Maj Gen Tim Cross: Post war planning chaos

#1
From an article by Heidi Kingstone of The Times, this article reports the concerns of Major General Tim Cross during 2002 / 2003 as the US and UK prepared for war.

Source: Toppled in Baghdad, clueless in Whitehall

The heart of the matter was simple: postwar planning was completely incoherent. “The plan was, we do not need a plan,” said Cross last week.
He was alarmed that at this crucial time there was no British ambassador in the American capital. Christopher Meyer had just returned to the UK and it made Cross wonder if the government truly understood the scale of what it was taking on.

Even with operations looking imminent, there were no answers to some serious questions. How would we reconstruct Iraq’s economy? What currency would we use? What would we do with the judiciary and the police? There was no war cabinet as there had been during the Falklands campaign. It was only in February, just weeks before the war began, that the Foreign Office established the Iraq Planning Unit (IPU). Dominic Chilcott, the diplomat who headed it, “was an excellent man, but he had a tiny team around him, far smaller even than Garner’s”, said Cross. “The IPU was on to a loser from the start. It was never going to be able to deliver a joined-up and coherent postwar plan in the time then available.”
As this latest disclosure, confirms from a senior and respected source, what many of us witnessed with our own eyes, is a public enquiry now warranted, to ensure that British Forces are never committed to such an obviously flawed mission in the future?
 
#2
Nobody cares, I’m afraid. Every time this comes up it gets dismissed as irrelevant to where we are now or sour grapes from the army; who should have waved a magic wand and sorted it all out somehow. The more I find out about how ill conceived the intervention in Iraq was the more appalled I am at the crass stupidity of our elected leaders.

And yet nobody cares. Both Bush and Blair were re-elected by people who have neither the inclination nor the intellect to grasp what has been done in their name; and who don’t give a damn anyway as long as interest rates remain low and they can keep up the payments on their 4 by 4s. The fact that behind the scenes the economy is probably being handled as ineptly as Phase 4 planning in Iraq passes them by.
 
#3
Paoli said:
Nobody cares, I’m afraid. Every time this comes up it gets dismissed as irrelevant to where we are now or sour grapes from the army; who should have waved a magic wand and sorted it all out somehow. The more I find out about how ill conceived the intervention in Iraq was the more appalled I am at the crass stupidity of our elected leaders.

And yet nobody cares. Both Bush and Blair were re-elected by people who have neither the inclination nor the intellect to grasp what has been done in their name; and who don’t give a damn anyway as long as interest rates remain low and they can keep up the payments on their 4 by 4s. The fact that behind the scenes the economy is probably being handled as ineptly as Phase 4 planning in Iraq passes them by.


"And yet nobody cares"
and until they do these elected leaders will continue to act as they please,
they know damn well they can get away with anything if public will or lack of it continues at it's present level.
 
#4
Bliar simply wanted to 'look big' and be like 'Mrs Thatcher' without a moment's thought to the consequences of his decisions. Planning for these 'consequences' was not 'cool enough' for the wannabe pop-star come prime minister! What a disaster? What an unprincipled, self-seeking twerp? Sadly, his successor seems to be set on the same arrogant, ignorant, 'I'm not listening to the great un-washed' course.
My bet is we will come to regret 'Bottler' Brown even more than the spiv Bliar.
 
#5
Paoli said:
Nobody cares, I’m afraid. Every time this comes up it gets dismissed as irrelevant to where we are now or sour grapes from the army; who should have waved a magic wand and sorted it all out somehow. The more I find out about how ill conceived the intervention in Iraq was the more appalled I am at the crass stupidity of our elected leaders.

And yet nobody cares. Both Bush and Blair were re-elected by people who have neither the inclination nor the intellect to grasp what has been done in their name; and who don’t give a damn anyway as long as interest rates remain low and they can keep up the payments on their 4 by 4s. The fact that behind the scenes the economy is probably being handled as ineptly as Phase 4 planning in Iraq passes them by.
Good points but I'll disagree very slightly. I think many actually do care. Just now there may not be enough who feel that way, but there is increasing rage at the duplicitous government over a whole range of issues.

As a nation we are not angry enough - yet. And in two years time, well, who knows? But if these political idiots continue to foul up as they have done so far I would not be surprised to see MPs hanging from gibbets in every town centre - at least that is my dearest wish....
 
#6
These elected idiots should have their heads banged together while reciting the 7 p's :x

prior
preperation and
planning
prevent a
p-ss
poor
performance
 
#7
oooo
 
#8
ABrighter2006 said:
As this latest disclosure, confirms from a senior and respected source, what many of us witnessed with our own eyes, is a public enquiry now warranted, to ensure that British Forces are never committed to such an obviously flawed mission in the future?
A single PI or a series of PI would not achieve this aim, and just as pointless and irrelevant are all the LI and LL that have been so carefully garnered - they amount to the sum of squat.

Politicians, the business world, in fact all of us, make decisions based on the 'this time it's different factor', aided and abetted by that force multiplier called optimism. That's why great empires decline, why long-standing businesses go bust, and why wars are won and lost.

We all know the Iraq strategy was flawed and Afg may prove to be equally so - it matters not. It's done, it's a problem, it will be sorted eventually.

Meanwhile a new breed of leaders is emerging that will make the same mistakes in the future, regardless of past history. Accept that reality and life gets a whole lot easier.

PAW
 
#9
Take your point PAW, and go along with the majoriy of sentiments here.

However, I can't help thinking that Blair's continual "we can't have an enquiry, because of the danger it would cause to our troops on the ground" rhetoric, was probably more to do with people like Mag Gen Tim, being called to give evidence.

We can but ask these questions though!
 
#10
All valid points but be realistic. The Brown Bottle and his henchmen have long since absolved themselves of culpability in the disaster area that is Iraq. Now, we can bleat about enquiries and how HMG should cough up some answers but they just won't. Simple as. The day's when Parliament had to justify itself are as long gone as is the ability to shoulder responsibility. In my humble opinion. Ahem.
 

Latest Threads

Top