The transition of U.S. military forces in Iraq to post-major combat operations in 2003 was marred by failures in leadership and planning, according to an internal report (pdf) prepared for the Pentagon that was partially declassified and released this month under the Freedom of Information Act.
“The transition that occurred was not the one that was planned,” the 2006 report delicately stated.
“Insufficient and untimely availability of resources impeded effectiveness of post-combat operations and contributed to a difficult transition.” Intelligence support, joint command and control, and communications infrastructure all “fell short of expectations or needs.”
See “Transitions in Iraq: Changing Environment, Changing Organizations, Changing Leadership,” Joint Center for Operational Analysis, 21 July 2006.
The newly disclosed report was cited in a 2008 book by Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the former commander of U.S. forces in Iraq. According to Gen. Sanchez’s account, the report had been suppressed at the direction of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who did not welcome its critical findings.
In 2008, U.S. Joint Forces Command told TPM Muckraker that the report had been completed but was classified and not publicly available. (“Pentagon Report on Iraq Debacle ‘Remains Classified'” by Paul Kiel, May 6, 2008). Now portions of it have been released.
Another newly declassified report found no corroboration of allegations that the DoD Joint Forces Intelligence Command (JFIC) had withheld information from the 9/11 Commission. The DoD Inspector General said there was no basis for such a claim. But the 2008 IG report, formerly classified Secret, provides some new details on the operation of the JFIC. See “Review of Joint Forces Intelligence Command Response to 9/11″ (pdf), September 23, 2008.