Reconstructing Iraq: Insights, Challenges, and Missions for Military Forces in a Post-Conflict Scenario

By Conrad C. Crane; W. Andrew Terrill | Go to book overview
RECONSTRUCTING IRAQ: CHALLENGES AND
MISSIONS FOR MILITARY FORCES IN A
POST-CONFLICT SCENARIO
CONCLUSIONS:
To be successful, an occupation such as that contemplated after any hostilities in Iraq requires much detailed interagency planning, many forces, multi-year military commitment, and a national commitment to nationbuilding.
Recent American experiences with post-conflict operations have generally featured poor planning, problems with relevant military force structure, and difficulties with a handover from military to civilian responsibility.
To conduct their share of the essential tasks that must be accomplished to reconstruct an Iraqi state, military forces will be severely taxed in military police, civil affairs, engineer, and transportation units, in addition to possible severe security difficulties.
The administration of an Iraqi occupation will be complicated by deep religious, ethnic, and tribal differences which dominate Iraqi society.
U.S. forces may have to manage and adjudicate conflicts among Iraqis that they can barely comprehend.
An exit strategy will require the establishment of political stability, which will be difficult to achieve given Iraq's fragmented population, weak political institutions, and propensity for rule by violence.

INTRODUCTION

By the time Germany surrendered in May 1945, detailed Allied planning for the occupation of that nation had been ongoing for 2 years. All staff sections at Supreme

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