'Planlessness followed ...':
Amid all the talk of Iraq and plans and/or lack thereof, I happen to be reading Barbara Tuchman's 'The First Salute'
about the European view of the American Revolution as it unfolded and how Britain bumbled through the war. This graf jumped out at me:
"Planlessness followed from the start of the war, when the British assumed that no plan was needed to suppress the rebellion -- only hard blows. Carelessness followed from the assumption that the superiority of British force was so great that it made taking pains in performance unnecessary. A more basic deteriorating factor was dissension at home."
By citing this passage, I'm in no way trying to portray us as the British and the insurgents as American revolutionaries. Tuchman wrote this in the context of how big powers can often become complacent. I cite it to show how we're not exempt from that argument. ... Setting aside the now discredited WMD assumption, what truly boggles the mind is how there was so little planning for the Iraq occupation -- despite ample evidence of probable post-invasion turmoil in a nation divided along ethnic, tribal and religious fault lines. ... The administration is now (belatedly) stressing its 'plan for victory.'
And that's good. I strongly suspect we, unlike the British more than two centuries ago, are adapting and learning and succeeding more than we're hearing from the media and knee-jerk war critics. But this administration is indeed guilty of an arrogance and niavete that assumed the first 'hard blow' would be enough. The assumption made a tough job harder and more tragic. ... Sorry to harp on the stupid/lack-of-planning issue. But I enjoy history and try to apply what I learn to current events. Just throwing out Tuchman's observation because, well, it's applicable.