4,642. 2/28/2003

“On February 28 [2003], Robert Perito, an expert on peacekeeping operations at the United States Institute for Peace, a government-financed research center, was invited to the Pentagon to outline his recommendations to Richard Perle’s Defense Policy Board. …At the Pentagon, Perito said that in Iraq the U.S. would not be able to rely on local authorities. The Iraqi police would be unavailable, intimidated, or unprepared. …It would be vital to have international police on the ground to stop any rioting or disorder before it got out of hand. Police needed to be recruited, trained, and ready to go. Perito urged the Pentagon to establish a ‘stability force’ for Iraq that would include a civilian constabulary and legal experts, some 2,500 personnel in all. …[Said Perito:] ‘Experience in the Balkans, East Timor, and Afghanistan shows that a coalition force will have to deal with high levels of violence for the first two years of the mission.’ Perito was thanked for his contribution. He never heard from the Pentagon again.”

 – Michael R. Gordon and Bernard E. Trainor, Cobra II, Pages 181-182

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