November 20, 2005


War critic has warning for Australia (Deborah Snow, November 21, 2005, The Age)

Tim Collins, who commanded the Royal Irish Regiment during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, said "the war as it was prosecuted was a mistake, and history will judge that".

He said the 20th century had been "blighted by a war which began in 1914 and arguably didn't end until the fall of the Berlin Wall. It now falls on Australia and the United Kingdom to persuade the Americans not to blight the 21st century with a war which involves future generations."

While Colonel Collins believed removing Saddam Hussein had been necessary, the US-led coalition had been incompetent in not forging a broader coalition and in not having a five-year plan for after the invasion.

Not only is this just the same war, but the coalition is hardly changed and the lack of post-victory planning has been repeated in all four major phases. The tragedy is that the three later phases are a direct result of Wilson's failure to exploit victory in the first.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 20, 2005 8:43 PM

"not having a five year plan"

What is it about some people that they love to, and expect others to, plan and predict, with certainty, a future in which a minor, unexpected variation will make all their plans useless. Were there ever such plans that survived to be considered even moderately successful? (Not just big Soviet style micromanagement of entire economies, but even modest business plans?)

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at November 20, 2005 9:48 PM

OJ: My silence does not imply that I think you are anywhere near right.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at November 21, 2005 12:17 AM

I'm with Raoul. Best to grab your wallet, if not your gun, whenever you hear the phrase "five year plan.

Our small private school muddled along with pride and spirit until a trendy new board decided we needed a five-year plan. Suddenly we were deluged with committees, workshops, slide-shows and never-ending verbal and written wanking that assured us we would soon give Groton a run for its money. At the end of two years, the place looked lousy, morale was in the tank and there were serious financial problems. Fortunately, as with all the best five-year plans, this one never saw the light of year three.

Posted by: Peter B at November 21, 2005 5:48 AM