The Army’s 2016 Study of the Iraq War: Still Unrealeased

The Army stymied its own study of the Iraq War. Gen. Ray Odierno, then Army chief of staff, ordered an unvarnished history in 2013, seeking to record the lessons of the conflict before memories faded. A draft was finished in 2016. It has yet to be published.

From reporter Michael R. Gordon:

Two big problems with many official Army histories are that they avoid controversy and are published so many years after a conflict they are little use to anybody other than professional historians.

A history of the Iraq War by an Army study team avoided those pitfalls. In a letter last year to the Army leadership, Conrad Crane of the Army War College praised its “almost brutal candor.”

But those very strengths made it a hot potato for Army officials. A plan to distance the service from the study was dropped after The Wall Street Journal started asking about its status. It will be published by the end of the year with forewords by Gen. Odierno and current chief of staff Gen. Mark Milley.