Operation Iraq Civil War Analysis

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Eighteen months of critical prewar planning by CENTCOM set the stage for Operation Iraq Freedom to be the most impressive contemporary military campaign. “This military operation intended to strike a major blow at terrorism by overthrowing Saddam Hussein, destroy Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, and impose a pro American style government in the Arab world.” However, postwar planning by CENTCOM started only a couple of months prior to the start of the war, which demonstrates the lack of concern for Phase IV. This lack of concern results in “the tragedy of Iraq—that one of the most brilliant invasion successes in modern military history is immediately followed by one of the most ineptly planned occupations in modern warfare.” The failures …show more content…
underestimated the Iraqi regime by minimizing the conflict as a continuation of the Persian Gulf War, a sentiment exacerbated by President Bush’s assumption that U.S. Forces would be welcomed as liberators. Such phenomena reveal another weakness in the Pentagon’s planning, a risk that proves to be an invalid assumption in the first days of the war. “When sufficient information is received to invalidate an assumption at a minimum it becomes an additional risk to the operation, which could result in execution of a branch or sequel or the development of a new COA or plan.” General Franks and his planners’ discarded credible intelligence because they believed the Republican Guard was the most formidable foe; however, proved wrong when the Fedayeen forces provided the bulk of resistance on the road to Bagdad. LTG Wallace V Corp Commander sums it up, “we are fighting a different adversary than the one we war gamed and planned to fight.” During the first three phases, the small U.S. footprint of troops posed no serious issues; however, everything suddenly changed when chaos and rebellion ran rapidly through …show more content…
In doing so, they initially identified Bagdad as the operational center of gravity, which was inherently wrong. The Iraq people and the Sunni Triangle were the COGs, a source of power and strength driven by religion. The Pentagon’s failure to identify the correct center of gravity inherently flawed their overall concept in determining an effective operational approach in Iraq. “The center of gravity is a source of power that provides moral or physical strength, freedom of action, or will to act; in addition Clausewitz states COG as the hub of all power and movement, which everything depends.” Bagdad was a critical decisive point, not a source of strength, a single geographic place that was essential in controlling in order to influence and achieve the desired end state. The Pentagon did not understand the internal strife among the Islamic religious groups in Iraq and how not providing basic essential needs to the civilian population would exasperate such dissention generating significant obstacles during phase IV. Until the defeat of the Fedayeen, forces in the Sunni Triangle and the Iraq general populations were under control the desired end state was unachievable. GEN Franks and Rumsfeld were slow to react and change the ways and means, hesitated to shift their strategies to deal with COG changes, which ultimately extended the war for many

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