Read Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq by Michael R. Gordon Free Online
Book Title: Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq|
The author of the book: Michael R. Gordon
ISBN 13: 9781843543534
Date of issue: March 1st 2007
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 36.79 MB
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Reader ratings: 7.3
Read full description of the books:
First and last several chapters cover politics and planning -- the latter mostly lacking unless supplied by Don Rumsfeld. In between is an extended account of the conflict and US forces moved north to Baghdad and beyond.
Pages 82-83 and 501: Had there been any WMD, Rumsfeld's plan to make war with a light mobile force would have resulted in the most feared counter-measure: the spread of WMD to terrorists before enough troops could find and control the WMD and prevent it falling into the hands of Osama. In this respect, the plan didn’t make any sense!
Pages 138-139: The Zinni postwar plan is buried by Rumsfeld.
Page 144: Postwar planning office is so underfunded that the planners beg and raid a trade fair for office supplies.
Page 159: Rumsfeld rejects expertise of State Department types regarding postwar planning, arguing that “fresh ideas and new blood were needed.”
Page 441: “The Iraqis [taken prisoner:] had a hard time understanding something,” Williams recalled. “Shoshana is Panamanian. Edgar is Hispanic. Joe is Philippine, and Patrick (Miller) is from Kansas. The Iraqis could not conceive how we could all have been in the same army and not fight one another. One Iraqi said to me, ‘You no fighting each other? Why?’”
Page 461: “Rumsfeld just ground Franks down. . . The nature of Rumsfeld is that you just get tired of arguing with him.” – Tom White, Secretary of the Army
Pages 462-463: “On April 24, troops from the 82nd Airborne took up positions in a schoolhouse in Fallujah, the first time that U.S. forces had installed themselves in the Sunni city. . . . On a wall outside the mayor’s building next to the Army’s makeshift compound protesters hung a sign in English that proclaimed, ‘U.S. killers, we’ll kick you out.’” . . . Two days later, Bush flew to the deck of the Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier. Standing before a banner announcing ‘Mission Accomplished,’ the president said that the major combat phase of the war had been completed … but events on the ground were sending the opposite message.”
Page 463: “The Pentagon was determined to avoid open-ended military commitments like those in Bosnia and Kosovo, and to withdraw the vast majority of the American forces in three to four months. The State Department had mismanaged the postwar efforts in the Balkans, and Afghanistan was headed the same way. With the Defense Department now in charge of Iraq after the fall of Saddam things would run more smoothly.”
Page 475: “Bremer was not an expert on the Middle East and in his years as a diplomat had never been posted in the region, but in Rumsfeld’s Pentagon that was considered a plus.”
Page 477: Nation-building was an area Bremer had not been involved in during his earlier career as a diplomat. The message of the RAND study was that large peacekeeping forces were better than small ones. Not only did small forces encourage adversaries to think they could challenge the peacekeepers but they also led the occupation force to rely more on firepower to make up for their limited numbers. That raised the risk of civilian casualties and increased disaffection among the population. ‘The highest levels of casualties have occurred in the operations with the lowest levels of U.S. troops, suggesting an inverse ratio between force levels and the level of risk,’ the RAND study noted.”
Page 483: Rumsfeld instructs Bremer to establish the “New Iraqi Corps . . . For all the talk of building Iraqi pride, the name of the new force betrayed a certain cultural insensitivity: NIC, which pronounced, sounded very much like ‘fuck’ in Arabic.”
Page 495: “The United States mission in Iraq … was made all the more difficult by the administration’s aversion to nation-building and its determination not to study the lessons of its predecessors. It was an ideology they came in with and an overreaction to the Clinton administration. The Bush administration looked at the Bosnia/Kosovo model and decided that it was fundamentally flawed. They concluded that it encouraged an artificial dependency on the part of the host country by committing a larger footprint of U.S. troops. They preferred a small presence to force the host country to do its own nation-building. … this is desirable only if there is security. Without security, the model breaks down quickly, which was the case in Iraq.”
Page 501: “The failure to read the early signs of the insurgency and to adapt accordingly was all the more surprising given the Bush administration’s assertions that Saddam’s regime was allied with Osama bin Laden and terrorist organizations like Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s and given confirmed intelligence reports that jihadists had infiltrated from Syria. Had the administration taken its own counsel to heart, it would have been planning to wage a counterinsurgency and conduct antiterrorist operations as soon as Baghdad fell.”
Page 506: “The cost to the administration’s foreign policy was considerable: instead of sending a cautioning message of American strength to Iran and North Korea, the United States was bogged down in a conflict that absorbed its military efforts. Instead of demonstrating the liberating power of democratic rule, the United States had inadvertently sent a message that the transition to a representative government was fraught with peril. Instead of demonstrating the sort of success that would have attracted allies to send forces to share the burden of occupation, American and British forces found themselves virtually alone.”
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