifteen months preceding the March 2003 invasion of Iraq. As planning moved forward, experts inside and outside government--including some in the Department of Defense--warned that the failure to prepare for a more- extensive involvement after regime change exposed the U.S. to extraordinary risks. These disagreements--which remained unresolved as the U.S. ultimately went to war...

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Areas

Continents ( 5 Area )
Action
 Content ( 612 ) Event ( 165 )
Areas
Africa 64 239
Asia 69 278
Europe 13 52
Latin America & Carribean 12 38
North America 7 5
Regions ( 4 Area )
Action
 Content ( 256 ) Event ( 43 )
Areas
Balkans 22 124
Middle East 17 103
Black Sea and Caucasus 2 23
Mediterranean 2 6
Identity Fields ( 2 Area )
Action
 Content ( 376 ) Event ( 66 )
Areas
Islamic World 51 329
Turkish World 15 47
Turkey ( 1 Area )
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 Content ( 362 ) Event ( 49 )
Areas
Turkey 49 362

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