BERNARD TRAINOR AND MICHAEL GORDON: COBRA II

Condensed class schedule:

WEEK #1

Tuesday:
Chapter 1: Snowflakes from the Secretary (pages 3-26)
Chapter 2: The Generated Start (27-42)
Chapter 3: Smaller is Beautiful (43-62)

Thursday:
Chapter 4: The Other Side of the Hill (63-85)
Chapter 5: Back to the Future (86-108)

WEEK #2

Tuesday:
Chapter 6: 'Round and 'Round We Go

Thursday:
Chapter 8: A Little Postwar Planning

WEEK #3

Tuesday:
Chapter 13: Task Force Tarawa

Thursday:
Chapter 14: Vampire 12

WEEK #4

Tuesday:
Chapter 15: A Sanctuary for the Fedayeen
Chapter 16: Back to the Drawing Board

Thursday:
Chapter 18: The Red Zone

WEEK #5

Tuesday:
Chapter 19: Thunder Run
Chapter 20: The Accidental Victory

Thursday:
Chapter 21: The Second Battle for Baghdad
Chapter 22: Saddam's Great Escape

WEEK #6

Tuesday:
Chapter 23: Hello, I Must Be Going

Thursday:
Chapter 24: Starting From Scratch
Epilogue
Afterward



Detailed Reading Schedule:

Page numbers are keyed to the paperback version.

Big issues we want to address during this semester:
1) What lessons have we learned from the Iraq invasion that will help in the next war? What have we learned about our political process?
2) What assumptions did the U.S. have going in to Iraq war? How well do these assumptions hold up under scrutiny?
3) Is Rumsfeld's "transformation" a failed policy? Is it applicable in theory but misguided in application? How has the new SecDef reverse the policy?
4) What things can we learn to help us in an executive career? I want to bring my background prior to becoming a professor to bear to aid you as a future executive.

We are going to read the Gordon and Trainor book very closely. It provides an extended case study of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. For each chapter, try to pull out the major names, places, events, and U.S. weaponry. I would like you to read the entire chapter. If for some reason you don't take the time to read the complete chapter, please concentrate on the following pages and issues.
Learn to read carefully. To do so you must mark up your book. Also, close reading can help our writing: topic sentences, prose style, transitions, punctuation.

Maps
Overview map of the region
Overview map of Iraq
Significant Army-Marine engagements
Northern Front

Foreword
Connection between our invasion and the current insurgency
Hubris: what is it; how was it demonstrated
Cultural ignorance:

Chapter 1: Snowflakes from the Secretary (pages 3-26)
Key Chapter: read it completely
3-11 What was Rumsfeld's vision of military transformation
Why was he and Pres. Bush on the same wave length?
How to take charge as a new boss: Rumsfeld as an example
"The Pentagon was a threat to defense of America"
11-17 What was the pre-9/11 approach to Iraq
How did decision makers see results the Gulf War of 1991?
18-20 How did 9/11 change the paradigm
20 Defense Policy Board
Our first introduction to Ahmed Chalabi
21-22 Third Army; V Corps; CENTCOM—what do these mean?
24-26 Planning process: Rumsfeld's iterative model; what do you think?

Chapter 2: The Generated Start (27-42)
Key Chapter: read it completely
27-28 Tommy Franks: his background; his relationship with Rumsfeld
29-30 What Iraq plans were already on the table
Who is Anthony Zinni
OPLAN 1003-98: what was it; what was its fate; what about occupation phase
Desert Crossing. Read pages 668-673.
32 What does it mean to change the paradigm; think outside the box
What if most of the box may be ok
35 How would you modify Franks' poem to apply to yourself
37-40 Newt Gingrich and Doug Macgregor; their role; their reception

Chapter 3: Smaller is Beautiful (43-62)
Key Chapter: read it completely
43-45 Vice President Cheney; bio; operating style
45-49 Cheney's trip to the Middle East; objectives; results
50 Diverting assets from Afghanistan to Iraq. Made sense then.
53-54 JCS; Title 10 of Goldwater Nichols; does it make sense to you
59 Bush: no war plans on my desk." Is it lying if you preserve secrecy?
61-62 British reaction to what they learned of our planning

Chapter 4: The Other Side of the Hill (63-85)
What can we learn from Saddam to prepare for next wars: North Korea, Iran.
63-71 His fears of internal revolt and external attack from Iran.
Deterrence by doubt. Are other countries doing similarly?
72-74 Origins of our preventive war doctrine
78 State Dept and Iraqis would take care of aftermath
80 Stay below CNN line; Brits punctiliousness to international law
81 Powell warns the President: it will break and you will own it
84-85 U.S. assumptions: act alone if necessary; Iraqi opposition; implant democracy; Iraq military and police to be used
85 Bush did not ask "How do we run Iraq."

