Iraq War Research Paper

The report's pessimistic conclusions in many ways closely paralleled events that actually occurred after Saddam was overthrown. Department of State, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs Information Memo from Edward S. to Colin Powell, "Origins of the Iraq Regime Change Policy," January 23, 2001. Source: Freedom of Information Act Just three days after President Bush's inauguration, this memo informs the new secretary of state, Colin Powell, that the origin of the United States' Iraq regime change policy is the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, and provides several quotes from President Bill Clinton supporting concepts included in the act, but not a U. Tommy Franks during a visit to Tampa to discuss a new plan for war with Iraq.It forewarned that regime change might cause regional instability by opening the doors to "rival forces bidding for power" which, in turn, could cause societal "fragmentation along religious and/or ethnic lines" and antagonize "aggressive neighbors." Further, the report illuminated worries that secure borders and a restoration of civil order might not be enough to stabilize Iraq if the replacement government were perceived as weak, subservient to outside powers, or out of touch with other regional governments. role be one in which it would assist Middle Eastern governments in creating the transitional government for Iraq. Rumsfeld prepared them in consultation with Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith.

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The Senate Intelligence Committee report also posted here contains a harsh critique of the intelligence community's assessments on Iraq.

In addition, the committee pointed out the CIA's troubling decision to heavily redact the NIE including withholding embarrassing topics such as the ways the initial public portions of the estimate sharply misrepresented the intelligence community's views by deleting caveats, hedged language and dissents in the underlying intelligence.

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In addition, the administration hoped for Turkish support for the invasion and included forces based in that country in its plans.

These hopes were dashed when Turkey decided not to join the invasion, in accordance with overwhelming popular opinion. The end game within this time frame was to lead to a "stable democratic Iraqi government" engaged in security cooperation with the U. In reality, the invasion led to a far more prolonged U. military presence, years of unanticipated violence, massive population displacement, the breakdown of Iraqi society on sectarian grounds, and the ultimate failure of the U. to achieve the cooperative military and intelligence partnership with Iraq's government that it had anticipated as planning for the invasion was underway.

In the near future, a significant collection of freshly declassified materials will appear as part of the "Digital National Security Archive" collection through the academic publisher Pro Quest. Central Command, in late 2001 shows the Pentagon already diverting focus and energy from the Afghan campaign less than three months after the U. A full-bore public relations campaign underway at the same time ramped up a climate of anticipation and even fear, with Vice President Cheney telling U. Meanwhile, as one of Secretary Rumsfeld's famous "snowflake" memos from October 2002 shows, top rungs of the administration were well aware of the potential risks of an invasion, yet they chose to go forward without fully considering their implications. The administration had high hopes for Iraq's oil resources, as myriad planning documents show. George Bush, somehow not briefed by his advisors to expect divisions within Iraq, non-conventional warfare, and a nationalism-fueled resistance declared "major combat operations" over on May 1, 2003 – some eight years before his successor finally withdrew the bulk of U. The last documents in this compilation are look-backs at some of the things that went wrong.

(In the shorter term, visitors may visit our new Iraq War page for a compilation of currently available declassified materials on the subject.) The first item is a memo from the State Department's Near East bureau, provided to incoming Secretary of State Colin Powell at the very outset of the new George W. (The Iraq Liberation Act signed by Bill Clinton on October 31, 1998, codified this policy and committed the U. to continuing support for Iraqi opposition groups.) A bullet-pointed set of notes discussed by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld with Gen. The documents show that misconceptions about Iraq were useful to the Bush administration as enablers for the decision to invade; they also help account for calamitous U. Among other expectations, the oil sector was to be back in operation within a few months and with its revenues the Iraqi people were expected to pay for their country's own invasion and reconstruction under U. One is an excerpt from the comprehensive Duelfer report on Iraqi WMD provided to the U. director of central intelligence, the other is a "mea culpa" by the CIA for not recognizing that there was no WMD program worthy of the name at the time of the invasion.

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