Second, the review implies that the other post-war criticisms of the Bush administration are unfounded — that the administration's judgment on this operation has been borne out by events. I just don't think you can make a colorable argument to support that point. The fact of the matter is that this administration latched onto every optimistic assumption in the book, as James Fallows reported in the Atlantic Monthly, and failed to effectively plan for the chaos and instability that followed the war. Of course, you couldn't foresee that with any certainty. But you sure as hell could plan for it — and in my opinion, it was derelict not to at least anticipate (and plan for) a worst-case scenario. As I wrote in June 2003 for the Washington Monthly, we have always known that it takes more troops and time to secure the peace than to win the war — it's simply a more complicated endeavor. We ignored the lessons of Germany, Korea, Vietnam, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia and Kosovo in Iraq, and we are now paying the price.
The undeniable failure of the Bush administration was not overselling the WMDs. Bush bet on gut instinct that they'd be found. He was wrong, but many better men and women made the same mistake.
Their grievous failure was the catastrophic post-war planning. They were adequately warned, and they ignored those warnings. Since Rumsfeld is no idiot, I assume he was transiently insane -- or that he planned to partition Iraq. Apparently he forgot to mention the latter plan to his boss. John Kerry would not have failed this way. Al Gore would not have made this mistake. Clinton would never have even come close. Heck, George the First would have avoided it. This was George the Seconds character failing.
Now, will Tommy Franks end up supporting Kerry -- or his patron George the Second?
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