No doubt many of us have heard that the RAND institute, the government financed think tank which is used to evaluate, among other things, American foreign policies, has come down hard on the current regime's lack of foresight and planning in Iraq. I will note the above and suggest that the problem might partially be the fact that we rely on technology and dismiss the social sciences in the planning process. Any expert in the society of Iraq (indeed anyone slightly interesting in that land) could have told the US that problems would occur if we eminiated the repressive Ba 'ath regime, which kept the lid on sunni/Shia violence and replaced it with NOTHING, and failed to immediately begin restoring the nation's infrastructure, too. And oh, by the way, as a social scientist I particularly love this quote: and this: Somewhere on another thread I have been taken to task for complaining about how college grads in field other than technology and science can't find jobs? I am a whiner, or something like that? See the above, quote? Do you understand what it means? The Iraq war is a god damned good example of why rewarding only the sciences and technolgies and ignoring those softer sciences and humanities is a tragic mistake for an EMPIRE BUILDING NATION. The world is more than the sum of it techno toys, and the failure to reward those whose mastery of those social sciences and humanities is simply foolish to the extreme! But let me continue with the RAND's take Iraq. They note that not everyone in the military misses the obvious. That many military Generals and line officers understand that the SOLUTION IS NOT ONLY a MILITARY ONE, but a combination of social solutions supported by a military. Rand Also outlines the mistakes and failings of our intelligence agency CIA, thusly: [/quote] One of the elemental imperatives of intelligence in counterinsurgency, according to Julian Pagetwho served as a lieutenant-colonel in the British Army and, together with Kitson, is considered one of Britains foremost experts on the subjectis that every effort must be made to know the Enemy before the insurgency begins.59 But intelligence was wanting because every such effort was in fact not made, resulting in the failure to anticipate the violence and resistance that gradually escalated throughout last spring and summer. Even though, according to the Washington Post, the CIA station in Iraq now has more than 300 full-time case officers and nearly 500 persons in total (including contractors) compared with its originally planned complement of just 85 officers, problems in intelligence collection reportedly remain. According to the Post, the CIA mission there is thus the largest . . . in the world, and the biggest since Saigon during Vietnam 30 years ago. Nonetheless, despite both this significant expansion and redirection of effort to the insurgency, senior intelligence officials and others claim that it has had little success penetrating the resistance and identifying foreign terrorists involved in the insurgency.60 The inadequacies in intelligence on the insurgents can also be attributed to the focus on the search for Iraqi stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Indeed, it was not until late Novemberwhen the daily pace of guerrilla attacks on American troops rose to some 40 per daythat intelligence officers and analysts were reassigned to focus on the insurgency. 61[/quote] Ah yes...that old WMD problem. Something...ANYTHING to prove that Bush and Co. had some reasonable justification for invading to begin with. A totally wasted effort for intel, when their efforts should have been what? Understanding the poltical/social/economic situation on the ground. More propellerheaded thinkings, folks. More techophiliacs in charge ignoring the fact that MANKIND is more that the sum total of his technologies. More failure to understand that sociology is as important to a government and a military as computer technology or aerodynamics. I won't continue with this analysis because I know I've already lost most of you. The full report is here. Those of you with the ability to wade though this sort of study, and who have an interest in understanding how we turned this military victory into a political disaster might find it an interesting read. Most of us who will read this, will, I suspect, have already intuited the problem. But this study notes the mistakes we made, and the roads we didn't take which might have made the Iraq situation a REAL VICTORY for DEMOCRACY.