Bush’s failed Iraq war: ‘A major debacle’

In a scathing analysis, a former senior Pentagon official has called the war in Iraq “a major debacle” that created an incubator for terrorism and emboldened Iran.

“Measured in blood and treasure, the war in Iraq has achieved the status of a major war and a major debacle,” Joseph Collins wrote in “Choosing War: The Decision to Invade Iraq and its Aftermath.”

Published by the National Defense University, Collins’ paper is striking in that it comes from one whose position from 2001 to 2004 put him near the center of decision making that led to the war.

He was deputy assistant secretary of defense for stability operations when the United States invaded Iraq, only to find itself mired in the now five year old struggle to pacify the country.

Collins said the price of the war has been damage to US standing in the world, strains on the US military, and a negative impact on the war on terror, “which must now bow to the priority of Iraq when it comes to manpower, materiel, and the attention of decisionmakers.”

“Compounding all these problems, our efforts there were designed to enhance US national security, but they have become, at least temporarily, an incubator for terrorism and have emboldened Iran to expand its influence throughout the Middle East,” he wrote.

As have other analysts, Collins pins the failure in Iraq on a lack of post war planning and the refusal of overconfident policy makers to commit enough troops to pacify Iraq after the invasion.

He blames Donald Rumsfeld, the domineering former defense secretary, for pushing for a small invasion force, and former CPA chief Paul Bremer for formalizing the US occupation, thereby alienating Iraq’s Sunnis, with little consultation with Washington.

Collins said the war was a “classic case of failure to adopt and adapt prudent courses of action that balance ends, ways and means.”

“After the major combat operations, US policy has been insolvent, with inadequate means for pursuing ambitious ends,” he said.

The Pentagon’s effort since early 2007 to build up the overall size of the army and marines “is not likely to provide much relief in Iraq,” he said.

“Ironically, the surge is clearly proving that even another 30,000 troops on the ground could have a positive effect on population protection and counterterrorism.”

“We still await political progress — the ultimate goal, and one that is entirely in Iraqi hands,” he said.


  1. Klaus Hergeschimmer

    Hi Sandra. I won’t vote for any Democrat, nor Republikan, so I don’t think there is any disagreement. As to the Mormans I don’t know, what can be done about that? Most Americans love being led around by the nose. As long as a good portion of Americans can get their Bud Lite and curl up with the Super Bowl (or as I like to say, the ‘Tidybowl’) then they couldn’t care less about what the Elephants and the Jack Assess do.

  2. Sandra Price

    But Klaus, the American People voted them all into office. Unless we get to work, they all will return to their positions with McCain replacing Bush. Both the GOP and Dems have lost their focus on right vs wrong and want to win no matter what it takes. This is something that is now found in our homes, schools and jobs. Those family values that brought Bush back into office was ridiculous. We all should know that family values should start with the family, not the federal government. This will continue until Americans start taking their lives more seriously and get their hands out of the federal till. The government has made it too easy for people to look to them for help.

    I was just reading a book called “Under the Banner of Heaven” which is the story of the Mormon church in America. All those huge family groups with 8 to 15 children by each wife has made it possible for the wives and children to collect welfare and disability payments.

    Millions of tax payers dollars are paid into Idaho, Montana, Utah and Arizona for these oversexed deadbeats. This is still going on today.

  3. Klaus Hergeschimmer

    I just love all these former war proponents mea culping with all get out about this illegal invasion & occupation, and every step of the way the Lexus Liberal Democrappers enabled ChimpCo to get away with this: Pillary Dillary Crock, Fancy Pants Pelosi, Hairy Reed…the list goes on.

  4. Sandra Price

    Wow! this article has brought out the best of CHB members. We can see the problems of allowing no-bid contracts to make out of control profits on our tax payers’ backs. Now who would make the obvious changes necessary?

    I will agree that the appointees made by Bush have been thoroughly unqualified to act for the American people. McCain is one and the same. The Big Brothers Club of D.C. must be thrown out of power. I fear that Clinton is one of them with contracts ready to sign to pay back her supporters. I have no idea what Obama would do, but 2 out of 3 negatives sends me to his spot on the ballot if he makes it. If he doesn’t……..?

  5. Carl Nemo

    Hi Sherry et. al. …

    My suspicion is they aren’t following any NEC; national or international electrical installation codes whatsoever and failed to install GFCI (Ground fault circuit interrupters): ie., protectors on all the shower facilities. If they are installing them, then they aren’t checking them at regular intervals for soundness of operation. Breakers protect equipment, GFCI’s protect lives. Regular circuit breakers trip when a given amount of current is exceeded, the most basic one being 15 amps. A current flow as small as a milliamp can terminate a human life! GFCI’s are engineered to trip at these extemely low levels of current flow between the hot, neutral and grounded leads of circuit if a fault difference is so detected; ie., a short to ground through a human body…!

    In summation, our national leadership all the way down to the lowest level American sponsored contractors are all slimeball “war profiteers”; ie., human garbage of the lowest order.

    Harry Truman once said that there’s only one cure for war profiteers; ie., “summary execution” and I so too concur…!

    Carl Nemo **==