From the first days of the invasion in March 2003, American forces had tangled with fanatical Saddam Fedayeen paramilitary fighters. Lt. Gen. William S. Wallace, who was leading the Army's V Corps toward Baghdad, had told two reporters that his soldiers needed to delay their advance on the Iraqi capital to suppress the Fedayeen threat in the rear.
Soon after, General Franks phoned Lt. Gen. David D. McKiernan, the commander of allied land forces, to warn that he might relieve General Wallace.
While the tales of strained relationships at the highest levels of the chain of command are titillating, some of the article's omissions are even more interesting.
Nothing in this article points to there being a cohesive plan at any level for stabilizing Iraq after toppling Saddam's regime. Miscommunications and hasty political decisions apparently ruled the early days of Iraq after Saddam's defense folded. Perhaps a future article or biography from a participant in these events will shed light on post war Iraq planning. So far, though, neither the Pentagon nor the State Department have ever proffered details of the pre-war planning done (if any) for establishing order after Baghdad's fall. This is extremely troubling.
War planning for a second invasion of Iraq was an ongoing chore in the military for over a decade; the fact that military planners failed to develop a comprehensive plan as a framework for occupation and reconstruction is a major shortcoming and failure of the United States Government. Contrast this with the detailed planning and execution that went into the United States' efforts following Japan's unconditional surrender.
At this point it is largely a hypothetical, but one could definitely question whether, had the US - led coalition proceeded from a coherent framework for reconstruction from the start, would the insurgency have been able to develop legs, leading to the problems of today's Iraq?