The Army Sat On A Candid Study Of Its Performance In Iraq, Because Of Course It Did

Michael Gordon, now of the Wall Street Journal and co-author of three very good books on the Iraq War, had an illuminating article earlier this week on an Army study of its mediocre performance in the war in Iraq.

The headline says it well: “The Army Ordered an Unvarnished History of the Iraq War—and Hasn’t Released It.” Basically, the work was finished years ago, but the Army’s leaders are uncomfortable with it, so it hasn’t been published.

One thing you can count on with the U.S. Army: Whenever a top leader tries to do the right thing and be candid and transparent, a bunch of other people at the top will do their best to squelch the effort.

This is what happens when you let uninformed bureaucrats make avoiding embarrassment a higher priority than learning. It would be funny except that in military operations, a failure to learn gets people killed and lead to defeat.

A possible new slogan: “The U.S. Army: Like the Post Office, But With Guns!”