08/24/2005: The turning point identified....
Bryan at Why Now?, inspired by the Larry Johnson blogpost that I referenced yesterday, digs into the data and makes a damn good case that late March/April, 2004 is the point at which Iraq turned into a quagmire:
In late March through early April in 2004 a series of events plunged the US into a quagmire.
Rumsfeld made the decision to replace major units, rather than individuals to accomplished troop rotations. This meant that most of the troops involved in these events were "green" from privates to flag officers. There were major losses among the new units because they lacked the equipment or experience to protect themselves.
This was the period when the death and mutilation of the four mercenaries occurred in Fallujah and the US said: 'We will respond' to contractor killings.
This is when Paul Bremer decided to go after Muqtada al-Sadr by having the Iraqi government issue an arrest warrant for him, by closing down his newspaper, and by having the Spanish pick up one of his deputies.
Casey Sheehan died because of Paul Bremer's annoyance with Muqtada al-Sadr and Donald Rumsfeld's rotation concept. Nothing has been accomplished in the effort to reconstruct Iraq since April 2004. The infrastructure of Iraq was in better shape on the day the fall of Saddam's statue was stage-managed for a photo op [April, 9, 2003], than anytime since.
Len on 08.24.05 @ 07:24 AM CST