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Soldiers goose-step across Kim Il Sung Square during a parade to celebrate the 105th birthday of Kim Il Sung, North Korea’s late founder and grandfather of current ruler Kim Jong Un, Pyongyang, April 15, 2017 (AP photo by Wong Maye-E).

What Would It Take to Reconstruct North Korea After Defeating It?

Friday, June 16, 2017

In early 2003, with U.S. military intervention in Iraq increasingly likely, the Pentagon and U.S. Central Command had detailed plans in place to defeat Saddam Hussein’s military. But because the George W. Bush administration insisted that the invasion would be short and American troops rapidly withdrawn, military plans for stabilizing and reconstructing Iraq after the battlefield victory were woefully inadequate.

To remedy this, Conrad Crane and Andrew Terrill, two former U.S. Army officers on the faculty of the U.S. Army War College, led a study project that brought together a wide range of experts on both Iraq and military stabilization to assess what the American military might need to do after combat operations. The report they produced, titled “Reconstructing Iraq,” identified 135 tasks that the U.S. military, primarily the Army, might be ordered to perform after Saddam’s removal. The driving idea was that defeating the Iraqi armed forces would only be half the job. Strategic success required stability, reconstruction and the consolidation of a viable Iraqi political system. ...

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