The aftermath of the war in Iraq has generated a great deal of second-guessing about Washington’s prewar planning and intelligence efforts. Largely missing from this debate has been a thorough examination of military intelligence efforts outside Washington.
In this study, Gregory Hooker provides a detailed narrative of the war planning process, spanning the military’s initial attempts to refocus on regime change and the government’s ineffective preparation for the postwar environment. Throughout, he assesses the prewar intelligence estimates and the various problems that U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) had to overcome, including rampant media leaks, unrealistic strategic proposals, and time constraints caused by competing assumptions between senior policymakers and military planners. In doing so, he provides invaluable insight into challenges that may confront future U.S. war planning and intelligence efforts.