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Wolfowitz Admits U.S. Erred in Preparing for Post-Invasion Iraq

HeadlineJul 24, 2003

Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy secretary of defense, admitted yesterday that some of the key assumptions the Bush administration made about the Iraq occupation were wrong.

The administration had assumed the Baath Party would not present a threat after Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was removed. The U.S. also wrongly assumed significant portions of the Iraqi police force and military would join the U.S. in rebuilding Iraq.

The Washington Post reports that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld ignored predictions from U.S. intelligence agencies that a “armed opposition” would begin after the war. To handle the resistance, the Army’s chief of staff warned an international force of several hundred thousand troops would be needed, but Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz ignored the request assuming Iraqis would voluntarily help the occupying forces.

Wolfowitz yesterday claimed the Pentagon had a plan for a post-invasion Iraq, but it just didn’t work. Wolfowitz said, “There was a plan, but as any military officer can tell you, no plan survives first contact with reality.”

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