Author Topic: US Army in Iraq Army War College History  (Read 665 times)

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Offline FJAG

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US Army in Iraq Army War College History
« on: January 18, 2019, 00:45:53 »
The US Army War College has published the history of the US Army in Iraq in two volumes: 2003-2006 and 2007 to 2011.

pdf copies can be found here:

http://publications.armywarcollege.edu/pubs/3667.pdf

and here:

http://publications.armywarcollege.edu/pubs/3668.pdf

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Offline CBH99

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Re: US Army in Iraq Army War College History
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2019, 02:24:58 »
I clicked on the link an hour ago, expecting just a fairly vanilla collection of technical documents...and I just forced myself to stop reading.  VERY VERY fascinating reading indeed, great find! 
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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: US Army in Iraq Army War College History
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2019, 09:34:55 »
Army Times article analyzing the study. The number one problem I think was the shortage of troops.

https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2019/01/18/armys-long-awaited-iraq-war-study-finds-iran-was-the-only-winner-in-a-conflict-that-holds-many-lessons-for-future-wars/

Additional highlights include the following, as highlighted in previous reporting:
The  need for more troops: At no point during the Iraq war did commanders have  enough troops to simultaneously defeat the Sunni insurgency and  Iranian-backed Shiite militias.

The  failure to deter Iran and Syria: Iran and Syria gave sanctuary and support to Shiite and Sunni militants, respectively, and the U.S. never developed  an effective strategy to stop this.
Coalition warfare wasn’t successful: The deployment of allied troops had political value but was “largely unsuccessful” because the allies didn’t send enough  troops and limited the scope of their operations.

The  National Guard needs more training: While many National Guard units  performed well, some brigades had so much difficulty dealing with insurgents that U.S. commanders stopped assigning them their own battlespace to control. The study found that Guard units need more funding and training.
The failure to develop self-reliant Iraqi forces: The U.S.-led effort to train and equip Iraqi forces was under-resourced for most of the war. A premature decision to transfer sovereignty to the Iraqis made it harder to blunt political pressure by Iraqi officials on Iraqi commanders.

An ineffective detainee policy: The U.S. decided at the outset not to treat captured insurgents or militia fighters as prisoners of war and then never developed an effective way to handle detainees. Many Sunni insurgents were returned to the battlefield.
Democracy doesn’t necessarily bring stability: U.S. commanders believed the 2005 Iraqi elections would have a “calming effect,” but those elections instead exacerbated ethnic and sectarian tensions.

Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: US Army in Iraq Army War College History
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2019, 14:08:17 »
More, start of lengthy piece:

Quote
An expensive lesson in hubris for the United States
By Peter Bergen, CNN National Security Analyst

Editor's note: "Peter Bergen is CNN's national security analyst, a vice president at New America, a professor of practice at Arizona State University and the author of "Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for bin Laden from 9/11 to Abbottabad." The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own; view more opinion at CNN."

(CNN) On Thursday [Jan. 17] the US Army War College published a monumental and authoritative history of the Iraq War. One of its sober conclusions: "An emboldened and expansionist Iran appears to be the only victor" of the Iraq War.

Under the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, Iran and Iraq had waged an almost decade-long war of attrition during the 1980s. With Saddam deposed as a result of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, Iran has since expanded its influence not only into Iraq but also into Syria and Yemen.
Too often, US military histories focus only on tactical issues that are unmoored from deeper political questions, which of course misses the point; as Clausewitz famously observed, "War is the continuation of politics by other means."

The Army's history of the Iraq War, while focusing on the Army's operations, also takes into account the many political factors in Washington and on the ground in Iraq that affected the course of the war, and it also takes to task American political and military leaders for errors that they made during the conflict.

The essential message of the Iraq War history is that wishful thinking and ignorance were the key drivers of the early decision-making about the conflict.
The history was commissioned by then-Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno in 2013. Odierno told Army historians that it was necessary to write a real history of the Iraq War because the Army had never done one for the Vietnam War, and had spent the first few years of the Iraq conflict relearning costly lessons from that conflict.

To inform the Iraq War history, the Army declassified 30,000 pages of documents related to the conflict.

Army historians also performed more than 100 interviews with key players such as President George W. Bush. (Disclosure: I was one of the peer reviewers for the manuscript and also know the two historians who led the project, now-retired Army Cols. Joel Rayburn and Frank Sobchak.)

The Army's history is likely to be the most authoritative account of the Iraq War by any American institution...
https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/17/opinions/expensive-lesson-in-hubris-for-the-united-states-bergen/index.html

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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: US Army in Iraq Army War College History
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2019, 21:07:41 »
As I said the shortage of manpower was a serious proble. It forced extensive use of the National Guard and USAR. Then we saw the retooling of combat units to create more units with less troops. Compare this to DS and the use of our post Cold War Army which was well suited for taking on the Iraqi's. We lost a lot of capability in the regular force because of the post cold war draw down.