Richards Losing In Iraq

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Information about Richards Losing In Iraq

Published on November 15, 2007

Author: tranceking

Source: slideshare.net

Why Did We Lose in Iraq? To an insurgency that didn’t even exist until after the end of major military operations? Despite outspending the rest of the world, put together? Chet Richards Straus Military Reform Project Center for Defense Information May 2006

'We just took too much for granted. We didn't challenge our basic assumptions,'' Gen Michael Hayden, Senate Intelligence Committee confirmation hearing, May 18, 2006.

Not everybody accepts that we’re losing Source: Gordon & Trainor, Cobra II Accomplished Establish democracy (elections) in the Middle East Accomplished Prevent Saddam from providing nuclear weapons to terrorists Accomplished Rid Saddam of weapons of mass destruction Status Goal

But at enormous cost … and still counting 2,450 US fatalities Overran the budget by 1,000% and spent a half-trillion dollars Established a Shi’ite theocracy in the south and trained a new generation of al-Qa’ida operatives Destroyed the myth of US military invincibility Abandoned by allies; leaving chaos behind

2,450 US fatalities

Overran the budget by 1,000% and spent a half-trillion dollars

Established a Shi’ite theocracy in the south and trained a new generation of al-Qa’ida operatives

Destroyed the myth of US military invincibility

Abandoned by allies; leaving chaos behind

Why did this happen? Was it inevitable? Was it poor grand strategy? Was it poor strategy? Was it poor tactics and execution?

Was it inevitable?

Was it poor grand strategy?

Was it poor strategy?

Was it poor tactics and execution?

Why did this happen? Was it inevitable? Was it poor grand strategy? Was it poor strategy? Was it poor tactics and execution?

Was it inevitable?

Was it poor grand strategy?

Was it poor strategy?

Was it poor tactics and execution?

Was it inevitable? It was clearly a mistake to misperceive the size and motives of the insurgency, but it is not so clear that there was a solution to the problem once its scale had been fully appreciated. Most armed opposition was created by the invasion itself and would likely have arisen even had U.S. forces employed milder tactics or employed a different political strategy. David C. Hendrickson and Robert W. Tucker, Revisions In Need Of Revising: What Went Wrong In The Iraq War, US Army War College Strategic Studies Institute, December 2005

It was clearly a mistake to misperceive the size and motives of the insurgency, but it is not so clear that there was a solution to the problem once its scale had been fully appreciated. Most armed opposition was created by the invasion itself and would likely have arisen even had U.S. forces employed milder tactics or employed a different political strategy.

David C. Hendrickson and Robert W. Tucker,

Revisions In Need Of Revising: What Went Wrong In The Iraq War, US Army War College Strategic Studies Institute, December 2005

Why did this happen? Was it inevitable? Was it poor grand strategy? Was it poor strategy? Was it poor tactics and execution?

Was it inevitable?

Was it poor grand strategy?

Was it poor strategy?

Was it poor tactics and execution?

Purposes of grand strategy Pump up our morale While attacking our adversaries’ Solidify our alliance And attract the uncommitted to our cause With the goal of settling the confrontation in the shortest time and with the least damage to either side (and ideally, without the need to go to war at all).

Pump up our morale

While attacking our adversaries’

Solidify our alliance

And attract the uncommitted to our cause

Was our grand strategy flawed? Based our rationale to the US public on arguments that were known to be misleading or incorrect Failed to appreciate the impact of nationalism, sectarianism, and ethnic animosities - which made it impossible to attract many Iraqis to our cause Launched without the support of our traditional allies, particularly “Old Europe” Repelled many non-committed through failure to stop looting, apparent condoning of Abu Ghraib, and disproportionate use of force (Fallujah)

Based our rationale to the US public on arguments that were known to be misleading or incorrect

Failed to appreciate the impact of nationalism, sectarianism, and ethnic animosities - which made it impossible to attract many Iraqis to our cause

Launched without the support of our traditional allies, particularly “Old Europe”

Repelled many non-committed through failure to stop looting, apparent condoning of Abu Ghraib, and disproportionate use of force (Fallujah)

Why did this happen? Was it inevitable? Was it poor grand strategy? Was it poor strategy? Was it poor tactics and execution?

Was it inevitable?

Was it poor grand strategy?

Was it poor strategy?

Was it poor tactics and execution?

Was our strategy flawed? Shortfalls in US military strength and capability to provide the personnel and skills necessary to secure Iraqi rear areas and urban areas as the Coalition advanced, and to prevent the massive looting of government offices and facilities, military bases, and arms depots during and after the fighting. Over-reliance on groups with limited credibility in Iraq Gross underestimation of the true state of the Iraqi economy & infrastructure Belated recognition by the US of the importance of the insurgency (“dead enders”) Premature push for elections, before governance mechanisms in place Military emphasis on short-term success (e.g., Fallujah) [from Anthony Cordesman’s “litany” of 46 strategic, tactical and other mistakes, CSIS, April 19, 2006]

Shortfalls in US military strength and capability to provide the personnel and skills necessary to secure Iraqi rear areas and urban areas as the Coalition advanced, and to prevent the massive looting of government offices and facilities, military bases, and arms depots during and after the fighting.

Over-reliance on groups with limited credibility in Iraq

Gross underestimation of the true state of the Iraqi economy & infrastructure

Belated recognition by the US of the importance of the insurgency (“dead enders”)

Premature push for elections, before governance mechanisms in place

Military emphasis on short-term success (e.g., Fallujah)

[from Anthony Cordesman’s “litany” of 46 strategic, tactical and other mistakes, CSIS, April 19, 2006]

Why did this happen? Was it inevitable? Was it poor grand strategy? Was it poor strategy? Was it poor tactics and execution?

