The book I just wrote about my experience in Iraq has prompted a debate. I want to talk about the lessons I got from that American experience:
- To compensate Iraq for the damages suffered during decades of tyranny was not easy and I made mistakes. I entrusted the base-removal strategy to the Iraqis and they turned it into a political instrument. We focused on long-term reconstruction goals whereas we should have begun by improving the daily lives of the Iraqi population. I should have gotten rid of the bureaucracy to speed up the reconstruction.
- The United States must be better prepared for reconstruction missions. If in the future we face an identical situation, we shall organize public and private cooperation. – An appropriate number of men must be prepared to overcome the rebels. I asked for more troops but I was not listened to by the military in charge.
However, apart from those problems, great progress has been made in the country thanks to the action of the United States. The Iraqis voted in a democratic way, they adopted their constitution and elected their assembly. The economy grows at a rate of 17% annually.
Obviously, American and Iraqi soldiers continue to die, but Iraq is the central front of the war on terror and we should not withdraw.

Source
New York Times (United States)

In Iraq, Wrongs Made a Right”, by L. Paul Bremer, New York Times, January 13, 2006.