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4:45AM

'Hard Lessons' from Iraq, for Afghanistan and Beyond

Last February, the office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction published a comprehensive 456-page historical analysis of the Iraq reconstruction experience entitled, "Hard Lessons." The IG, Stuart Bowen -- who was there from the beginning, assuming the post actually before the invasion -- was kind enough to send me a copy this week. Having now read it, I must say it's an incredible piece of data collection and analysis, even if, in my opinion, its concluding optimism about the U.S. government's recent efforts to better prepare itself for the next "Iraq" -- already upon us in the form of Afghanistan -- is truly unwarranted.

Continue reading this week's New Rules column for WPR.

Reader Comments (2)

Its the ability of the turf protecting government agencies to be efficient that really concerns me both in terms of spending tax payers money, but also the ability to be competitive or efficient. The largess is frightening.
July 27, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdan Hare
The "Stan" is not Iraq. Different geography, different fighting. It can take four hours of walking and climbing to reach a village you can see from what passes for a road. A narco based agriculture instead of oil fields. The "government" will last as long as an Orange County marriage if we ever pull out. I don't see much transfer of tactics from Iraq to this godforsaken place. The "enemy" there is not interested in rushing to destroy itself in conventional battles with superior American firepower. This is a tough one. We have been trying to find or kill OBL for 8 years now. I often wonder what the difference is in a place like that if we are there or we are not. Really, how do we gain from a constant and expensive presence? Can't we contain these extremists another way?
July 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTed O'Connor

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