Iraq 2003-4 and Mesopotamia 1914-18: A Comparative Analysis in Ends and Means
Student issue paper, vol. S04-07
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA CENTER FOR STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP
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This paper is a comparative analysis of the linkage between strategic ends with operational ways and means of the current operation in Iraq in 2003-4 and the British campaign in Mesopotamia in 1914-18 The two campaigns took place literally over the same ground The United States now and Great Britain then both faced significant challenges to project and maintain military power in this part of the world, Moreover the two great powers inherited daunting civil-military requirements in country This study has restricted research to unclassified sources on Operation Iraqi Freedom OIF Open-source research for an ongoing campaign greatly complicated attainment of a comprehensive understanding of the linkage between ends ways and means but such an option facilitated frank debate with wider dissemination, The study considers the conduct and integration of both decisive and post-conflict operations The paper will begin discussion of each campaign with an analysis of strategy What strategic imperatives necessitated the initiation of military operations in this far-flung corner of the world What strategic assumptions dictated operational sometimes tactical ways and means allocated for execution How did the strategy change over time in particular during the course of operational execution of both decisive and post-conflict operations Historical analysis often carries the burden to demonstrate clear lessons, This comparative analysis did not set out to prove any specific lessons learned, Rather, the author believes in the value of history to provide points of departure for problem solving and dilemma resolution, The course of research and interpretation of evidence has unearthed significant insights into the British experience then vis-a-vis the American experience now, This paper is too late to affect what has already happened in Iraq in 2003, but it provides insights relevant to the continued American presence in Iraq and for future deployments.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
- Humanities and History