Friday, November 04, 2016

The Faith in Planning Perfection is Misguided

Setting aside the implicit argument that it is better to let people suffer under the brutal and brutalizing impact of occupation by ISIL jihadis rather than risk post-victory failure, an author wonders if we are ready for the post-Mosul victory.

Yeah, here we go again:

The campaign to reclaim Mosul from ISIS might be ahead of schedule -- but that only puts the planning for the day after further behind.

After the George W. Bush White House suffered years of recriminations for not preparing more robustly to secure Iraq and Afghanistan following initially successful invasions, the Obama administration now risks fielding similar criticism for its campaign to retake the second-largest city in Iraq. But US officials are defending their lack of a completed plan by saying the task is so complicated it would have indefinitely delayed the campaign to kick out the terror group.

The issue is raising its ugly head because the Iraqis are advancing more rapidly than our military expected.

One, we had a plan to secure Iraq. Some assumptions went wrong that made the plan unworkable, but we had a plan.

Two, it took the Democrats three years to unveil their own plan for post-war Iraq. We aren't quite up to that time frame yet since Mosul fell in June 2014. So patience, skittish bunnies.

Three, Afghanistan really wasn't much of a problem until after the Taliban regrouped in 2006 and al Qaeda admitted defeat in Iraq in 2007and decided to focus on Afghanistan--say 2008, if you follow President Obama.

Four, the Democrats have had nearly 8 years now to do a better job for Iraq and Afghanistan. How'd they do?

Five, how's the post-victory plan for Libya going, five years after we came, we saw, and Khadaffi died (as then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton so quaintly put it)?

I'm not dismissing the problems of post-liberation of Mosul. But Iraq has a functioning state that should handle this issue.

And the lack of a post-victory plan is no excuse to leave people enslaved by the enemy while you work up a perfect plan that likely won't survive first contact with the post-enemy.

[Here's a related article on the subject of planning. The compulsion to fully plan the post-war really does rely on the luxury of assuming you can quickly defeat your enemy without complications that send the plan assumptions spinning off into unknown territory.]