Here are a few interesting facts about the lead up to the Iraq war.
The day after 9-11 Assistant Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz suggested that United States invade Iraq before Afghanistan.
Don Rumsfield decided to micromanage the Defense department, the first civilian leader in the post Vietnam era to do so.
Colin Powell and other generals rebuilt the armed forces after Vietnam, the armed forces in the mid 1970′s were in shambles. The main effort was to regain control from appointed civilians.
The result of this transformation was the 1991 Iraq war which was flawlessly executed and planned by the uniformed military. The defense secretary at the time, Dick Cheney had a minor role, especially in the communication efforts to the public which were lead by Powell and Schwarzkopf.
The pre 9-11 Iraq war plan called for a force of 450,000
The vast majority of military brass were against invading Iraq from the start.
The joint chief of staff and most of the main military figures were ignored or not involved in war planning.
Rumsfield supported a plan that called for a force of 50,000
Tommy Franks, the man put in charge of the planning wanted 250,000
After a month or two discussions between Franks and Rumsfield, they reached a settlement of around 150,000.
Rumsfield had daily press conferences to spin the war with the uniformed military having very little influence on the communication to the public. This was a civilian controlled war in stark contrast of the very successful gulf war.
The results speak for themselves.