Download eBook for Free

Full Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.9 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Summary Only

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.1 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.


Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback176 pages $25.00

Coalition forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) were able to take down Saddam Hussein’s regime in less than three weeks, at the cost of relatively few Coalition casualties. This monograph draws upon information derived primarily from interviews with and interrogations of senior Iraqi military and civilian officials to examine why the Iraqi resistance in March and April 2003 was so weak. The research focused on two questions: (1) Why did the Iraqi Regular Army and Republican Guard forces do so little fighting? and (2) Why did Iraqi leaders fail to adopt certain defensive measures that would have made the Coalition’s task more difficult and costly?

These two questions encompass a number of related issues. The monograph examines the battlefield consequences of Saddam Hussein’s strategic misjudgments and preoccupation with internal threats; the poorly designed and executed Iraqi military strategy and operations; the weak motivation and morale that permeated all ranks of the Iraqi military; and the superiority in combat capability enjoyed by the Coalition forces. It concludes with observations about why decisionmakers should be careful about the lessons they may seek to draw from OIF; how OIF paved the way for the insurgency that has followed in Iraq; and how OIF may influence the behavior of future U.S. adversaries. The monograph is intended for the use of military and civilian officials concerned with the management, planning, and conduct of U.S. operations to deter and counter threats to U.S. interests from enemy regimes and other hostile actors.

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was sponsored by the United States Air Force and conducted by RAND Project AIR FORCE.

This report is part of the RAND monograph series. RAND monographs present major research findings that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND monographs undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.