THE PLAN….The National Security Archive has forced the declassification of a PowerPoint presentation about Iraq that was created by CENTCOM in the summer of 2002, and the full thing is now up on their website. It’s fun reading. Here’s one of the “Key Planning Assumptions”:
Operations in Afghanistan transition to phase III (minimal air support over Afghanistan)
Remember all that talk about how Iraq had no impact on Afghanistan and the search for al-Qaeda? Not true. At CENTCOM, anyway, winding down the effort in Afghanistan was apparently considered a prerequisite to action in Iraq.
And then there’s this slide, showing the “Phase IV” plans. That’s mil-speak for “after the invasion,” and it shows that they figured they’d be down to 25,000 troops within a couple of years — and almost totally gone a year or so after that. That hasn’t worked out so well.
Via Michael Gordon of the New York Times, who has a summary of the rest of the slides.