Chapter 5: Back to the Future (86-108)
88 Why was this operation called Cobra II.
105-108 Internal Look.
Biden and Hagel
Not much in this book about Congress.
How much could you risk telling Congress anyhow?

Chapter 6: 'Round and 'Round We Go (109-134)
109-115 Pros and cons of Rumsfeld micromanaging troop levels
Source of assertion: "we gave them everything they requested"
Off-ramping caused later problems
Dependence of US military on reservists (and National Guard)
Newt Gingrich visits Kuwait. What were his reactions?
116-118 Opinion of General Shinseki about troop levels needed
118-120 Comparisons to other stability operations
120-124 Use of exiles; Chalabi again.
127 Jordan's objections due to its Palestinian population
127-132 Turkey's worry over the Kurdish situation; its reluctance to help us
133-134 Views of Joseph Collins

Chapter 7: The Red Line (135-157)
Compare Saddam's reactions to an attack with how North Korea or Iran may try to thwart us.
What are their military capabilities? How would we know what they think? Do we have any human intelligence coming from either place?
134-136 Deterrence by doubt; worried more about Iran (1980-1988 war)
139-140 Protection against internal coups; less worry about U.S. invasion
140-145 We won't devote much time to WMD or supposed link to Al Qaeda
142 Dark interpretation of Red Line was probably valid at the time
147 Timing of the vote to go to war.
148-149 National Intelligence Estimates. Their role and utility.
149-150 Why not Iran or Korea. Iraq hostile but vulnerable.
151-154 Powell's preparation for his speech to the U.N.

Chapter 8: A Little Postwar Planning (158-187)
Key Chapter: read it completely
Either the President, VP, or NSC should have been on top of overall Iraq planning.
159 Zinni and Franks never talked to each other after 2000
CENTCOM official knew nothing of Zinni's plan
No one knew who was in charge of post-war phase
158-171 Let's go through these pages in detail. They set the stage.
171-172 Put yourself in the place of Jay Garner. How would you feel?
173-174 Rumsfeld's speech. Lays out his approach to Iraq.
Was Afghanistan really a useful model for Iraq?
176 How could we have got the projected costs so far wrong?
Deep tax cuts affect the guns versus butter debate.
176-183 These pages are critical. Views of Garner, Mayer, Perito, etc.
184 De-Baathification
186 Feith's views (at this point) on using Iraqi military
186-187 Against getting the UN involved

Chapter 9: Dora Farms (188-207)
190 Reconstruction of Iraq would be self-financing
193 Richard Perle's remarks
196 Commander should be told about the strike
200-202 Great example of Murphy's Law.
203 Why Saddam wore glasses for his speech

Chapter 10: The Opening Gambit (208-225)
218-219 Lt. Childers
221 Iraqi oil managers on the job.
Iraqi oil infrastructure in its normal state of disrepair.

Chapter 11: Objective Liberty (226-243)
231-232 Comparison of the role of CIA: Afghanistan versus Iraq
233 Planning snafu; how does this happen
240-241 Air war was a complicated ballet. Can we count on such access as this in future wars.
242 Another snafu: tanker refueling system not compatible with planes.

Chapter 12: Everyone Loves a Parade (244-266)
246 Terrain; did we plan for the problems
Accidents; did we plan for them
253 Enemy fighting tactics

Chapter 13: Task Force Tarawa (267-295)
Why is it called Tarawa?
270 Pushed men really hard. Move on adrenaline
Mr. Toad's Wild Ride
273-274 Jessica Lynch story
274-288 Shootout video: Ambush Alley .
Marshy sewage area; wires interfered with radio transmission
290 Asymmetrical warfare. Low tech. Sand table.
295 Apodaca's assessment of battle and of Fedayeen.

