September 11th Attacks Launched the United States' Global War on Terrorism

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In response to the September 11th attacks, the United States launched the Global War on Terrorism, invading both Afghanistan and Iraq. Despite these wars and the necessity for post-conflict stability operations, military leadership, including the Secretary of Defense, had neither desired nor trained its personnel to effectively conduct stability operations, which require effective interagency collaboration. Failing to effectively leverage interagency capabilities during the early phases of the 2003 Iraq War at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels prolonged the achievement of the U.S. military’s objective—transferring power to the Iraqis.
Though the U.S. military will continue to operate in a fiscally-constrained …show more content…

However, the quick handover of power to Iraq did not work and the U.S. military had no back-up strategy.
One project which could have potentially provided crucial insight for how to transition power back to the Iraqis was shut down by Rumsfeld. Titled the Future of Iraq Project, Rumsfeld successfully pushed to shut it down because he had no control over it. When the program was transferred to the DOD, Rumsfeld went as far as excluding former team members from joining the new team because they were not “pentagon people.” Tensions both within and outside the DOD had already established a negative tone with respect to interagency cooperation. Within the military, General Franks and secretary Rumsfeld were in strong disagreement about the number of troops necessary for the invasion of Iraq. Outside the military, Secretary Rumsfeld faced resistance from the CIA and the State department in the immediacy of invading Iraq—the CIA initially resisted linking Saddam with Al Qaeda and Weapons of Mass Destruction (though this would change under heavy pressure) and the State Department had differing views on strategy and treatment of POWs. Despite facing resistance from both within and from outside the DOD, Rumsfeld succeeded in establishing the Defense Department as the lead agency in charge of post-war Iraq. Thus, the military was ill prepared for post-conflict operations not only because it failed to anticipate major

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