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October 15, 2004 3:00 AM

Bush administration lacked plan to rebuild Iraq, didn't provide enough troops

In March 2003, days before the start of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, American war planners and intelligence officials met at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina to review the Bush administrations plans to oust Saddam Hussein and implant democracy in Iraq. Near the end of his presentation, an Army lieutenant colonel who was giving a briefing showed a slide describing the Pentagons plans for rebuilding Iraq after the war, known in the planners parlance as Phase 4-C. He was uncomfortable with his material and for good reason. The slide said: To Be Provided. A Knight Ridder review of the administrations Iraq policy and decisions has found that it invaded Iraq without a comprehensive plan in place to secure and rebuild the country. The administration also failed to provide some 100,000 additional U.S. troops that American military commanders originally wanted to help restore order and reconstruct a country shattered by war, a brutal dictatorship and economic sanctions.

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