Was it inevitable?

Was it poor grand strategy?

Was it poor strategy?

Was it poor tactics and execution?

Were our tactics flawed? I don’t know - have to ask an expert in tactics for that

I don’t know - have to ask an expert in tactics for that

Why did this happen? Was it inevitable? Was it poor grand strategy? Was it poor strategy? Was it poor tactics and execution?

Was it inevitable?

Was it poor grand strategy?

Was it poor strategy?

Was it poor tactics and execution?

A model for analysis (with apologies to the late Col John Boyd, USAF)

A model for analysis Implicit Guidance & Control Know what to do Act And be able to do it Unfolding Interaction With Environment Action (Test) Decide Decision (Hypothesis ) Feed Forward Feed Forward Feedback Feedback While learning from the experience Observe Orient Feed Forward Implicit Guidance & Control Observations Unfolding Circumstances Outside Information Unfolding Interaction With Environment Quickly understand what’s going on

What happens when orientation locks? Observe Decide Act Orient Feed Forward Implicit Guidance & Control Observations Unfolding Circumstances Outside Information Unfolding Interaction With Environment Quickly understand what’s going on Basically, you just go on autopilot. Field Marshal Douglas Haig, British commander at the Battle of the Somme, July – Nov 1916. Act And be able to do it Unfolding Interaction With Environment Action (Test) Implicit Guidance & Control Know what to do Decision (Hypothesis ) Feed Forward Feed Forward Feedback Feedback While learning from the experience

With predictable results Berlin, May 1945 Dien Bien Phu, May 1954

An insidious condition Much of this concentration [of the Viet Minh forces against Dien Bien Phu], which was achieved by forced marches on the jungle tracks mostly at night, went undetected by the French, and when information was available to indicate what was happening it was discounted because it did not fit what was assumed. (231) When matters do not go according to our plan we tend to leave the assumptions unchallenged and blame ‘rogue elements’ or ‘foreign fighters’. (276) Gen Sir Rupert Smith, The Utility of Force

Much of this concentration [of the Viet Minh forces against Dien Bien Phu], which was achieved by forced marches on the jungle tracks mostly at night, went undetected by the French, and when information was available to indicate what was happening it was discounted because it did not fit what was assumed. (231)

When matters do not go according to our plan we tend to leave the assumptions unchallenged and blame ‘rogue elements’ or ‘foreign fighters’. (276)

Gen Sir Rupert Smith, The Utility of Force

Blind into Baghdad *James Fallows, The Atlantic , January 2004

What causes orientation to lock? Ideology Friction (many non-cooperative centers of gravity) Internal bottlenecks and gate keepers; serial decision & execution processes Internal focus Control systems based on mistrust (These are not mutually exclusive.)

Ideology

Friction (many non-cooperative centers of gravity)

Internal bottlenecks and gate keepers; serial decision & execution processes

Internal focus

Control systems based on mistrust

Point is: Locked orientation is inevitable Unless senior leaders take active measures to question assumptions and to ensure they are not being told only what they want to hear . From all descriptions, it does not appear that this was the case.

Unless senior leaders take active measures to question assumptions and to ensure they are not being told only what they want to hear .

From all descriptions, it does not appear that this was the case.

For example, … the U.S. intelligence community missed the significance of the Fedayeen organization. It was a striking omission given the visibility of the Fedayeen in Iraqi towns and cities and the vital importance of the Fedayeen to the regime, but understandable given the CIA’s dearth of human sources … (Gordon & Trainor, Cobra II , p. 62) The US intelligence budget is reported to be around $40 Billion / year.

Was Iraq inevitable? “None of this was inevitable.”

“None of this was inevitable.”

What we did (Gordon & Trainor) WAR Stability Operations Our Emphasis Other coalition members? Allies? Arabs? The Iraqis themselves? p. 503

What we should have done (Gordon & Trainor) Enabling occupation Establishing security & rehabilitating Iraq Know your enemy and know yourself and you will not fear in 100 battles. p. 503

The record on occupation, however, is mixed Japan & Germany (1940s & 50s) successes Balkans (mid-1990s to present) mixed results Not successful: Vietnam Afghanistan & Chechnya Haiti U.S. inner cities Israel (of Lebanon, Gaza) Soviet Union (of Warsaw Pact countries)

Japan & Germany (1940s & 50s) successes

Balkans (mid-1990s to present) mixed results

Not successful:

Vietnam

Afghanistan & Chechnya

Haiti

U.S. inner cities

Israel (of Lebanon, Gaza)

Soviet Union (of Warsaw Pact countries)

The outcome in Iraq was inevitable Unbridgeable cultural and religious divide Natural tendency to resist invaders & not submit to occupation Witches’ brew of foreign fighters, fedayeen, jihadis, militias, etc. Failure to appreciate costs and consider alternatives What other options could we have taken for $320 BN? Were our objectives essential to our national well-being or “nice-to-haves”?

Unbridgeable cultural and religious divide

Natural tendency to resist invaders & not submit to occupation

Witches’ brew of foreign fighters, fedayeen, jihadis, militias, etc.

Failure to appreciate costs and consider alternatives

What other options could we have taken for $320 BN?

Were our objectives essential to our national well-being or “nice-to-haves”?

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