Chapter 14: Vampire 12 (296-320)
297-299 Apache helicopters held out of Kosovo.
Want to get into this one. Reminds me of Canadians at Dieppe in WWII
300-301 Good lesson in motivating your troops
303 Expectations of the enemies of each other
307 More snafus.
308 Iraqis had been planning how to combat our air power.
311 Last paragraph. How can we have poor maps. Google Earth.
312 Woman pilot. Compare to Cynthia Duckworth, lost both legs, criticized by Republicans as a "cut and run" person when she campaigned for Congress.
313-317 Williams and Young, call sign Vampire 12, captured.
319-320 Mistakes made

Chapter 15: A Sanctuary for the Fedayeen (321-345)
322 National Training Center in California. In Barstow, I think.
323 Why does it take so long for us to train an Iraqi soldier. How much training did the Fedayeen get?
324 Why did his map show incorrect number of bridges
328 Desperate fanaticism versus nihilistic impulse for self-destruction
Did we anticipate sandstorms (times of year?) in our war games.
331 Would North Korea be reluctant to destroy their bridges
332 Post-war problems with MLRS cluster bombs
335 Why aren't we # 1 in radio communications
340 Are traffic jams predicted in war games
342-343 Great summary of the strengths of both sides in the war.
344-345 Joint warfare in name only. Similar problems in Homeland Security and National Intelligence Directorate. Also company mergers.

Chapter 16: Back to the Drawing Board (346-372)
347 Franks: Fedayeen only a speed bump on way to Baghdad
349-350 Franks saw this war through the prism of Afghanistan
357-358 Blue Force Tracker drives the CINC (General Franks)
358-361 Chalabi again; what do you make of this episode. Should we just have let Chalabi run the country? Maybe we would be out of there by now.
361 Barry McCaffrey. On MSNBC often. Briefed Bush 43 prior to surge.
362 "We gave the commanders everything they requested."
362-363 Macgregor memo. Read the full memo (page 631).
365 Giving up ground on which a Marine died. Complete the mission.
370 Be a war-fighter not an eater and s.
371 Nobody argued openly with Franks. Opinion on casualties.

Chapter 17: Team Tank (373-393)
This chapter deals with Special Operations units operating in western Iraq. We will focus only on the activity in the Kurdish part of Iraq.
384-393 Two main groups of Kurds.
Masoud Barzani's Kurdistan Democratic Party
Jalal Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan
"Economy of force"

Chapter 18: The Red Zone (394-427)
This chapter discusses Saddam's plans to defend Baghdad.
394-396 U.S. faked out Saddam pretty completely.
399 No maps prepared Marcone for what he found. Why not?
400 Assault counted on a few men paddling across river in rubber boat
402 Middle paragraph: "much vaunted theory of transformation"
406 The idea looked good on paper, but route ran into a swamp.
408 Baghdad in darkness. Electrical grid gave out
410-411 U.S. operations at the Baghdad airport. Medal of Honor
416-417 Fedayeen tactics
418 Iraqi bureaucracy at work; foreign fighters passports stamped
419 Americans first glimpse of looting. What could this unit have done about it anyhow?
421 Marine colonel relieved from command.
Mattis asked him if he had previous combat experience. Funny.
Man's wife already had calls from Larry King and Paula Zahn
424 Communications incompatible between Army and Marines. Why?
No real joint operations.

Chapter 19: Thunder Run (428-445)
Map at front of book: 3rd Infantry Division Thunder Runs
Try to get a video clip. Track Perkins and embedded reporter.
428 Precedents for urban warfare
429 City divided into 55 zones. Is that grid still being used?
430 Good advice. Those who paused, lost.
431-434 Let's go through these pages in detail: the decision; Perkins himself
434 Like an enemy tank column driving up the 210 freeway.
443 They never practiced jumping barriers like that before.
444 Embedded reporter. What an experience for him.
We could take an entire class to discuss how the military worked with the media.

Chapter 20: The Accidental Victory (446-469)
Map at front of book: 3rd Infantry Division Thunder Runs
446 Iraq response. Saddam's reaction. Baghdad Bob bubble head dolls
447 Boldness once again. Go downtown and stay overnight.
451 Perkins never got the message to stop at the intersection. Right!
453-454 His commander reinforced his success.
458-459 Mission could have been a disaster. Command center destroyed.
460 Resupply trucks could have been wiped out running the gauntlet.
461 Excellent situation update
464 Chaplain's dilemma. Cook-off feature of grenades.
466-467 Ted Koppel was with that unit. Check his dispatches.
467 How to tell who are the jihadist leaders.

