David Frum

03.17.13

Wolfowitz on the War

Paul Wolfowitz speaks on the Iraq war 10th anniversary to Toby Harnden of the (UK) Sunday Times:

In an interview with The Sunday Times, he said there “should have been Iraqi leadership from the beginning”, rather than a 14-month occupation led by an American viceroy and based on “this idea that we’re going to come in like [General Douglas] MacArthur in Japan and write the constitution for them”. …

He denied that he was “the architect” of the Iraq invasion. “It wasn’t conducted according to my plan.”

His plan, he said, was to train Iraqi exile troops to take part in the invasion and then avoid the “illusion” that Americans could run the country better than Iraqis. “Most Americans needed a translator, which in itself was a terrible weakness because translators were either vulnerable to assassination or they were working for the enemy.”

… [H]e believes it is still too soon to pass judgment on the wisdom of the invasion of Iraq, which began 10 years ago this week.

“We still don’t know how all this is all going to end,” he said. “With the Korean War , it is amazing how different Korea looks after 60 years than it looked after 10 or even 30.”