Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Red Team's 2005 Report On Iraq

U.S. Army Spc. Deonty Eastmon secures his sector during a patrol through Al Betra, Iraq, Nov. 26, 2007, as the rest of his squad asks local residents about recent insurgent activity. Eastmon is assigned to the 101st Airborne Division, 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Adrian Cadiz

About That Red Team Report… -- George W. Casey, Foreign Policy

Michael R. Gordon's story overstates the importance of a review I ordered on Iraq.

Michael Gordon's attempt to represent the August 2005 Red Team report as a missed opportunity to shorten the war is wishful thinking and not supported by the realities we were wrestling with in Iraq at that time.

The report was one of many Red Team reports chartered by me, and by the U.S. ambassadors and me, to provide us alternative views and to cause the U.S. civilian and military leadership in Iraq to come to grips with the difficult issues confronting the mission. These reports were one of many inputs the ambassador and I used to build our understanding of the environment and to shape our guidance to the U.S. Mission and Multinational Force. We used this particular report to help us shape a December 2005 joint statement of our mission for 2006, and to prepare a joint campaign plan that we issued in April 2006. We also used it as the impetus to implement a joint planning and assessment process that significantly improved our ability to integrate our efforts in 2006 and beyond. The idea that it was "ignored by generals" is not true. I didn't agree with all of it, but I did not ignore it.

Read more ....

My Comment: As I said in my own post on this story a few days ago .... Coulda ... woulda .... shoulda ....

We are all geniuses with hindsight .... but in real time we must always second guess with the information that we have .... and sometimes we get it right .... and sometimes no. In Iraq .... by the time that we had figured it out .... it was too late.

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