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Joint Forces Journal

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VOL. 24 - NO. 39
OCT 13 - 20, 2019
PO BOX 13283
OAKLAND, CA 94661-0283

510.595.7777 FAX

Joint Forces Journal is published privately, and in no way is connected with DoD, the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard. This website and the printed newspaper are intended for the members of the Armed Forces and their families. Contents do not necessarily reflect official views of the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard, and do not imply endorsements thereof. The marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation, or any other non-merit factor of the purchases, user or patron for advertisers prohibited. If a violation or rejection of this equal opportunity policy by an advertiser is confirmed, the publisher shall refuse to print advertising from that source until the violation is corrected. Editorial content is prepared and edited privately, and is provided by the Public Affairs Office of U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard installations. Correspondence and material for publication should be addressed to: Editor, Joint Forces Journal, P.O. Box 13283, Oakland, CA, 94661-0283. Deadline for receiving articles and photos is 3 p.m. Monday for publication on Friday of that week. Joint Forces Journal editorial policy is to use bylines and photo credits where applicable and when submitted.

Lawmakers Call on Army to Release Lessons-Learned Report on Iraq War

Oct 26, 2018
by Richard Sisk
Two Democrats on the House Armed Services Committee have called on the Army to release its lessons learned report on the Iraq war that reportedly concludes the military was hamstrung by poor resourcing and guidance from the top.

In a letter to Army Secretary Mark Esper and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, Reps. Jackie Speier, California, and Ruben Gallego, Arizona, who served as an enlisted Marine in Iraq in 2005, called for the quick and public release of the report, initially ordered up by then-Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno in 2013.

It had previously been reported that a draft of the report, completed in 2016, concluded that the U.S.-led coalition effort in Iraq was "largely unsuccessful" due to failures to provide enough troops to accomplish the mission and the "under-resourcing" of efforts to train and advise the Iraqi security forces.

The document was ultimately held from publication.

In their letter, Speier and Gallego expressed their "great concern over the prospect that the Army is withholding an unclassified history of the service's performance in the Iraq war."

"We have heard conflicting information on the report's expected release date [reportedly next month] and urge publication as soon as possible," the letter said.

"This is simply the Army being unwilling to publicly air its mistakes," Speier said.

"It's no secret that the Army and, frankly, our entire defense establishment, made serious mistakes and miscalculations in Iraq since 2003," Gallego added.

There have been numerous "lessons learned" studies and reports over the years on the Iraq war from think tanks, academic institutions and retired and active duty military officials.

In 2012, Maj. Matthew Hover, an Army Judge Advocate, published a study titled "The Occupation of Iraq: A Military Perspective on Lessons Learned."

Many existing studies and reports appear to have reached the same conclusions as the Army's draft report, as reported by the Wall Street Journal -- that the mission given to the military was never adequately defined, and the means to carry out the mission were never properly funded.

However, Speier and Gallego said the release of the Army's report was necessary to put an official perspective on a war in which more than 4,550 U.S. troops have been killed thus far.

Various estimates on the costs of the Iraq war to taxpayers generally range from about $800 billion to $1.7 trillion.

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Photo caption: U.S. soldiers assigned to 1st Platoon, 1/37th Armored Delta Company, 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division conduct a reconnaissance mission in the village of Fukara, Iraq. (U.S. Army photo/Charles Smith)


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