September 12, 2007

It was in fact the only sensible option...

This is a question I've argued a number of times, so I was glad to see this piece by Paul Bremer, detailing why we dealt as we did with the Iraqi army... (Actually the people who claim we made a mistake never argue the point--they just assert it as if it were self-evident. Poltroons.)

How I Didn’t Dismantle Iraq’s Army - New York Times:

IT has become conventional wisdom that the decision to disband Saddam Hussein’s army was a mistake, was contrary to American prewar planning and was a decision I made on my own. In fact the policy was carefully considered by top civilian and military members of the American government. And it was the right decision.

By the time Baghdad fell on April 9, 2003, the Iraqi Army had simply dissolved. On April 17 Gen. John Abizaid, the deputy commander of the Army’s Central Command, reported in a video briefing to officials in Washington that “there are no organized Iraqi military units left.” The disappearance of Saddam Hussein’s old army rendered irrelevant any prewar plans to use that army. So the question was whether the Coalition Provisional Authority should try to recall it or to build a new one open to both vetted members of the old army and new recruits. General Abizaid favored the second approach....
Posted by John Weidner at September 12, 2007 1:16 PM
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