And for me, the great breakthrough was the arrival in Baghdad of a fellow by the name of Ryan Crocker, who reached out to us, as we were reaching towards Baghdad. Not that the previous State team there was not capable of doing it. The circumstances had changed so that Ryan's skills now could be brought to bear as the circumstances changed, to provide the connectivity that we needed over the long term.
And finally the security forces assistance. The foreign forces in a counterinsurgency do two profound things: You shake the insurgency by the use of conventional and special operations forces through intelligence, through counterinsurgency techniques. But you also have to undertake the security forces assistance to prepare the security forces ultimately to replace you as the defeat mechanism of the insurgency. And so, for us again in the Anbar province -- a province that was uniquely Sunni, that was uniquely out of the same tribal confederation -- an early decision by the central government of Iraq to let the Anbari tribal sons remain in the province, in the police force, and in the Army permitted us to bring two divisions online and to go from about 4,500 police to nearly 30,000 police in the better part of a year. And it was a profound decision that made all the difference in the world.
As we reset our forces for the future, we've got to maintain our faithfulness to the basic intellectual principles of irregular warfare, the components of which are such things as the proper employment of development, understanding the relationship of subnational and national governance, the social fabric in which you're going to operate. These are Ph.D.-level intellectual demands on our officers. We cannot permit that to go.
Kalev Sepp, Naval Postgraduate School: I would suggest that the American Army, in particular, is not good at training foreign armies. My feeling is that the Marines have done this much better. When I was with Third Marines just a couple of years ago, I was in the middle of a discussion among their battalion commanders where they were able to discuss the difference in burial rites between the different valleys in their sector of operations. I mean, you know, that knowledge of the culture that they were going to operate in.
But I would say that the American Army does this badly, has a history of doing it badly. The Korean Army that we trained from 1945 to 1950 collapsed under North Korean attack initially. The Vietnamese Army, very famously, after several years of U.S. Army advisors -- 17,000 of them in South Vietnam. At the Battle of Ap Bac, the better part of three South Vietnamese battalions were beaten by one Vietcong company, and this, of course, eventually provides some of the raison d'être for U.S. escalation because the army that the U.S. Army was training could not do the job.
And, then, the American 104th Division was a training division inside the U.S. Army structure. It's a Reserve division, but it's called a drill sergeant division. It's only 8,000 [troops], but for general war to rapidly expand the American Army, the idea was that this division would train several American divisions. It was sent to Iraq. It failed completely in training the Iraqis. Every unit they trained was judged not combat effective and had to be disbanded and retrained.
Doug Feith, Bush Pentagon official: I just wanted to comment on the importance of a civilian component to these military efforts. When we observed the problems of getting civilians into Iraq to help the effort, we saw very clearly the institutional deficiencies. I mean, we didn't have established institutions that could handle personnel questions, that could handle contracting questions. In other words, we were trying to create a major civilian effort from scratch.
There have been some criticisms that we should have gotten the postwar planning stuff done a little earlier. Steve was explaining why we delayed a bit or kept it low key for a while because of the concerns of how a highly visible effort of that kind could undermine diplomacy. But I think the key point is whether we started the higher profile, more coordinated, more visible postwar planning effort in October, versus in late December or January, is not -- I mean, I don't think there's great consequence there. We should have started it 50 years ago. I mean, we have been doing civilian kinds of stabilization and reconstruction stuff for very many decades, and the basic pattern remains the same, despite the very nostalgic view that people have of how brilliantly we did post-World War II.
If you go back and read Dean Acheson's memoirs, he describes the post-World War II reconstruction effort as a complete catastrophe. And it wasn't for three years before we got to the Marshall Plan. And so, the basic way it happens is you start with the Keystone Cops, always. After a while, we get smart, and you get some systems in place, you get some experience, you start to learn what the picture is on the ground. Eliot's point is very well-taken that, as much as you think you might know in advance, it's practically insignificant compared to what you learn when you're there.
And sometimes a lot of what you know in advance is not only inadequate, it's exactly wrong, as was the case in Iraq over and over again. I mean, a lot of the so-called intelligence about Iraq was precisely wrong. It wasn't simply less than you wanted.
And so you start with the Keystone Cops, you get smarter, you get better, you get skilled. You get teamwork established, and then you disband everybody, and you go to next event and you start with the Keystone Cops again.