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How to Lose a War; The Bush administration's mismanagement of Iraq has been chronicled in shocking detail.
[FINAL Edition]
The Washington Post - Washington, D.C.
Subjects: Iraq War-2003; Books; Military strategy; Foreign policy; Editorials -- Iraq War-2003
Date: Oct 4, 2006
Start Page: A.24
Section: EDITORIAL

In-depth accounts by journalists are beginning to provide a detailed picture of what has gone wrong in Iraq and why. Most recently, The Post's Bob Woodward reports in the book "State of Denial" how Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld monopolized administration planning for Iraq, repeatedly misjudged the tactics and resources needed for success, and ignored reports from his own top aides about how the war was going wrong.

In "Fiasco," The Post's Thomas E. Ricks recounts how Mr. Rumsfeld's Pentagon excluded the State Department from reconstruction planning, then failed to produce any plan of its own. When L. Paul Bremer was abruptly handed a mandate to rebuild the country from the ground up, still more fateful mistakes were made. As former Post Baghdad bureau chief Rajiv Chandrasekaran details in the book "Imperial Life in the Emerald City," staff members for Mr. Bremer's authority too often were picked on the basis of Republican political affiliation, rather than experience or competence -- with the result that people in their twenties were handed control over matters such as the Iraqi government budget.

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