Chapter 21: The Second Battle for Baghdad (470-496)
470 No plan for what to do after Baghdad reached.
471 "Had to tell the general something"
472 Babylonians hadn't found crossing points 2,000 years ago!
Mother of all traffic jams. Was this in war games?
480-482 Palestine Hotel friendly fire mistake. Check news reporting.
484 Speed of attack outran intelligence data. Transformation not ok.
489 Marines reaction to the looting they observed.
490 Saddam's statue is down. Check news reporting.
490 Cultural issues. Go kiss the colonel.
Why were Padilla's maps not detailed enough?

Chapter 22: Saddam's Great Escape (497-523)
497-499 Description of Anbar province
Anbar was an "economy of force" operation from the start
503-506 Rescue of American prisoners
510-513 Two approaches by U.S. in Tikrit. Which do you prefer?
513-520 U.S. approach in Kurdish area
513 Talabini is now President of Iraq.
517 "Where is that? What are we supposed to do? Who's 5102?"
519 General Petraeus. He is the new CENTCOM commander.
520-523 Brits operate in southeast Iraq

Chapter 23: Hello, I Must Be Going (524-544)
Key Chapter: read it completely
525 Iraq war like a thunderstorm
526 Pros and cons of decision to stop flow of troops
527 Suggested "end of hostilities"
528 McKiernan would only have half the troops in Zinni's plan
529 Rumsfeld just ground Franks down. Franks checked out.
530-531 Anbar had smallest U.S. presence. 82nd handled it poorly.
531 President Bush: Mission accomplished.
531-533 Garner's uphill battle. More than he could handle.
534-535 Collapse of Iraqi police force.
535-536 Collapse of electrical grid
536-537 Conclusions of National Intelligence Council. See pp. 640, 666-667.
537-539 Military hard put to keep order in Baghdad
539-541 Iraqi exiles could not agree on a common solution; no allies willing to help; no UN endorsement
541-543 British envoy Sawers diagnosis. Read his memos on pp. 676-687.

Chapter 24: Starting from Scratch (545-569)
Key Chapter: read it completely
545 Why was Bremer chosen to replace Jay Garner?
What do you think of his approach?
Shoddy treatment of Khalilzad
Coalition Provisional Authority. Insights from Emerald Zone book.
546-547 De-Baathification. Pros and cons. Then and now.
547-550 Dobbins recommendations. Good then? Good now?
550-557 Dissolution of Iraqi army. Pros and cons, then and now.
CPA Order Number 2 (see pp. 688-692)
557-562 Who would run Iraq. Fits and starts. Keane's comments
565-569 Loss of a window of opportunity.

Epilogue (571-582)
Key Chapter: read it completely
572 Misreading of the foe
573-574 Technology versus people
575 Which was the right enemy. Roots of insurgency.
576-577 What role should Cheney have played? Could he? Would he?
578-579 Nation-building in spite of ourselves
581-582 Read these pages carefully. What do you think?

Afterword to the paperback edition (583-597)
Key Chapter: read it completely
What has happened in Iraq since then?

Appendix ( 647-692)
660 Garner's notes on how to use Iraqi army.
661-665 Perito's memo on how to handle police forces
666-667 Principal Challenges in Post-Saddam Iraq
668-673 Desert Crossing war game
676-687 British assessment by John Sawyers. Good insights
Glossary (693-696)



