1,526. 6/15/1999

Central Command (CENTCOM) leader General Anthony Zinni created a plan for the invasion and occupation of Iraq. “CENTCOM would have the responsibility of general security. But there was no plan for the political administration, restoration of basic services, training of police, or reconstruction of Iraq. Zinni organized a secret war game in June 1999, dubbed Desert Crossing, to explore what might be needed. More than seventy participants were involved, including State Department officials, CIA experts, and aides from the National Security Council. The war game concluded that the overthrow of Saddam would not ensure stability in the region. It cautioned that the United States lacked sufficient information about potential Iraqi leaders who might replace Saddam and warned that it was vital to have an effective policy to dissuade Iran from using its influence to keep Iraq fragmented and weak. It stressed the need to have a plan for rebuilding the country that could be quickly implemented. Given the immensity of the task, planning for a post-Saddam Iraq ‘should begin immediately.’ For all that, the civilian complement to the plan was never completed. Clinton officials had their hands full with Arab-Israel peace negotiations and talks with North Korea, and there was little appetite to prepare for the occupation of Iraq.” [The 15th of the month used for date sorting purposes only.]

 – Michael R. Gordon and Bernard E. Trainor, Cobra II, Page 30

Categorised in:

Comments are closed here.