Meaningful Distinction:

Patrick S. Lasswell Look outward for something to accomplish, not inward for something to despise.
pslblog at gmail dot com
Tuesday, November 11, 2003
Informed Planning

What are the power requirements for Mosul? How much food needs to be transported in every week during the drought season? What are the essential goods that need to be brought into the city on a monthly basis? Which are the bad neighborhoods and which ones have a strong and cooperative community spirit? What contractors can do the reconstruction work that we need done? Which local tribal leaders can be trusted to stick with a deal?

Some people thought there were WMD in Iraq before the war, some didn't, but it appears certain that almost nobody knew. There is some moderately compelling information that indicates Saddam Hussein did not have a clear understanding of the WMD stockpiles before the war. In the face of an information shortage that fundamental, how exactly did you expect to develop projections for power requirements in Mosul? Which data was more critical to obtain? Where would you have put your information gathering assets?

We surely did not know the power requirements for Mosul or a million other important answers useful for the reconstruction plans in Iraq. This "failure" is due to making a priority of WMD attacks against our country, our allies, and our troops in the region. This is a choice, and although the WMD attacks never materialized, it still is an infinitely defensible one. We may not have had the Golden Fleece, the Holy Grail, or the Perfect Plan for Reconstructing Iraq, but our troops and the CPA are doing fine work with the job they have.
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