Army Buried Study Faulting Iraq Planning

Charles Dharapak/Associated Press

An assessment of the planning for Iraq’s rebuilding was submitted in 2005 as criticism of the war was growing. President Bush countered such criticism that November with a speech on strategy.

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By MICHAEL R. GORDON
Published: February 11, 2008
WASHINGTON — The Army is accustomed to protecting classified information. But when it comes to the planning for the Iraq war, even an unclassified assessment can acquire the status of a state secret.

That is what happened to a detailed study of the planning for postwar Iraq prepared for the Army by the RAND Corporation, a federally financed center that conducts research for the military.

After 18 months of research, RAND submitted a report in the summer of 2005 called “Rebuilding Iraq.” RAND researchers provided an unclassified version of the report along with a secret one, hoping that its publication would contribute to the public debate on how to prepare for future conflicts.

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