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I want to believe that this result was foreseeable. I want to believe that some people at least are wise enough to see consequences of actions. Can you point to some piece of writing explaining this prior to or contemporaneous with the US invasion?

I suggest to you read "I Was Told to Come Alone: My Journey Behind the Lines of Jihad", Specially chapter 3 & 4. It has all the details you want.


I'll try to take a look at this later, but Amazon says the publish date is 2017. I'm really looking for something that prognosticates.

James Fallows was one of the better known journalists and he got a lot of attention:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2002/10/proceed... https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2002/11/the-fif...

There's a LONG list of people referenced here, including a number of military, intelligence, and foreign policy experts:


A key part to understanding this is remembering that blaming it on intelligence failures was the defense which the George W. Bush administration settled on to replace their earlier failed excuses. Before the invasion started, the intelligence claims used to justify it had fallen apart and the U.K. & U.S. Senate reports noted that significant pressure was placed by the White House on the intelligence agencies to justify what they were already planning to do.

(The former Treasury Secretary noted that is was planned starting before 9/11: http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/01/10/oneill.bush/)

The Downing Street memo (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Downing_Street_memo) had a similar conclusion, quoting the Foreign Minister:

> Bush wanted to remove Saddam Hussein, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy

The pattern through all of this was the White House choosing to ignore, override, or replace professional civil servants with political appointees who would produce the desired results. When the CIA and other analysts would not support those claims, Donald Rumsfeld setup a sham intelligence unit which did produce the claims they later used (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Office_of_Special_Plans).

This happened with the planning for the invasion and occupation.

When the military sensibly pointed out that they needed to plan for the occupation:

> In fact, said Brig. Gen. Mark Scheid, Rumsfeld said "he would fire the next person" who talked about the need for a post-war plan. > > Rumsfeld did replace Gen. Eric Shinseki, the Army chief of staff in 2003, after Shinseki told Congress that hundreds of thousands of troops would be needed to secure post-war Iraq.


When the State Department accurately predicted that the invasion and occupation would not be a cake-walk, it was largely ignored. As one example, that was the conclusion in 2003 — well before the full scope of the botch had become clear:


Not sure I'll be able to find the detailed stuff I saw at the time, but here's a reference to General Shinseki's estimate of the needed troops and the (manifestly false; Iraq had a long history of ethnic and sectarian militia conflict) administration response.


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