Iraq items to look up
Speeches listed in footnotes
"Paradoxes of counterinsurgency"
Inside the Emerald Zone
John Abizaid
Elliott Abrams
Joseph Apodaca
Richard Armitage
Tariq Aziz
Masoud Barzani
Buford Blount
L. Paul Bremer
Bush's "Citadel" speech
Bush's "West Point" speech
Stephen Cambone
Camp Doha
George Casey
Central Command CENTCOM
Ahmed Chalabi
Richard Cheney
Coalition Provisional Authority
Joseph Collins
James Conway
Curve Ball
Dell Dailey
De-Baathification
Charles de Gaulle
Diego Garcia island
Dobbins
Joe Dowdy
Fallujah
Douglas Feith
507th Maintenance Company
"Force Security in Seven Stability Operations"
Tommy Franks
Jay Garner
Newt Gingrich
Rick Grabowski
Stephen Hadley
Steve Hawkins
Karbala Gap
Michael Gordon
Jack Keane
Zalmay Khalilizad
Ted Koppel
Bernard Lewis
I. Lewis Libby
Jessica Lynch
Shoshana Johnson
Douglas A. Macgregor
David McKiernan
Ernest "Rock" Marcone
James "Spider" Marks
James Mattis
T. Michael "Buzz" Moseley
Richard B. Myers
Rich Natonski
Peter Pace
Robert Perito
Dave Perkins
Richard Perle
David Petraeus
Condalezza Rice
Kenneth Pollack
Colin L. Powell
Victror Renuart
Donald Rumsfeld
Muqtadr al-Sadr
Ricardo Sanchez
John Sawers
Eric Shinseki
Jalal Talabani
Bernard Trainor
William Scott Wallace
Thomas White, Secretary of the Army
Albert Whitley
Dave Williams
Paul Wolfowitz
Ronald Young
Anthony Zinni



Iraq War Weapons

M1 Tank
http://science.howstuffworks.com/m1-tank.htm

Bradley fighting vehicle
http://science.howstuffworks.com/bradley.htm

AAV (amphibious)
Humvee
LAV (light armored vehicles)
IFAV (interim fast attack vehicle; dune buggie)
Pinzgauer (six-wheel, Swiss-Made)
M113 command track [predecessor to Bradley Fighting Vehicle
M577 command track


Helicopters:

Little Bird helicopter
AH-64 attack helicopter
Black Hawk helicopter

Apache helicopter
http://science.howstuffworks.com/apache-helicopter.htm

Longbow missile and targeting system; fire and forget capability
CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter
Cobra helicopter gunship
Kiowa Warrior helicopter


Drones:

UAV—unmanned aerial vehicles:
http://science.howstuffworks.com/reaper.htm

Global Hawk reconnaissance drone

Predator drone (Air Force)
http://science.howstuffworks.com/predator.htm

Dragon Eye drone (small units)
Pioneeer drone
Hunter drone

How Military Robots work
http://science.howstuffworks.com/military-robot.htm


US Ordnance:

Tomahawk land attack (cruise) missile (TLAM) with 1000 pound warhead
JDAM satellite-guided bomb
MarK77 cigar-shaped bombs filled with napalm
ATACMS surface-to-surface missile (two types: unitary round; round with bomblets)
EGBU-27 bunker busting bomb
Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb (MOAB) (21,700 pounds)


Aircraft:

AWAC (I see no reference in our book to it)
C-17
C-130
MC-130 Combat Talon aircraft
F-14
F/A 18
A-10 (equipped with Gatling guns)
F-117 Stealth Fighter
B-2 Bomber
F-15E
Marine and Navy EA-6B electronic warfare aircraft
F-16CJ equipped with HARM anti-radiation missiles
Harrier (vertical take-off) with a LITENING targeting pod


US Weapons:

.50 caliber machine gun
Tank's coaxial machine gun (Coax)
M240G machine gun
M4 carbine
9mm pistol
M203 grenade launcher
MK (Mark) 19 grenade launcher
Tank's main gun
25mm chain gun
30mm cannon
120mm high explosive round
HEAT (High Explosive Antitank) round
Depleted uranium sabot antitank round
SADARM, antitank artillery shell
Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) fired shells with thousands of tiny cluster bombs
DPICM antipersonnel munition of deadly bomblets
MLRS artillery
Hellfire missiles
TOW antitank missile
Javelin antitank missile (four-man team)
MICLIC (rocket on wheels which unleashes a line of explosives)
PAC-3, the most modern Patriot system


Other:

Future Force Warrior
http://science.howstuffworks.com/ffw.htm
Force tracker device
Text message on Blue Force tracker

Thuraya satellite phone
Tridium satellite phone
Satellite TacSat
SMART-T satellite communications system
HF radio
Chem lights
NVG night vision goggles



Enemy weapons:

Insight Into How Insurgents Fought in Iraq (part 1/2)
http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/17/insight-into-how-insurgents-fought-in-iraq/?_r=0

The Most Lethal Weapon Americans Faced in Iraq (part 2/2)
http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/18/the-most-lethal-weapon-americans-faced-in-iraq/?hp