After going into Iraq with too few troops and no coherent plan for postwar stabilization, America’s general officer corps did not accurately portray the intensity of the insurgency to the American public. The Iraq Study Group concluded that ‘there is significant underreporting of the violence in Iraq.’ The ISG noted … ‘Good policy is difficult to make when information is systematically collected in a way that minimizes its discrepancy with policy goals [my emphases].’ … America’s general officer corps underestimated the strength of the enemy, overestimated the capabilities of Iraq’s government and security forces and failed to provide Congress with an accurate assessment of security conditions in Iraq. … The intellectual and moral failures common to [the corps] in Vietnam and Iraq constitute a crisis in American generalship. Any explanation that fixes culpability on individuals is insufficient.”
Iraq is not Vietnam; it’s its own war, and it’s worse, perhaps immeasurably. One can only imagine what its memorial will look like, in blood, treasure and the brightest lights of this country.