But the real kicker is the ending:
"It's not true there wasn't adequate planning. There was a volume of planning. More than the Clinton administration did for any of its interventions," said Rand's Dobbins.
"They planned on an unrealistic set of assumptions," he said. "Clearly, in retrospect, they should have anticipated that when the old regime collapsed, there would be a period of disorder, a vacuum of power They should have anticipated extremist elements would seek to fill this vacuum of power. All of these in one form or another have been replicated in previous such experiences, and it was reasonable to plan for them."
Looking back from the third floor of the Pentagon, Feith dismissed such criticism as "simplistic." Despite initial problems, he said, progress is being made, with order returning to most of the country and a new Iraqi governing council in place.
Still, he and other Pentagon officials said, they are studying the lessons of Iraq closely � to ensure that the next U.S. takeover of a foreign country goes more smoothly.
"We're going to get better over time," promised Lawrence Di Rita, a special assistant to Rumsfeld. "We've always thought of post-hostilities as a phase" distinct from combat, he said. "The future of war is that these things are going to be much more of a continuum
"This is the future for the world we're in at the moment," he said. "We'll get better as we do it more often."