American Military Intelligence Failures
by Wayne Flaherty
Since the middle of the 20th century, there have been two glaring failures of American Military Intelligence. I am sure there are more but I choose to focus on just two.
First is the failure to be prepared for the attack on Pearl Harbor. The attack was foreseen by other people. Maybe they did not predict the actual day and time of the attack but even the Catholic Church officials were well aware that war with Japan was inevitable for months before the attack occurred. If other people saw what was coming, why didn't the US Military? Why didn't the base commanders at Pearl see it as at least a possibility? Even a cursory look at the state of the military installation at Pearl show an facility woefully unprepared for an attack. Their radar people saw the flight of Japanese planes and mistakenly concluded they were American - no verification of any kind - just jump to a conclusion. The first awareness came when the attack actually began. Even after the attack was in progress, key communications links did not function and the base command could not find out what was happening. There was no coordinated defense. It was every man for himself. Looking back, the base command was asleep at the switch. Worst of all, no one has ever been held accountable for this gross dereliction of duty.
Second is the fiasco of Iraq. Never mind that the Iraqi army was overwhelmed by American forces, the real truth never did enter the minds of the American Military Intelligence. They basked in the cheers of the Iraqi people as they watched them tear down statues of Saddam Husain. We now know that they were not cheering for the American liberators. They were not cheering for freedom or democracy or any other political idea. They were simply happy to get rid of a hated leader - so they could install a leader of their choice. In the confusion that followed Saddam's reign, chaos has ruled - and continues to rule. The Americans left a power vacuum that has been filled by various tribal alliances, each seeking to become the next Saddam Husain. Sad to say, The American Military Intelligence never saw it coming. They failed miserably as they attempted to anoint selected Iraqi leaders of their own choosing. No matter who they picked the various Iraqi tribal leaders rejected them and tried to install one of their own tribe as the supreme ruler. The failure to recognize these centuries old tribal allegiances are why Iraq is the mess it currently is. These tribes have been at each other's throats for over 1400 years - but we still can't see it. They have gone back to doing what they do best - hate every religion but their own. Not one American life was worth setting the Iraqi people back a few hundred years. American Military Intelligence should have seen, and could have seen what would happen - but they didn't.
Now they are off to their next failure.
Update 7/31/15: I watched the TV show "Pearl Harbor - 24 Hours After" on cable.
It is one of the most informative documentaries I have ever seen. It not only names names but assigns responsibility for many of the things in our government that happened and didn't happen during that first 24 hours after the Japanese attack. If you get the chance to see it, by all means do so.
You will never view Pearl Harbor or Franklin Roosevelt the same again.