“We disagree with the characterization. There was significant postwar planning,” David Almacy, a White House spokesman, said.
“More importantly, the memo in question was written eight months before the war began — there was significant postwar planning in the time that elapsed,” he said.
“Some things we prepared for did not happen, like large numbers of refugees needing humanitarian assistance,” Almacy said. “And others we did not expect, such as large numbers of regime elements fleeing the battlefield only to return later.”
The death toll continues to mount from a violent insurgency that has killed hundreds of American troops and Iraqi civilians. The United States, which led the invasion in March 2003, has said it will not pull out until Iraqi forces are trained to take over security for their country.
“Significant postwar planning”
Significant? That’s the best they can do? Then of course they studiously ignored the plans they did have.
“We did not expect…”
Why in the world not? Key words here are “regime” and “elements.” Did you think these guys were going throw flowers at you?
“Not pull out until Iraqi forces are trained…”
And while I haven’t had time to read this long article on torture yet (have printed it out) it sure looks interesting.
Update [2005-6-13 7:45:39 by Athenian]:
The New York Times has a story also intimating how long it will take to get a reliable Iraqi military:
Despite the Bush administration’s insistent optimism, Americans working with the Iraqis in the field believe that it could be several years, at least, before the new Iraqi forces will be ready to stand alone against the insurgents.
A few days before the Mahmudiya raids, Iraqi soldiers at a local checkpoint apparently fell asleep in the hours before dawn, and the checkpoint was ambushed by insurgents. They tossed a grenade into the building, then stormed in and executed those left alive, killing at least eight Iraqis, American soldiers said. Since the attack, American troops have been conducting nighttime patrols to make sure the Iraqis stay awake.
On several occasions, Sgt. First Class Michael Hanaway admonished the Iraqi soldiers to watch the perimeter instead of staring at the house being raided.
“You’ve got to look that way,” he shouted, motioning. “Not at me. That way.” The sergeant sighed. “They probably shouldn’t have been out here,” he said. Emphasis mine.